May 2, 2014

As part of a continuing effort to encourage and showcase our amazing talent in New York Film Academy’s Musical Theatre Program, last night was our first ever, staged theatrical production. To push the envelope, producers Kristy Cates and Mark Olsen wanted to do something brave and edgy. The Tony award-winning musical, Spring Awakening, felt like the perfect fit for a new generation of performers.

The musical, based originally on the Frank Wedekind play from 1891, is still relevant to today’s teens experiencing their very first sexual feelings and are incapable of dealing with them because of their surroundings. While controversial even by today’s standards, the play captures issues that, while we may not want to always discuss, are very prominent in modern society. Through musicals and alternative rock, the cast of NYFA Musical Theatre students gives a frank portrayal of abortion, rape, homosexuality, child abuse, and suicide.

“With our first show, we knew we wanted to do something bold, something with an edge from a recent generation, something to ‘awaken’ in all of us the sense of being on a fresh and exciting adventure.”

Fittingly enough, opening night was on a beautiful spring day at the American Theatre of Actors, located right in the heart of Manhattan’s theatre district. Under the direction of Nathan Brewer and an artistic team featuring Anna Ebbesen as music director and Chad Austin as choreographer, a cast of students from all over the world thrilled a sold out house with stellar musical ensembles and theatrics that were indistinguishable from a professional performance. Everything from the sets to the lighting and music was top notch. It was to no one’s surprise when the cast received a standing ovation at the close of the show.

“I was so impressed with the cast,” said NYFA Director of Performing Arts Enrollment, Roger Del Pozo. “The incredibly hard work that they put in to the show was evident in every moment of this amazing production. I am overwhelmed with pride for our amazing students.”

Following the performance, the cast and crew attended an after party at The House of Brews in midtown Manhattan. Like the theatre, the venue was filled to the brim with celebratory lovers of musical theatre. To kick off the party, the stunning cast and crew posed for photos in front of a step and repeat NYFA banner. Soon after, choreographer, Chad Austin, brought out a gorgeous Spring Awakening themed cake for all to enjoy. The party ran late into the night and was the perfect close to an amazing night.

New York Film Academy’s premier production of Spring Awakening will run up until its closing show on Saturday, May 3rd at 8:00pm.

Dance Captains: Pierre Marais, Ilda Mason, and Nadia Palsdottir.
*New York Film Academy Musical Theatre Alumni.