Evita
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  • An Update From Musical Theatre Chair Mark Olsen

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    I have finally come up for air and have some time to write a few words to share more of the amazing whirlwind of joy that we have experienced this summer. Many of the faculty who were away on summer professional gigs have now begun to return, while others in pre-Broadway tryouts are beginning new rounds of rehearsals. The second year students are in the early planning stages for their Movie Musical and are continuing to hone their audition, vocal performance, acting, and dance skills. The second semester group, growing by leaps and bounds, will take a break from their intense schedule to see the Broadway musical Kinky Boots tomorrow. (As a side note, one of my former students, Caroline Bowman, was in the show until recently when she left to play Evita in the national tour.) Soon, the second semester students will be preparing to put together the materials for their end of semester showcase that will be performed at the June Havoc Theatre in September.

    Our summer high school group was the biggest and the most talented group we have seen in a long time. Their final showcase, directed by faculty member Chad Larabee, with music directed by Kevin White, was a wonderful celebration. In this photo you can sense the joy and authentic exuberance.

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    Our four-week adult intensive was an extraordinary collection of talented performers from around the world. They all recognized early on that they were a special group capable of creating memorable moments of excellence and making life long friends. Their work ethic was infectious and the whole academy could feel their focus and dedication. Their end of term performance, directed by D.J. Salisbury and music directed by Daniel Lincoln, was also an extraordinary celebration that allowed for an amazing display of talent and growth. This photo, taken moments after they received their diplomas, captures their uninhibited spirit.

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    Joining us once again was our much-anticipated Pastudio group from Buenas Aires, Argentina. Their leader, Cris Hansen, has reason to be proud since they continue the tradition of bringing serious, open, and receptive students. The group worked hard for a full week and on the eighth day presented a very enjoyable “open class.” They are pictured here with Mr. Hansen, and their Musical Theatre teachers Frank Lindquist, Sara Antkowiak, and Neva Rae Powers who also directed their showing.

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    All in all, a very successful summer filled with great memories, good times, excellent performances, and the simple joy of doing what we love and loving what we do.

    Cheers,

    Mark Olsen, New York Film Acdemy Musical Theatre Chair

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    August 14, 2013 • Musical Theatre • Views: 3810

  • A Word From Musical Theatre Chair Mark Olsen

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    The following is a post from New York Film Academy‘s Chair of the Musical Theatre Conservatory Program, Mark Olsen. Mark is a professional actor, author, and director – currently working as a movement consultant on two Broadway shows. His students are working on Broadway, Off-Broadway, in major films, television shows, and in regional theatres, both here and abroad.

    First, it is important to recognize that the previous Chair, VP Boyle, worked diligently and with great verve over the past four and a half years to bring this program to a level that is attracting such extraordinary young talent. I am honored to be given the task to not only serve that original mission, and greatly energized to take the program boldly forward. With the great faculty we have and the amazing students from all over the world, we are poised to do great things.

    I find it very interesting and appropriate that as I assumed this new position, numerous students of mine were joining other former students and fulfilling their dreams of performing on the Broadway stage. (And in Tony nominated productions no less!) In addition, one student just got the lead in the national tour of Evita and another just informed me yesterday that she was cast in the upcoming musical, Soul Doctor. Add to that the fact that a few months ago I was brought on to do some movement consulting for Cicely Tyson, who is starring on Broadway in Trip to Bountiful, and it certainly seems like this is my special Broadway season.

    However, what I really need to share with you is the incredibly big news: We have moved into our glorious new building in Battery Park! We are inhabiting the fifth floor for now, while the fourth floor finished its last stages of construction. The studios are extraordinary, the dance rooms exquisite, the views of the Hudson bay – breathtaking.

    Mark at NYFA doorwayOf course, I could not have made this transition and taken on the sudden task of this new position if it weren’t for the hard work and quick study of the new Musical Theatre coordinator, Megan Nilon. Together we have kept the ship steady and have navigated the various storms to land us safely and happily into our elegant new facility.

    Kevin Duda, who is in Book of Mormon, just recently directed the Movie Musical for the second year class who graduated last Friday. It was a rousing success. After final edits, it will be submitted to festivals thither and yon and the amazingly good looking cast will have that credential, great footage and photos for their professional reels.

    All in all it has been a terrific ride so far. We are experiencing a lull for a few weeks, with only one class in residence, but we all thrill with anticipation because July promises to be quite a mash up of Musical Theatre activity. When that hits, the summer season will kick off in earnest. All hands on deck, dedicated to giving the very best training to these students, these wonderful young singers, dancers, actors.

    Let’s make some good magic!

    -Mark Olsen

    If you’d like to learn more about NYFA’s Musical Theatre Conservatory Program, click HERE!

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    June 12, 2013 • Musical Theatre • Views: 5322

  • Gingerbread House

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    Coming off the premiere of Lifeless at the Big Apple Film Festival, the Musical Theatre department at the New York Film Academy has announced its latest original movie musical short film, Gingerbread House. The musical film will be directed by VP Boyle and feature an original score with lyrics by Rob Rokicki.

    Originally from Colorado, Rob is a proud graduate of the University of Michigan and is a member of the Dramatists Guild, Actor’s Equity, and alum of the Tony award winning BMI Musical Theatre Workshop. As an actor, Rob was featured in the Evita 25th Anniversary Tour directed by Hal Prince & Larry Fuller. His musical, Love, NY (co-written with Mike Ruby) won the 2009 American Harmony Award and was presented at New World Stages. His latest album, I’m Ready: The Songs of Rob Rokicki is available on iTunes and Amazon.
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    November 26, 2012 • Musical Theatre • Views: 4215