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  • New York Film Academy (NYFA) Musical Theatre Alum Lisa Monde Stars in Off-Broadway Anne Frank Musical

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    Lisa Monde, an alum of the Professional Conservatory of Musical Theatre at New York Film Academy (PCMT at NYFA) recently appeared in Anne Frank, The Musical, an Off-Broadway limited production that ran in September. 

    Monde plays Edith Frank, the mother of Anne Frank, the teenage girl whose posthumous diary has become one of the most read and discussed stories of the Holocaust. The production was the domestic Off-Broadway premiere of a successful French musical, and featured a dozen artists recreating the life of Anne Frank with music and lyrics written by Jean Pierre Hadida.

    Lisa Monde
    Monde hails from Russia and was one of the very first alumni of NYFA’s Musical Theatre program, having attended the 1-Year conservatory in 2009 at NYFA’s New York campus. She is an award-winning actress, singer, director and writer, who began her career in Europe and has since worked Off-Broadway in various plays and musicals. 

    Her credits include Dali’s Dream (Coco Chanel); Arsene Lupin VS Sherlock Holmes (AJ Raffles Holmes); The Elizabeth Taylor Story (Elizabeth Taylor); Ghost Writers (Mary Shelley); A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Hippolyta); Of Mice and Men (Curley’s Wife); La Cage Aux Folles (Jacqueline); Dracula. Finding of a Shadow (Mina Murray); Teach Me How to Die (Poet); True Confessions of the Straight Man (Rebecca, various); and Romeo and Juliet (Lady Capulet).

    Additionally, Monde has appeared in the web series Existentialism and Callie and Izzy and starred in the feature film The Most Dangerous Man UVX by Future Proof Productions, which is set to premiere later this year. Monde has also has produced, written (book and music), and directed eight staged musicals and seven plays.

    “I am very honored and excited to be playing the part of Edith Frank,” says Monde of her latest role. “First of all, playing Edith is a challenge, in the best possible way. I remember, how when I studied at NYFA, we did character work and learned how to prepare as actors—thorough research, lots of reading, trying out different approaches and emotions for the character. And I do the work every time and apply those skills in my career pretty much every day!

    “Since it’s a musical—it’s not just about telling the immortal story of Anne Frank and her life in the Secret Annex, but also about expressing the feelings and complex emotional states of characters through music,” continues Monde. “Which brings me to the second exciting challenge—music. The composer and author of Anne Frank, The Musical, Jean-Pierre Hadida, has created a very complex musical score, which is meant for singers with great technique and extensive vocal ranges … I really hope that thanks to the rich musical material, very important story—which we all should remember and never forget—and an interesting creative approach of the director/producer, David Serero, this musical will extend its run and find its way to Broadway!”

    Lisa Monde Anne Frank
    Monde was joined in the cast of Anne Frank, The Musical by David Serero (Otto Frank), Kristyn Vario (Anne Frank), SaraKate Coyne (Margot), Wendell Hester (Peter), Jacob Waid (Herman Van Pels), Mackenzie Tank (Augusta Van Pels), Erik Contzius (Fritz Pfeifer), Jordan Flippo (Miep), Alex Schecter (Slammer and U/S), and Emily Samuelson (Ensemble and U/S). The production was directed by David Serero and adapted into English by Dylan Hadida. Performances were held at the Center for Jewish History and ran from September 11 – 24, 2019.

    New York Film Academy congratulates PCMT at NYFA alum Lisa Monde on her latest role and wishes her success as her career, both on- and off-stage, continues to grow!

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    October 1, 2019 • Musical Theatre, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 800

  • Tony Winner Jeff Marx Visits New York Film Academy

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    Jeff Marx

    Avenue Q’s Jeff Marx

    Tony Award-winning composer and lyricist Jeff Marx visited the New York Film Academy at our New York City Theatre in late February, much to the delight of our Musical Theatre students.

    Marx is best known for Avenue Q, the innovative musical starring both human and puppet characters that instantly earned critical acclaim and won over audiences across the country. It went on to win three Tony Awards, including Best Musical. It is currently running Off-Broadway and has toured the country and been produced in both the West End and Las Vegas.

    Before writing Avenue Q, Marx passed the New York State Bar exam, planning to be a lawyer. He met partner Robert Lopez shortly after at the BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theater Workshop, writing a spec Muppet film as a pre-cursor to their collaboration on Avenue Q. Since winning his Tony, Marx has gone on to write for the musical episode of NBC’s Scrubs, as well as songs for Bear in the Big Blue House and The Book of Pooh. He also co-wrote the theme song for Logo TV’s Rick & Steve: The Happiest Gay Couple in All the World.

    Speaking with the students of NYFA’s Professional Conservatory of Musical Theatre, Marx highlighted his indirect path to Broadway stardom, mentioning that he didn’t even start writing until he was 28 years old. “The greatest thing that I can wish for you,” Marx told the audience of aspiring Broadway stars, “is hunger.” He also shared anecdotes about the making of Avenue Q.

    Jeff Marx visits NYFA

    Highlights from the @newyorkfilmacademy Instagram story featuring Jeff Marx’s visit to NYFA #PCMT

    In addition to inspiring students with his story, he also brought a special and well-received guest — puppet and star of Avenue Q, Nicky. Avenue Q’s cast of puppet characters included both rod puppets and live-hands, the latter of which are often operated simultaneously by two puppeteers. Nicky is a live-hands puppet, and students were delighted to see him in action on stage with Marx.

    Nicky wasn’t all Marx brought with him on his visit to NYFA. In addition to Nicky, he brought along his Tony Award, Broadway’s highest honor. Musical Theatre students were thrilled when Marx allowed them to hold it and pass it around — an inspiring moment for those learning at NYFA and hoping to win one of their own in the not-too-distant future.

    By the time the students had to say goodbye to Marx and Nicky, they had learned and laughed, and were extremely grateful for the generous time, energy, and inspiring words Marx brought with him to the New York Film Academy.

    Interested in joining the magical and puppet-filled world of musical theatre? Check out the programs of New York Film Academy’s Professional Conservatory of Musical Theatre.

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    March 2, 2018 • Guest Speakers, Musical Theatre • Views: 4074

  • MFA Actress Cast in Off-Broadway Play ‘I’m Sorry’

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    Charlotte MakalaThis past June, the Afrikan Women’s Repertory Company put on The Spring into Summer Festival, which consisted of seven plays over the span of one weekend at the Producers Club in New York City. Of the seven plays from playwright and director Vivian Bonnie Wright, the premiere play was I’m Sorry, a too familiar tale of gun violence. The play is a heartbreaking urban tale where four talented and smart teens head off to prom and only three come back.

    Playing the role of Christine, a talkative teen with a tender spirit, was New York Film Academy MFA Acting alumnus, Charlotte Makala. Charlotte first became involved with the production simply by applying on Backstage and auditioning for a spot in the cast. Most of the cast had already been selected apart from two roles. At the audition, Charlotte felt an immediate rapport with Miss Bonnie Wright and it was no surprise when later that day she was informed that she would play the role of Christine. The play would be her first outside of NYFA.

    “New York Film Academy’s MFA program was and still is integral to my profession because the training helped me understand the technical aspects of what it is I was doing,” says Makala. “It’s one thing to do what you are told but another to know what you are doing. Whenever stage directions were called, I knew what I was doing. Prior to NYFA, I had limited knowledge as to what and why things were – in terms of acting. NYFA’s program helped me get in touch with my creativity for the craft, which I thought I had lost (because it had been two years since I last acted professionally before I joined the program).”

    Charlotte stresses the importance of patience in a field that requires countless hours of waiting and auditions. “There is a lot of waiting; waiting for your next audition, waiting for a call back, waiting on set and waiting back stage. So, what’s the key to maintaining your cool in an arduous field with many ups and downs? Have fun! “I’m sure some actors are rolling their eyes right now, but this little “note-to-self” is key in my auditioning process.”

    Charlotte’s goal as a professional is and has always been to entertain and to tell stories — stories that matter and stories that capture the essence of what is to be human. As for now, Charlotte says she’s simply living one audition at a time. With her experience, persistence and patience, we’re sure Charlotte has a bright future ahead of her!

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    July 18, 2014 • Acting, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 5876

  • Acting for Film Grad Stars in Vincent Pastore’s Off-Broadway Play

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    Debora and Vincent Pastore

    Alicia Harding, Debora Rodrigues, and Vincent Pastore (left to right)

    Acting for Film alumnus and Brazilian native, Debora Rodrigues, has kept herself busy since graduating last September at the New York Film Academy. Coming out of acting school, Debora teamed up with classmate and director, Josh Chung, in his short film Whistle, which was awarded a “Best Shorts Award.” From there, she was cast in the film How to Kill My Boyfriend, which premiered at the Navi Mumbai International Film Festival.

    Her versatility as an actress led her to the role of Jo-Jo in the off-Broadway play Wild Children, written by Sopranos’ star, Vincent Pastore. The play revolves around Vincent’s memories of owning and running the club, ‘Crazy Horse Café’ in Westchester County, New York. While most of the cast, which starred Lou Martini, Jr. and Alicia Harding, were on board from the beginning, Debora had to beat out over 400 actresses in a competitive audition process. “I’m so glad I got this role, because it changed who I am as an artist,” says Debora. “It made me embrace all kinds of women.” Debora’s run on Wild Children ran for sixteen straight days and was well received by her peers and critics.

    Debora’s passion for the arts has recently inspired her to start dabbling in writing. She says she’s currently working on two short film scripts in the hopes of encouraging others to ‘think differently.’

    “If you trust yourself and use the skills you’ve learned at NYFA, you can make it happen.”

    Debora also landed a spot in an international commercial for FourSquare, which you can check out below.

     

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    February 7, 2014 • Acting • Views: 4330