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Theater students draw raves at national auditions

Posted 02/07/20

Savanah HippertFor the seventh year in a row, all of the Fitchburg State University students and recent graduates who participated in the recent national University Resident Theatre Association (URTA) auditions in New York City are fielding offers from professional theaters and graduate programs across the U.S. and Great Britain.

Savanah Hippert of Worcester, a senior majoring in English Studies with a minor in theater, said it was a rewarding but nerve-wracking experience to audition in front of recruiters from URTA’s 43 member universities. She said Professor Kelly Morgan – who directs the university’s professional theater concentration – offered her good advice: “Just give a truthful performance.”

Hippert took that to heart as she faced the audition. “I like to think, ‘Nothing ventured, nothing gained,’” she said. “And people are just people.”

Hippert had prepared two contrasting monologues – one comedic, one dramatic – for her first two-minute audition. Then she was called back for another round. She emerged from the two days in New York with seven colleges and theater programs interested in her for their Master of Fine Arts tracks.

“It was a great learning experience,” she said. As she evaluates her next steps, Hippert is already preparing for her lead role in the university’s upcoming theater production Ugly Lies the Bone, being staged in April.

Professor Morgan, a member of the Communications Media Department, was proud of all seven Fitchburg State students who participated in the URTAs.

“These seven soon-to-be-graduating students performed extremely well and drew interest from professional regional theaters, graduate programs, and professional actor training programs across the United States and Great Britain,” said Morgan, noting that for the past seven years the university has a 100 percent success rate in securing offers for participating students. “They must now sift through the possibilities presented to them to determine which offers to accept.”

The students, and the programs they are weighing, are listed here:

Steven Beck of Shirley

  • California State at Long Beach
  • East 15 School - Great Britain
  • Long Island University
  • California Institute of the Arts
  • UCLA
  • Wayne State University
  • Florida State

Christopher Casper of Hanover

  • Stella Adler Studio
  • Regent College
  • Royal Birmingham Conservatorie - Great Britain

Meighread Dandaneau of Fairhaven

  • Columbia College of Chicago
  • Guilford School
  • Royal Birmingham Conservatorie - Great Britain
  • Dell'Arte International
  • HB Studio
  • Circle-in-the-Square Conservatory
  • Boston Conservatory at Berkley
  • Savannah School of Art & Design
  • Regent College
  • Stella Adler Studio

Nina DiRusso of Leominster

  • University of Central Florida
  • Boston Conservatory at Berkley
  • Liverpool Institute for the Performing Arts - Great Britain
  • Atlantic Acting School
  • Savannah School of Art & Design
  • HB Studio

Daniel Hankins of Fall River

  • Regent College
  • Dell'Arte International
  • Columbia College of Chicago
  • University of Central Florida
  • HB Studio
  • Florida Atlantic University
  • Stella Adler Studio
  • University of Houston
  • Savannah College of Art & Design
  • University of the Arts/Pig Iron Theatre Company

Savanah M. Hippert of Worcester

  • Regent College
  • Dell'Arte International
  • HB Studio
  • Stella Adler Studio
  • Atlantic Acting School
  • Savannah College of Art & Design
  • University of the Arts/Pig Iron Theatre Company

Kaitlin Smith of Paxton

  • Liverpool Institute for the Performing Arts - Great Britain
  • Dell'Arte International
  • University of Central Florida
  • Stella Adler Studio
  • Regent College

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