Brought To You By NSU; Written by David West
More than twenty Northwestern State University Theatre and Dance students have been hired for summer work by professional companies around the United States or have been admitted to nationally recognized graduate programs.
Students work as actors, choreographers, hosts or in a variety of roles. Several professional companies come to NSU annually to audition students. NSU students also submit an audition directly to companies. Students have an opportunity to attend the Southeastern Theatre Conference (SETC) that allows them to audition for over 50 companies looking to hire talent for summer or year-round employment.
“Students in the Department of Theatre and Dance strive all year to increase their skills as performers, artists, creators and technicians,” said Brett Garfinkel, chair of the Department of Theatre and Dance. “The ability for students to receive professional experience on their resume before graduating college helps them immensely in being considered for bigger job opportunities the following year. NSU students are in high demand at many regional theaters, amusements parks, cruise lines and summer performing arts camps. We always say the best way to make us proud is to go get hired and work. The students say, ‘Booked & Blessed!’ and we couldn’t agree more.”
Mallory Spier of Pineville is working for Carnival Cruise Line in their Fun Squad.
Mia Rodriguez of Marksville was hired by Northern Lakes Arts in Ely, Minnesota, Rodriguez is in the ensemble in “Godspell,” an understudy of “Day by Day” track, member of the ensemble and understudy Woman #1 in “Songs for a New World” and has a role in the Boundary Waters Gala.
Austin Anderson of Metairie and Abigail Aldridge of Mandeville are at Bigfork Summer Playhouse in Bigfork, Montana. Anderson is cast as Motel in “Fiddler on the Roof” and Roger in “Grease.” Aldridge will play Golde in “Fiddler on the Roof,” Tammy in “Escape to Margaritaville,” Mrs. Lynch in “Grease” and is a member of the ensemble in “Adam’s Family.”
Mikiah Odum of Marshall, Texas, is the resident artist at the Climb Theatre in Inner Grove Heights, Minnesota.
Elizabeth Cook of Alexandria and Trevor Ray VanEaton of Shreveport are working at King’s Dominion in Doswell, Virginia. Cook is a dancer in the Carnivale and VanEaton is a lead performer in “Let’s Get Wild.”
Ashley Stevens of Baton Rouge is a member of the ensemble at The Lost Colony in Manteo, North Carolina, on Roanoke Island.
William Kielwasser of West Monroe and Cortelina Encalada of Manchester, New Hampshire, are with Texas Outdoor Musical in Canyon, Texas. Kielwasser will be an actor, singer and ensemble member. Encalada will be the assistant stage manager.
Jackson Holoubek of Shreveport is an audio technician at the Utah Shakespeare Festival in Cedar City, Utah.
Victoria Hickman of Mandeville and Jeremiah Mitchell of Alexandria are working at Canterbury Summer Theatre in Michigan City, Indiana. Hickman is a lead performer and choreographer. Mitchell is playing Lucky in “Dames at Sea.”
Madisen Martin of Bossier City is a technician at Dollywood Theme Park in Pidgeon Forge, Tennessee.
Morgan Heinzen of Opelousas is working at Santa’s Village Theme Park, Jefferson, New Hampshire, in the role of Sister Fred in “The Tinker Elf” and as a costume character.
Julia Kuchler of New Orleans is at Cedar Point Amusement Parks in Sandusky, Ohio, as Lucy in Snoopy’s Theater. Ashlynn Pettis of Prairieville is at Cedar Fair at Castaway Bay Resort in Sandusky, Ohio, as a host and character performer.
Joy Journey Davis of Minden earned a job at Cumberland County Playhouse in Crossville, Tennessee, in the ensemble and as understudy for Violet Beauregarde in “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” and Lorraine in “All Shook Up.”
Destyne Castilla of Huntsville, Texas, was hired by Interlochen Center of the Arts in Interlochen, Michigan, to work front of the house.
Emma Leighton of Gretna will attend Texas Tech University this fall to pursue an MFA in performance and pedagogy.
Paige Littleton of Leesville will be a flight attendant in training for American Airlines.