February 26, 2010

Recruiting for our MFA Program in CA and at SETC this week!

This Saturday, Head of the MFA program Dr. Michael Kirkland will be at Vanguard University in Los Angeles auditioning actors for our incoming MFA program.

Next, Michael--along with our Artist in Residence Mark Paladini and Professor Scott Hayes--will be at SETC in Lexington, KY March 5-6 auditioning actors from all over the country for our next MFA Acting class.

If you're planning to be in SETC or Los Angeles this week--or know some actors who are--make sure you/they stop by and chat with our professors!

Also, check out our professors' workshops/presentations at SETC on Thursday, March 4:
-Noon-1pm: Scott Hayes will be presenting on his innovative directing concept involving twitter and other current technology for our recent production of As You Like It.
-4:00-5:30pm: Michael and Mark will be talking about being a Christian in the arts.
-8:30-9:30pm: Mark is teaching a workshop on physical comedy
-Also, keep your eyes peeled for Dr. Kirkland's stage combat workshops!

There are 3 remaining locations for our MFA auditions:
Feb. 27, 2010 –Vanguard University, Los Angeles, CA
March 5-6, 2010 – SETC Spring Convention, Lexington, KY
March 12, 2010 –Preview Weekend, Regent Univ., Virginia Beach, VA

To schedule an audition at any of these sites, contact Jennifer Martin at 757-352-4228 or email auditions@regent.edu.

What’s it like to audition for Regent’s MFA in Acting program? We like to think we have an edge up on other auditions. When asking some current students to describe what their audition experience for Regent was like, we got an overwhelming response! Read on!

“I can tell you that the reason I chose Regent was in large part because of my audition experience. I auditioned for a number of MFA programs, but in the Regent audition I met someone unique: a faculty member who took an honest interest in me and my ambitions. It was that genuine kindness and connection that got me thinking about Regent, and its that same spirit that has made my years here extraordinary.” –Ryan Clemens, 3rd year MFA student

“My audition for Eric Harrell in Chicago was the only grad school audition where I walked in and felt completely comfortable. Upon walking through the door, I immediately knew that Regent was a school where the professors both cared about their students and wanted them to excel. The rest of that audition and my three years at Regent have proved that theory to be true.” -Rob Arbaugh, 3rd year MFA student

“I had never heard of Regent before, but when I was in Chicago for the URTAs and noticed Regent was auditioning in the same hotel, I was immediately impressed by Eric's friendliness and warmth. He was very attentive as well as professional. I soon realized that not only was this a high quality program committed to an excellent MFA education, but also that if the rest of the people at this university were anything like Eric, they were real and down-to-earth, and truly cared about you and your future.” -Katie Cheely, 3rd year MFA student

“My audition for Regent was like a breath of fresh air. URTAs had been expensive and stressful. Mark came in to my audition in California, treated me like a human, not a number, and we talked like human beings. I felt like I was doing my audition for someone who already believed in me and what I could do.” -Jeff Fazakerley, 1st year MFA student

“When I came to the Spring Preview Weekend at Regent to audition for the MFA program, I was incredibly nervous! I had little reason to worry though, as the professors were extremely welcoming and friendly. They didn’t just shuffle people through the stereotypical cattle call; they actually took the time to see how I responded to direction, even going so far as to provide me with the opportunity to experiment with stretching my range on one of my selected pieces. They even listened to my story about how God had led me to Regent. I don’t know if I’ve ever had a better experience during an audition!” -Zachary L. Bortot, 1st year MFA student

“What I loved about my audition was that the door opened right before I knocked because Eric was expecting me! It was probably one of the most comfortable audition experiences because I didn't feel like I was being put under a microscope; instead it was one person genuinely getting to know me through my creative talents.” -Anna Koehler, 3rd year MFA student

“I auditioned for Regent in Chicago last year, and what was scheduled to have been a twenty-minute appointment morphed into an hour-and-fifteen-minutes, as Eric graciously talked with me through his own scheduled lunch hour. My first surprise came when he actually took time to work my audition piece, not once but two or three times, to document not only my current capabilities but my ability to take direction. Our conversation remained customized to my personal goals and ambitions as an older, non-traditional student, and Eric answered my many questions and concerns with care, understanding, and an obviously thorough regard for what Regent would and would not offer me personally.” -Mike Salsbury, 1st year MFA student

“Right from the start I knew that auditioning for Regent University was different than any other institution. The process was comfortable, I felt like they truly cared about my audition, and Prof. Harrell seemed so incredibly passionate about Regent's unique mission that it instantly made me want to be a part of it. Once I was accepted I have never looked back. Regent University's MFA program is incredibly well-rounded and challenges you to live up to your highest potential as a theatre artist. The professors here truly care about each individual from the moment they audition to far beyond graduation.” –Britain Willcock, 1st year MFA student

February 12, 2010

Reflections from the Cast of "The Elephant Man"

“One thing I learned from John Merrick was how his experience of pain generated in him an incredible desire for something transcendental. St. Phillip’s is a symbol of eternal beauty, and heaven is where the crooked shall be made straight. There is a spiritual blessing in playing Merrick in that I am reminded of my own complacency. If somehow the deep cry of 'Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven' is no longer in me, I am in danger of not living life as it is intended to be.” -Shinn-Rong Chung, 3rd year MFA student (John Merrick, thesis role).

“I feel very blessed to have been a part of such a wonderful and memorable production. I think we all were very disappointed to have to end the show early due to the snow storm. I heard from many people that they thought Elephant Man was perhaps one of the best shows Regent has ever done--high praise indeed. Everyone in the cast was so talented and suited to their parts. As a Pinhead and Nurse Sandwich, I got to explore two very different characters. The challenge was fun and exciting. On the one hand I got to experience a completely child-like side, which was a lot of fun. Then as Nurse Sandwich I had to become a stern, no-nonsense rock of a woman. The challenge added to the excitement. And I loved having to do quick-changes. During our final dress rehearsal I forgot to take my pin-head shoes off (which happened to be ballet toe shoes) when I went on as Nurse Sandwich. I wondered as I ran to my place why my skirt was feeling longer than normal. I didn't realize till I was entering in the dark, 'I've still got my toe shoes on!' I quickly debated whether it was better to wear toe shoes, or no shoes. I decided toe shoes. After that I was reminded each day by the ladies in my dressing room to change my shoes! All-in-all… The Elephant Man is one show I won't soon forget.” -Sharon Eyster, 2nd year MFA student (Nurse Sandwich and Pinhead)

“Working on Elephant Man was an amazing experience. Every moment of the rehearsal process, I felt like I was in the presence of master craftsmen - highly focused, intent on every detail, and determined to produce a polished jewel of a production. It was such a privilege to work with Dr. Kirkland, and to support Shinn and Brad in their thesis roles. As I journeyed with Mrs. Kendal on her path from external facade to internal truth, I also made discoveries about my own truth as an actor, and about how genuine human connection onstage can touch an audience like nothing else can.” –Amy Dunlap, 1st year MFA student (Mrs. Kendal)

“Working on The Elephant Man was a particularly thought-provoking experience. The process of building these characters to most effectively convey the message of this piece took a great deal of focus and patience. Dr. Kirkland's commitment to precision was complimented by Shinn and Brad's diligence in their leading roles as well as the work of the supporting cast. The overwhelmingly positive response from the few audiences that saw our show made the weeks of tireless rehearsing all worth it. It was one of the most complete shows I've been a part of.” –Andy Geffken, 2nd year MFA student (Carr Gomm)