MacEwan 'like theatre bootcamp'

Some dream to act and sing on Broadway, others dream of other far awaylands, but for most performers, natural talent can only take you so far.

Some dream to act and sing on Broadway, others dream of other far away lands, but for most performers, natural talent can only take you so far.

The Grant McEwan Theatre Arts program can give you the tools to make those dreams become a reality.

“It is like a theatre boot-camp,” says Brennan Cuff, 23, graduate of the theatre arts program. “It can chew you up and spit you out.”

For those who are passionate about the performing arts, Grant McEwan will be auditioning applicants for the theatre arts program on May 30 and 31, in hopes of producing talented performers like Cuff.

Since completion of the program in 2007, Cuff has been recently performing at the Mayfield dinner theatre in their production of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels.

Said to be one of the best programs of its kind in Western Canada, Cuff enjoyed the challenges the school had to throw at him.

“They make the joke that is it 50 per cent singing, 50 per cent acting and 50 per cent dancing,” says Cuff.

Each year, this program receives about 130 applications and auditions about 85 perspective students, but only 30 to 35 actually make it into the program.

“Being prepared is the best way to get over the nerves,” says Katrina German, another recent graduate of the program.

The audition is a four-step process. Once applicants have submitted an application and have received their audition packages, preparation can begin.

“They don’t really have any expectations of what level you are at,” says German.

Audition packages include pre-selected monologues and songs for the performing hopefuls and they are also required to complete a basic jazz class and write a musical theory exam.

Candidates are not required to be formally trained in all or any of the disciplines.

“Just go and be positive and ask questions,” says German.

Candidates with no experience are still encouraged to submit an application and audition, as there is something to be said for untrained talent.

“They might surprise us,” says Doreen Piehl, instructional assistant with the theatre arts program at Grant MacEwan.

With this round of auditions about to commence, Grant McEwan is looking for students who will be able to eventually thrive in all three disciplines.

“We are not just training them to be actors but what the business calls a triple threat: Singers, actors and dancers,” says Piehl.

Applicants must audition in person, as video applications are not accepted.

The audition process takes only one day, either May 30 or 31, and applicants will find out the results by the end of the week of June 5.

Applications for the fall intake are still being accepted and auditions slots are still open. For information, go to www.macewan.ca.

 
 
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