Auditions for Geva Summer Program Coming March 20th

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By Delani Weaver

Geva Theatre Center Conservatory is getting ready to hold auditions to bring 30 students to their stages for their 2014 summer academy. This five-week theatre training program is meant to give young people, ages 12 to 18, the skills and resources they need to discover and develop the actor in themselves.

Associate Director of Education, Lara Bidus-Rhyner said, “This is our eighteenth summer. It’s a great place where they can discover if acting is something they want to pursue as a career. Some likewise discover in spending five weeks with us and rehearsing every single day and taking these classes every single day, that acting is more of a hobby for them, rather than a career.”

“It’s great because kind of no matter what they decide,” Bidus-Rhyner continued. “There’s a lot of practical skills and things they can take with them afterward. Many of our students have gone on to perform and have careers at theater institutions across the country. But those that choose to pursue this as a hobby and do something else for their career, still come back to us and say that skills they learned at summer academy have helped them in their job, no matter what it is.”

Theatre experience is not required for applicants as beginning actors will receive quality training and those with experience will receive advance level training. The academy costs $1250 to attend, however full and partial scholarships are available. The 30 selected students will be divided into groups of three with one instructor for each group. The 3:1 student/instructor ratio will make sure that training is personalized for each student.

“We consider it more of an actor’s toolbox. Certainly they learn, they strengthen monologues and songs for auditions in the future. In that way, we work on auditions techniques and we have discussions on where they’re going next, auditions for college, if that’s what they’re interested in doing. Where to look for auditions, we do have master classes that address that, but what they’re mostly taking away is a skill set. Teaching them the fundamentals they need to be a professional actor in this business so they can find those casting calls on their own and know what to do during those auditions.”

On the Saturday that concludes the program, there will be a showcase that is free and open to the public. The students will be able to use the skills they’ve been learning all summer and bring them to Geva’s stage for their friends and family to see them perform. They will also receive a Geva Certificate of Completion for the program.

Auditions will be held at Geva center. Auditioning students must recite a memorized 1-minute monologue, 32-bars of a song, with sheet music for the accompanist, after which there will be an interview.

Bidus-Rhyner said the relationships formed during the academy do not end when it’s over. Students are constantly in touch with Geva. There’s a Facebook page for alumni to connect and host alumni events. Bidus-Rhyner also said alumni are periodically invited back to a particular show at the theater and alumni plan reunions to attend a show together.

“They can all connect through the alumni page and keep in touch with each other for years and years,” she said. “The same thing for the faculty as well. They can reach out to the faculty for questions or recommendations or looking for some advice or someone to connect to. That’s one of the greatest things about academy, the support system. There’s such a strong support system afterwards, they really walk away feeling like they have a family of people that they’re connected to that they can take with them for years and still connect to.”

Students must call Geva to schedule an audition, (585) 232-4382