Lynn University launched the inaugural season of its Bachelor of Fine Arts in drama program with a production worthy of the rousing standing ovation it received.
“We’re on our way,” said Adam Simpson, professor and technical director for Lynn drama, in his introductory remarks to The Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber audience.
The B.F.A. drama program has been a “long time coming.” When Simpson started at Lynn 13 years ago, performances took place on a small stage in the cafeteria, and trash days provided fodder for the sets.
Now, talented students make their way to Lynn for its B.F.A. drama program performing on a world-class stage in the Keith C. and Elaine Johnson Wold Performing Arts Center with scenery and costumes to match.
“We did what we had to do back then; our students were very resourceful,” said Simpson. “But we always knew our dreams would come true … which leads us to this moment.”
Cue the music ... Curtains up.
Drama and Conservatory of Music students showcased their musical chops during the four-performance run of The Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber, belting out songs from some of Broadway’s biggest hits, including The Phantom of the Opera, Jesus Christ Superstar, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Evita, Sunset Boulevard and Cats.
The celebration of the inaugural year for Lynn’s program was also a celebration of Webber’s 70th birthday, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat’s 50th year and Phantom of the Opera’s 30th.
Local actor/director and newly hired visiting professor of musical theater, Bruce Linser, brings his expertise to Lynn and is already duly impressed with the drama program.
“I am incredibly proud of our students and our entire Lynn drama team for putting this together,” he said. “I can't commend them highly enough for the work they did and the growth they made as performers!”
Linser appeared on stage himself in the closing number of the show, but it was his experience observing from afar, that gave him the most joy.
“It was a thrill for me to stand in the back and watch them discover and deepen their experience of the characters from first rehearsal through closing night. That's the entire reason that I teach and direct, and this show was extremely fulfilling in that way,” said Linser.
The proud and accomplished cast took a final bow to enthusiastic applause, knowing they’ve only just begun.
The B.F.A. in drama is a concentrated acting and musical theater training program that prepares students to become professional actors for theater, movies television and musicals. The curriculum blends traditional and contemporary theatrical training methods through innovative approaches that keep pace with industry demands. Two specializations: acting or musical theater performance.