Theatre and Dance Department's Special Guests

Sep 21, 2018

by Dr. Christianne Roll
Assistant Professor of Musical Theatre

One of the special aspects about the Department of Theatre and Dance is that our faculty are not only educators and scholars, but also working professionals in the field.

FSC dance students during one of their classes with Melissa Rector.
FSC dance students during one of their classes with Melissa Rector.

This firsthand knowledge of the business matches our educational goals for our students with current industry demands and trends. However, it is also important to expose our students to guest artists from outside Florida Southern College to enhance their understanding of a career in the theatre, and to help them begin the process of networking.

Our academic year is off to a great start! During the first month of the year, our theatre and dance students had three amazing opportunities to work with guest artists on the Florida Southern College campus.

First, our FSC dance students worked with Melissa Rector, a member of the Koresh Dance Company. During her week in residency, Ms. Rector taught classes in her own unique style of modern jazz and the Luigi technique.

Next, Leandro Coelho, a music director from Norwegian Cruise Lines, gave a master class on audition technique, and shared insights on performing in the cruise ship industry.

And finally, Bryan Terrell Clark, an actor who is currently playing “George Washington,” in the smash Broadway musical Hamilton, spent a day with our students. During Mr. Clark’s visit, he not only gave an inspirational speech to the entire campus student body, but he also had lunch with our senior theatre majors.

The highlight of his time on campus was a master class for the entire theatre department. During this class, he worked closely with four of FSC’s senior musical theatre majors as he shared his expertise on acting through song. Needless to say, our theatre students are inspired! Check out what they have to share about how these guest artists impacted their education.

Bryan Terrell Clark with one of the FSC theatre students.
Bryan Terrell Clark with one of the FSC theatre students.

When I was given the chance to sing for him, he made it so easy for me to vulnerable, which pushed me out of my comfort zone trying new things that I would have never thought of. I left the master class being inspired and ready to challenge myself. – Lauren O’Keefe, ‘19

When I came to Florida Southern four years ago, I joined the BFA program hoping for the opportunity to grow. Working with Bryan was beyond what I ever expected and is an experience I can treasure and value for a lifetime. – Sam Bowling, ‘19

We can learn so much from those with a different experience than us. I truly value the guests we’ve brought in the past couple of weeks. – Les Englehart, ‘20

Through Bryan’s words of wisdom and excitement I fell in love with the learning process all over again. – Supriya Jaya, ‘18

I want to perform on a cruise line after college, so getting the chance to talk to a guest artist from a cruise line was invaluable. I feel I am much better prepared for that specific line of work now. And Bryan reminded me of why I’m doing what I’m doing, why we work for countless hours and years for something that we love so dearly. – Catherine Cervone, ‘19

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