Four Northwestern State students in the School of Creating and Performing Arts traveled to Germany and arrived July 2 to perform in the International Performing Arts Institute’s musical theater-intensive program.
Usually hundreds audition, but there are only about 20 slots available; auditions were set up through NSU around September 2016. There are 13 total participants in this year’s musical theater program, including the four NSU students.
Additionally, Dr. Corey Trahan, a voice teacher at NSU, is on the faculty of the program and was given the job after going as a teaching assistant last year. He is the reason students found out about the program and now have the opportunity to participate.
The four students in attendance are Rosa Campbell, Maddie Fry, Jesse Kortus and Titus Mccann.
Mccann plans on improving his acting, singing and dancing skills and would like to audition for German theater companies in Hamburg, which he says are “the equivalent to Broadway in America.”
“I’m here to strengthen my skill set as an artist,” he said. “I’m also here to learn as much of the language as I can.”
A typical day in the program for Mccann starts with breakfast at 8 a.m. Following breakfast, he attends either acting or dancing lessons, depending on the day. After these lessons, rehearsal begins for one of the scenes of the public performance given by students to end the three-week session.
At noon, the group takes a lunch break until 1:15 p.m. when German class starts. After this class, Mccann goes to a voice lesson lasting anywhere from thirty minutes to an hour.
After a two-hour break, another scene rehearsal takes place until 8 p.m., and at the end of the day, students are free to get dinner and explore the city.
Even though they have only been in Germany for 10 days, the students said they have already learned so much.
“I’ve learned how to have basic interactions in German as well as some amazing vocal techniques… that can make the audience empathize with me,” Mccann said. “It gives me a deeper connection with the work I’m performing and give myself entirely to a piece.”
The five members of the NSU community gave their first performance July 6. Other events during the duration of the trip include the opportunity to audition for German theater companies July 12 and a final performance July 21 before returning to the United States July 23.