A concentrated pre-professional training course, SpringboardNYC provides the job-seeking skills, insight into the business of theatre and the urban survival tools necessary to translate academic training into a productive career, according to The Wing, best known for its Antoinette Perry (Tony) Awards.
Since Feb. 4, 500 information packages were sent to university theatre programs and career development centers nationwide. Complete information is online at www.springboardnyc.org.
Now in its fourth year, SpringboardNYC was initiated and operated for three years as a program of Musical Theatre Works. "The program provides up-to-date, practical, hands-on career guidance for college students in the arts, and equips young people for their transition from a protective academic training environment to a competitive professional life."
The college-to-career curriculum includes a series of workshops, seminars, master classes and field trips, placing participants in the center of New York's theatrical community, with access to influential working artists. Over a two week period, SpringboardNYC participants meet, observe and work with over 60 professionals representing all aspects of the working theatre.
Past mentors and speakers have included Harold Prince, Raul Esparza, Graciela Daniele, Randy Graff, Jefferson Mays, Robert Lopez & Jeff Marx, and Jason Robert Brown. Workshop subjects include resume development; interview technique; monologue and cold reading, as well as on-camera, audition technique; and a mock open call replicating the process (and stresses) of an actual audition, accompanied by real-life evaluations by working professionals, giving participants a context as they launch their own careers.
Informational sessions are held with the variety of people behind the scenes – including general managers, press agents, company managers -- in all aspects of theatre, "to give the participants the working vocabulary and understanding of the world into which they're entering."
SpringboardNYC is led by Randy Ellen Lutterman, former executive director of Musical Theatre Works, who developed the program for MTW.
The 2005 SpringboardNYC program will run from June 6-17, 2005. For program information, as well as application materials, call (212) 765-0606 ext. 307, or visit the website.
American Theatre Wing executive director Howard Sherman said, "There are literally thousands of young people who move to New York to break into theatre every year. We've known for some time that our seminar series is often the first exposure that many of these young people have to the artists who make the theatre so vibrant. Now, with SpringboardNYC, we can bring some of those new members of the community, just as they're embarking on their careers, directly into contact with those who make it work, even as we help the newcomers to navigate life in the city."
The American Theatre Wing is a not-for-profit service organization dedicated to education and excellence in the theatre. Sondra Gilman is the chairman of the board of directors and Doug Leeds is president. In addition to creating and awarding the Antoinette Perry "Tony" Awards, ATW's programs include the long-running "Working in the Theatre" Seminars, broadcast in New York on CUNY-TV; a grants and scholarship program making more than 50 awards annually to New York not-for-profit theatre companies and theatre students; the Theatre Intern Group, a social and career development network for young professionals; and "Downstage Center," a weekly theatrical interview show on XM Satellite Radio.