Laura Benanti, Christopher Gattelli, Gavin Creel, Celia Keenan-Bolger and More Will Lead Summer Intensive in NC

By Michael Gioia
February 20, 2013

Laura Benanti, Christopher Gattelli, Gavin Creel and Celia Keenan-Bolger are among the artists who will take part in The Performing Arts Project Summer Intensive June 30-July 21 in North Carolina. New York City auditions for high school and college-aged students will take place Feb. 23.



The 21-day program, which is entering its second year, trains young adults in acting, dancing and singing and is held on the campus of Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, NC. 

The summer intensive is led by TPAP artistic director Jonathan Bernstein and associate artistic director Neil Patrick Stewart, who will be joined by industry professionals including (schedule permitting) Tony Award winners Benanti (Gypsy), Billy Crudup (The Coast of Utopia) and Gatteli (Newsies); Tony nominees Hunter Bell ([title of show]), John Ellison Conlee (The Full Monty), Creel (Thoroughly Modern Millie), Brian d'Arcy James (Shrek), Nancy Dussault (Bajour) and Keenan-Bolger (Peter and the Starcatcher); Susan Blackwell ([title of show]), casting director Dave Clemmons, Alex Gemignani (The People in the Picture), Susan Misner (A Funny Thing Happened…), Steven Pasquale (Reasons to Be Pretty), Monica Raymund ("Chicago Fire") and Abigail Spencer ("Oz: The Great and Powerful"), among others.

"I wish The Performing Arts Project had existed when I was growing up because I think a great summer arts program can change your life as a young artist," said Keenan-Bolger, who currently stars in the acclaimed A.R.T. production of The Glass Menagerie, in a statement. "The group of teaching artists The Performing Arts Project has assembled is an extraordinary bunch: talented, caring, smart, funny and dedicated. I feel so lucky to be counted among them and I can't wait to be there this summer."

According to The Performing Arts Project, "The schedule is rigorous and the atmosphere thrilling: the faculty considers the students to be fellow artists, and treats them like professionals during a 13-plus hours-a-day, seven day-a-week program of study."

"I know this experience is going to be filled with creativity, freedom and artistic excitement," added Creel, who will star in the West End production of The Book of Mormon. "When I heard about it, I knew I wanted to be a part of it because I love teaching, I love directing, I love coaching, and I love students who are willing, ready and hungry to learn."

The Performing Arts Project is "committed to assembling young aspirants from all over the world, from all walks of life. Of paramount importance is to provide access to Performing Arts Project programs for those who would not otherwise be able to afford it." Scholarships to attend the Summer Intensive are available, including one in partnership with the Kennedy Center.

Auditions for the 2013 intensive will take place Feb. 23 at Pearl Studios in NYC. For more information, visit PerformingArtsProject.com/Auditions.