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An Ensemble to End All Ensembles

BU’s theatre majors to put on Senior Performance Showcase

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CFA seniors rehearse vignettes and skits. Photo by Kalman Zabarsky

The College of Fine Arts School of Theatre Senior Performance Showcase has for decades provided students with a vehicle that introduces them to casting directors, agents, and others in the theater community. It also provides an opportunity for the graduating class to come together for one last performance before they leave BU.

“It’s really fun to do this,” says theatre arts major Maggie Erwin (CFA’11), who will perform in the showcase on Monday, March 28, at 7 p.m. “It reminds us of work we did freshman year, which was really ensemble-based and a blast. We have kind of come full circle.”

This year’s Senior Showcase Performance was first staged on March 14 in New York as part of CFA’s InCite Arts Festival. The showcase served as a calling card for students looking to make connections with those in the New York theater world. Monday’s event gives the students an opportunity to show off their talent for Boston-area artistic directors.

This year’s showcase features 33 students—actors, directors, and playwrights—divided into four groups. Student performances range from Shakespeare to scenes from films to pieces they wrote on their own. Maintaining a brisk pace (the showcase is only an hour long), students have approximately a minute and a half to perform a monologue and three minutes for a scene. In addition, they have to create smooth transitions from one performance to the next. “We have to make it seamless, so the audience doesn’t drop out of it,” says Erwin. “We want to have them up and interested in what we’re putting forth.”

Showcase faculty facilitator Michael Kaye, a CFA assistant professor of acting, sees the event as a fitting way to acknowledge the seniors’ work at BU. “It’s a celebration of this particular class,” says Kaye (CFA’95,’99). “It’s enjoyable to see them come back together after being on different paths, and it’s a nice way to leave together.”

“It’s this event that you look forward to for four years,” says Erwin. “When you finally get up there and do it, it’s funny because it’s so simple. It flies by. The overall feeling for the group is that we’re together as a unit. It’s an overwhelming feeling that not only we have, but one we can give to the audience.”

The annual Boston University School of Theatre Senior Performance Showcase is Monday, March 28, at 7 p.m. at the David Copeland Black Box Theatre Studio 354, 855 Commonwealth Ave., third floor. Admission is free and open to the public, but reservations are required. For reservations, email Elizabeth Mazar at mazar@bu.edu, or call her at 617-353-3384.

John Fichera can be reached at jfichera@bu.edu.

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