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K-State Today

March 25, 2016

K-State Theatre students take a bite out of the Big Apple

Submitted by Darrington Clark

Ten K-State Theatre students and five faculty traveled to New York City during the 2016 spring break, with airfare, lodging and performances paid for by a generous donor. This New York trip furthered K-State Theatre's tradition of allowing students to engage in research and professional development across the country.

Students attended several Broadway performances, including the 2015 Tony Award winners "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time," best play; and "Fun Home," best musical. Theater students and faculty also attended many off-Broadway shows.

Professional connections via faculty allowed students special access and backstage tours to more than five Broadway and off-Broadway shows, including a tour of the Richard Rodgers Theatre where "Hamilton" is currently showing. In addition to seeing and touring New York stages, students also met with "Orange Is the New Black" star Danielle Brooks and "Peter Pan Live!" star Alauna Saunders.

Saunders was one of many performers currently working in and around New York who met with students and faculty for a professional roundtable. The networking roundtable event was coordinated by K-State Theatre's program director Jennifer Vellenga. More than 10 working New York actors and technicians networked personally with K-State students during the trip, including K-State design/tech alumni Liz Wilson and Kurtis and Mary Rutherford, whose visits were arranged by Dana Pinkston, associate professor in costume design.

The experience was designed to allow students to observe some of the highest quality theatre in the world and to explore and acclimate to life in the city. This trip marks the third consecutive spring professional excursion a K-State Theatre donor has provided students; previous trips include visits to Las Vegas, Nevada, and Los Angeles, California.