KU News Release

April 21, 2011
Contact: Charla Jenkins, University Theatre, 785-864-2684

Hello, Hollywood: Theatre students to perform in Los Angeles showcase

LAWRENCE — The bright lights of Hollywood will shine on 13 graduating seniors from the Department of Theatre at the University of Kansas as they perform for agents, casting directors, KU alumni and friends at the first LA Showcase at 8 p.m. Wednesday, April 27, in the Hudson Theatre in Los Angeles.

“We want to give students who have spent years dedicated to working on their craft the opportunity to transition into the entertainment industry with some extra support,” said Nicole Hodges-Persley, assistant professor of theatre, who, along with Jack B. Wright, professor of theatre, is staging the showcase. “We are creating a showcase speaking to the needs of industry professionals and allowing them to see the fantastic range of the new talent coming out of KU.”

Students will perform solo, duet and ensemble pieces during the showcase, including material ranging from dramatic to comedic and musical theater.

A preview of the LA Showcase will take place at 6 p.m. Thursday, April 21, at Studio 354 in Murphy Hall.

Hodges-Persley said actors graduating from the KU theatre program have the capacity to “transition from theater to television and film work with great energy, finesse and expertise.”

“Our students are prepared to seize opportunities to work in the entertainment industry with enthusiasm, hard work and professionalism,” she said. “Our hope is this showcase will serve as a new resource for entertainment industry professionals as they are seeking new talent for your forthcoming projects.”

A post-showcase reception will immediately follow the performance in Los Angeles.

KU students performing in the LA Showcase are listed below by hometown, major, parents’ names and high school.

From Hoisington 67544
Jacquelyn Koester, theatre and Spanish, Richard and Pamela Koester, Hoisington High School.

From Lenexa 66216
Benjamin Richard Sullivan, journalism and theatre, Leslie and Richard Sullivan, Shawnee Mission Northwest High School.

From Olathe 66061
Cassidy Kirch, theatre, Tim Kirch, Olathe East High School.

From Overland Park 66223
Matthew Gieschen, theatre, Greg and Jennifer Gieschen; Blue Valley West High School.

From Osawatomie 66064
J.T. Nagle, theatre, Bill and Donna Nagle, Paola High School.

From Council Grove 66846
Jake L. Smith, theatre and English, Marc and Molly Smith, Council Grove High School.

From Salina 67401
Marilyn Haines, theatre and Russian, Jeff Haines and Bob and Linda German, Bennington High School.

From Wichita 67220
Darwin Luján, theatre, Efraim and Jody Luján, Wichita North High School.

From Topeka 66614
Raylene Gutierrez, theatre, Alfred and Pat Gutierrez, Topeka West High School.

From St. Louis 63141
Mary McNulty, theatre/voice, Patrick and Tina McNulty, St. Joseph’s Academy.

From Raymore 64083
Rochelle Herman, theatre, Linda and Michael Herman, Pittsburg High School.

From Bixby 74008
Garrett Lawson, theatre/voice, Desiree Robert and Jett Lawson, Bixby High School.

From Bryan 77803
Roderick W. Harris Jr., theatre, Ynenia Goosby, Bryan High School.

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