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Press Release: Pace University Students Go from Class to Screen in Los Angeles

02/22/2019

Press Release: Pace University Students Go from Class to Screen in Los Angeles

Pace School of Performing Arts Students Cast in “NCIS” CBS television series to air March 5

NEW YORK (Feb. 22) – While studying in the Pace School of Performing Arts Los Angeles Acting program, two students won coveted roles in the CBS TV series “NCIS” in an episode that will air March 5.

The Pace students, Shea Vaughan-Gabor and Jason Marrs, landed the roles while studying in the school’s LA Acting Intensive Program. The program is a senior-year experience where students from the Bachelor of Fine Arts in Acting (BFA) program travel to Los Angeles, California, for a three-week immersion program that introduces them to and demystifies the Hollywood acting profession. While in Los Angeles, they meet and work with leading industry professionals in on-camera acting technique.

“NCIS” Casting Director Jason Kennedy said, "I was incredibly impressed with the Pace Performing Arts BFA Acting students and their talent, work ethic, diverse backgrounds, and creative brilliance. These young actors were so well-trained that their performance and audition technique rivaled many professional actors who come into the room. Excellent training as an actor is one thing, but being prepared and professional throughout the audition process is something that set these actors apart from recent graduates at other schools."

Pace School of Performing Arts Associate Director Grant A. Kretchik said, “I am extremely proud of the work the students and our faculty accomplish. We have been running this LA intensive for five years now and each year is successful in its own way. I have always believed that an actor-training program could synthesize rigorous training in the craft with the entrepreneurship of the entertainment business. I hope the BFA Program is evidence of that. It is highly unusual to have current seniors book network gigs through introductions their university made.”

Marrs says the BFA program prepared him for this “NCIS” role in all aspects. “Three years ago, I certainly would not have had the confidence I had walking onto set, but after this program I’d say by the time I arrived at the studio, the nerves were gone and I was just excited,” said Marrs. “It’s a small role but it felt really wonderful and validating to book a job on television on my first professional audition of my career. I feel a lot more momentum propelling me towards my goals.”

“The LA journey has been a wild one,” said Vaughan-Gabor. “I went out there not expecting anything really other than a chance to explore Los Angeles and learn about marketing ourselves as actors. But I got a whole lot more. At first, Jason and I were a little nervous, but we have been receiving top notch training for the past four years, so the nerves melted away quickly and we had so much fun on set.”

“The LA Intensive was designed to give the students an immersive industry experience,” said Wendy Kurtzman, co-producer of the LA Intensive and adjunct full professor, BFA Acting for Film, Television, Voice-overs and Commercials at Pace. “It exposes students to the professionals who will be hiring them.”

“Pace Performing Arts is a true leader in bi-coastal undergraduate performing arts education,” said Jorge Cacheiro, executive director of the Pace School of Performing Arts.

Housed in Pace University’s Dyson College of Arts and Sciences, the Pace School of Performing Arts LA Intensive was created and introduced in 2015 by Kretchik and Cacheiro. Professors Kurtzman and Caroline Liem have been the architects and producers of the LA Intensive Program since its inception. Past guests include Tiffany Smith-Anoa’i, executive vice president of Entertainment Diversity, Inclusion, and Communications at CBS; Mary Lou Belli, an Emmy award-winning director, writer, and producer; Nat Bernstein, executive producer and writer for “Doogie Howser, M.D.,” “Ally McBeal,” “Baby Boom;” Iris Grossman, Echo Lake Entertainment; Ron Butler, actor, director and comedian of “Bunheads,” “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia;” David Marshall Grant, executive producer and writer, “Brothers & Sisters,” “Nashville,” “Smash,” “Code Black;” Ilyanne Morden Kichaven, LA executive director of SAG-AFTRA; Matthew Lessall, Lessall Casting; Gary Marsh, CEO of Breakdown Services; Mike Page, director of casting, TNT and TBS; Tim Payne, Payne Casting; David Rubin, David Rubin Casting; Larry Shapiro, Ensemble Digital Studios; Mark Teschner, Teschner Casting; and Seth Yanklewitz, executive vice president of casting at MGM Studios.

The “NCIS” episode featuring Vaughan-Gabor and Marrs will air Tues., March 5 at 8 p.m. EST on CBS. The episode is the latest in season 16 and is called, “Crossing the Line.” The popular Emmy-nominated television show is a drama revolving around a fictional team of special agents from the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) who match wits with dangerous and elusive criminals. For more on the show, visit: https://www.cbs.com/shows/ncis/

Vaughan-Gabor is from Chicago, Illinois and Marrs is a native of Los Angeles. This early career success is part of a tradition at Pace of talented performing arts students earning valuable professional experience even before they graduate. Recently, a Pace student majoring in Production and Design for Stage and Screen, Jonah Camiel, worked as a moving light programmer on Broadway’s production of “True West.” This past summer, Pace Commercial Dance major, Christine Shepard, debuted in Broadway’s “Head Over Heels,” a musical comedy.

For more on Pace University’s School of Performing Arts visit: http://performingarts.pace.edu/.

About Dyson College of Arts and Sciences

Pace University’s liberal arts college, Dyson College offers more than 50 programs, spanning the arts and humanities, natural sciences, social sciences, and pre-professional programs (including pre-medicine, pre-veterinary, and pre-law), as well as numerous courses that fulfill core curriculum requirements. The College offers access to numerous opportunities for internships, cooperative education and other hands-on learning experiences that complement in-class learning in preparing graduates for career and graduate/professional education choices.

About Pace University

Pace University has a proud history of preparing its diverse student body for a lifetime of professional success as a result of its unique program that combines rigorous academics and real-world experiences. Pace is ranked the #1 private, four-year college in the nation for upward economic mobility by Harvard University’s Opportunity Insights, evidence of the transformative education the University provides.

From its beginnings as an accounting school in 1906, Pace has grown to three campuses, enrolling 13,000 students in bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral programs in more than 150 majors and programs, across a range of disciplines: arts, sciences, business, health care, technology, law, education, and more. The university also has one of the most competitive performing arts programs in the country. Pace has a signature, newly renovated campus in New York City, located in the heart of vibrant Lower Manhattan, next to Wall Street and City Hall, and two campuses in Westchester County, New York: a 200-acre picturesque Pleasantville Campus and a Law School in White Plains.

www.pace.edu

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Press Release: Where Does Radio City Find Talent for its Iconic Rockettes? Pace University’s School of Performing Arts

12/14/2018

Press Release: Where Does Radio City Find Talent for its Iconic Rockettes? Pace University’s School of Performing Arts

Seven students and alumnae from Pace made the cut for this year’s Christmas Spectacular at Radio City Music Hall

Seven Pace University students and alumni continued a tradition, taking the stage at Radio City Music Hall this season for the 2018 Christmas Spectacular. With support and training from Pace, each had a unique journey to starring in one of the country’s best known holiday shows.

Pace student Maile Makaafifirst saw the Rockettes perform as a thirteen years old when the Christmas Spectacular tour stopped in Arizona. “The first time I saw those famous eye-high kicks, I knew I had to become a part of the magic,” said Makaafi. “Fast forward eight years later, and I’m living my dream onstage at Radio City Music Hall, dancing and kicking with the strongest women I’ve ever known. It’s a truly magical experience.” 

Makaaficomes from Polynesia and, following her training at Pace, says she hopes to support other Pacific Islanders in pursuing careers in the arts. “Through my career, I hope to inspire other islanders that through hard work, dedication and dreaming big, anything is possible.”

Pace alumna Elizabeth DuPont said she auditioned for the Rockettes Summer Intensive, and was selected to be an assistant. “It was so cool because I was able to experience what it was like to actually jump into some of the dancers’ places on the spot without much notice,” said DuPont. After working as a summer assistant, DuPont went on to audition three times before striking gold. “Then I received the call that changed my life,” she said.

Pace alumna Kathleen Laituri credited Pace for preparing her for the professional performing arts world. “I feel I am ready to tackle the professional dance world based on the tools and skills that Pace helped me to fine tune,” said Laituri. “Being a Radio City Rockette was something that I never imagined I could do. Professor Lauren Gaul, a former Rockette, really helped me discover my capabilities. Through her jazz class, I really found a love for precision dance technique and my confidence grew every day. In addition to being my mentor, Lauren is also a very important role model to me. I admire her drive and work ethic, and I have learned so much from her. Currently as a Rockette, I perform the work with her training in mind and I try to make her proud every day.”

Pace student Emily King says she hopes to inspire people to pursue their dreams. “I was once the young, wide-eyed little girl in the audience, and I hope to demonstrate that anything is possible if you are willing to work for it,” said King.

DuPont said Pace’s performing arts program has provided a great introduction to her career. “To me, dance has a way of freeing your mind,” said DuPont. “It also teaches a sense of respect for not only yourself, but also your instructors and peers. Now as a Rockette in the Christmas Spectacular, my dancing is important because I am spreading joy and Christmas cheer to 6,000 people every single show. It is such a wonderful feeling to know that you have impacted someone’s day with your dancing.”

Pace students Brandon Maxwell,Julia Spizzichini,and alumnus Kevin Murakami are also starring in the Christmas Spectacular this year. Read the full story on our website.

The Rockettes were founded in 1925 and have been performing in New York City since 1932. The 2018 show runs from November 9 until January 1. For more on the world famous dance company, visit: https://www.rockettes.com/.

About Dyson College of Arts and Sciences

Pace University’s liberal arts college, Dyson College offers more than 50 programs, spanning the arts and humanities, natural sciences, social sciences, and pre-professional programs (including pre-medicine, pre-veterinary, and pre-law), as well as numerous courses that fulfill core curriculum requirements. The College offers access to numerous opportunities for internships, cooperative education and other hands-on learning experiences that complement in-class learning in preparing graduates for career and graduate/professional education choices.

About Pace University 

Since 1906, Pace has educated thinking professionals by providing high quality education for the professions on a firm base of liberal learning amid the advantages of the New York metropolitan area. A private university, Pace has campuses in Lower Manhattan and Westchester County, NY, enrolling nearly 13,000 students in bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral programs in its Lubin School of Business, Dyson College of Arts and Sciences, College of Health Professions, School of Education, Elisabeth Haub School of Law, and Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems. A 2017 study by the Equality of Opportunity Project finds that Pace graduates are out-earning their parents and peers, bucking a nationwide trend for millennials. www.pace.edu

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Press Release: Pace University’s School of Performing Arts Welcomes Incoming Freshmen Class

09/26/2018

Press Release: Pace University’s School of Performing Arts Welcomes Incoming Freshmen Class

A Record Number of Applicants Hailed from Six Continents and 49 States

New York (September 26, 2018) – Pace University’s School of Performing Arts (PPA) welcomed 176 star freshmen to their graduating class of 2022. The school received a record number of applications this year from six continents with over 3,700 hopefuls vying for a spot at the innovative performing arts school. Applications from the United States were received from 49 states as well as Puerto Rico.

“I am impressed by the immense talent of the students and the drive and focus they have demonstrated to get to this point,” said Jorge Cacheiro, executive director, Pace School of Performing Arts. “Our faculty members are extremely excited to teach and train them over the next four years.”

The students are already busy with rehearsals for the first shows of the season: “Boeing Boeing,” “Les Miserablés in Concert,” and “Sunday in the Park with George.” Additionally, students in the International Performance Ensemble are continuing their work on an original piece they began this summer in Stara Zagora, Bulgaria, based on George Orwell’s “Animal Farm.”

Pace University’s School of Performing Arts offers a wide range of groundbreaking programs including acting, directing, stage management, commercial dance, musical theater, stage design and a program geared towards acting for film, TV, voiceovers, and commercials.

Earlier this month, Playbill ranked Pace University in their top ten most represented colleges on Broadway in the 2018-2019 season.

Last month, Onstage Blog, which last year ranked the Pace School of Performing Arts number one in New York State, ranked PPA's Musical Theater major number four in the country, its Acting major number 6 in the country, its Commercial Dance major number 16 in the country, and its Production and Design major number 23 in the country.

About the Pace School of Performing Arts

The Pace School of Performing Arts in the Dyson College of Arts and Sciences is one of the most sought-after undergraduate training destinations in the United States. Dedicated to providing the finest possible pre-professional education, groundbreaking programs re-imagine how young artists are trained for today’s industry. In addition, Dyson College’s strong liberal arts curriculum provides students with a solid educational foundation that enriches their professional development as artists, giving students a deeper understanding of themselves and the world. The school’s mission is to prepare students for careers as performers, designers, and technicians in today’s ever-changing entertainment industry with curricula that train students for both the world of theater and dance as well as film and television. At the Pace School of Performing Arts, curricula are taught by leading artist-educators from across many disciplines. With more than 50 productions a year in New York City and internationally, intense training led by more than 125 prominent artists and teachers, and unique networking opportunities across the entertainment industry, the Pace School of Performing Arts is the place for aspiring artists to pursue their dreams.

About Dyson College of Arts and Sciences

Pace University’s liberal arts college, Dyson College offers more than 50 programs, spanning the arts and humanities, natural sciences, social sciences, and pre-professional programs (including pre-medicine, pre-veterinary, and pre-law), as well as numerous courses that fulfill core curriculum requirements. The College offers access to numerous opportunities for internships, cooperative education and other hands-on learning experiences that complement in-class learning in preparing graduates for career and graduate/professional education choices. http://performingarts.pace.edu/

About Pace University
Since 1906, Pace has educated thinking professionals by providing high quality education for the professions on a firm base of liberal learning amid the advantages of the New York metropolitan area. A private university, Pace has campuses in Lower Manhattan and Westchester County, NY, enrolling nearly 13,000 students in bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral programs in its Lubin School of Business, Dyson College of Arts and Sciences, College of Health Professions, School of Education, Elisabeth Haub School of Law, and Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems. A 2017 study by the Equality of Opportunity Project finds that Pace graduates are out-earning their parents and peers, bucking a nationwide trend for millennials. www.pace.edu.

Follow Pace’s Office of Media Relations on Twitter at @PaceUnews or on the web: www.pace.edu/news.

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Press Release: The BFA Acting program at Pace University’s School of Performing Arts debuts new work with alumnus and emerging writer, Keelay Gipson

04/16/2018

Press Release: The BFA Acting program at Pace University’s School of Performing Arts debuts new work with alumnus and emerging writer, Keelay Gipson

NEW YORK, April 16 – The BFA Acting program in the School of Performing Arts at Pace University has produced a new work with alumnus and emerging writer, Keelay Gipson.

“Imagine Sisyphus Happy” is a play that is both a love letter to the theater and one that demands more of the industry. Following a company of theater-makers as they helm a new piece, Gipson portrays the ways in which theater can be both a site of divine inspiration and one of oppression and inequity. His sensibility as a writer combines the cosmic viewpoint of a poet with the passionate drive of an activist – a combination that makes him hugely inspiring as a collaborator.

In addition to developing this new work, it has been a special opportunity to bring Gipson back to Pace University’s School of Performing Arts, housed in the Dyson College of Arts and Sciences, as a professional mentor and playwright. He earned a BFA in Musical Theater, and while a student, he developed his skills as a writer and director. The uniqueness of this collaboration is not lost on him: “I didn’t go to Pace for writing, and if you would have told me while I was there that I would be making my living as a playwright, I wouldn’t have known what to say. Pace is where I came into my own and began dedicating my life to theater. It’s inspiring to look back and see where you came from, and, in turn, give the students a vision of what their futures might look like should they continue on their path,” said Keelay Gibson.

Director Kevin Hourigan adds, “The opportunity to work with Pace undergraduate actors feels like the perfect context in which to workshop this play - which is very much about artistic process. We helmed this show in collaboration with the company of actors.  Their extraordinary contributions have left indelible impressions on the final script. We are very excited to share the work of this very talented company.”

Keelay Gipson is a multi-disciplinary artist, activist, teaching artist, and award-winning playwright whose plays include: #NewSlavesCRH, or the placenta play (O'Neill Semi- Finalist, Bay Area Playwrights Festival Semi-Finalist, AADA Main Stage Live!); What I Tell You in the Dark (Premiere Stages Finalist); and Mary/Stuart, a dramatic queering of friederich schiller's classic play (BAM Next Wave Festival, partnership with Wendy’s Subway and Lambda Literary). He is the recipient of the Van Lier Fellowship at New Dramatists, as well as writing fellowships with Lambda Literary, The Amoralists, Page 73 and the Dramatist Guild Foundation.  He has held residencies at the MacDowell Colony, the Cultural Affairs Department of the City of New York and the Administration of Children’s Services of the City of New York.  His work has been seen/developed at the Wild Project, Poetic Theater Productions, HERE Arts Center, 133rd Street Arts Center, The Theater at Alvin Ailey, Tom Noonan's Paradise Factory, Pace University, Planet Connections Theater Festivity, The University of Houston, The National Black Theater, Rattlestick Playwrights' Theater, Classical Theater of Harlem, and New York Theatre Workshop. He is published in The Best American Short Plays Anthology by Applause Theatre and Cinema Books.

Kevin Hourigan is a director of plays, opera, music, and devised work. Some of his credits include: Cenerentola (Curtis Opera Theater); Talk to me about Shame (NYFringe and at the Syrena Theatre in Warsaw, Poland); Farmed by Trevor Bachman (Fresh Ground Pepper); Blood Wedding, The Merchant of Venice, The Hour of Great Mercy by Miranda Rose Hall, and Tiny by Sarah B. Mantell (Yale School of Drama); Lake Kelsey by Dylan Frederick, I’m with you in Rockland, a devised work based on Howl (Yale Cabaret);  Sweeney Todd (Performing Arts Institute); Gentlemen of Kentucky by Thomas Daniel Valls (Dixon Place); and Magellanica by A. J. Ditty (Access Theater). He has directed workshops and readings for writers including Craig Lucas, Adam Rapp, Diana Oh, Kia Corthron, Brendan Pelsue, and others. As an assistant/associate director, Kevin has worked with directors Rachel Chavkin, Nicky Silver, Christine Jones, Jackson Gay, John Jesurun, Laura Savia, and Mike Donahue.

Hourigan is a graduate of the Yale School of Drama, where he was the artistic director of the Yale Cabaret's 2016-2017 season, and has his BFA from NYU's Tisch School of the Arts.

Runs:

April 18-28, 2018

Schaeberle Theater
41 Park Row, 10th Floor
New York, NY

General admission tickets are $15.00 each; students are $5.00. Tickets available at:

https://imaginesisyphuspace.brownpapertickets.com.

Performances:
Wednesday, 4/18 at 7:30pm
Thursday, 4/19 at 7:30pm
Friday, 4/20 at 7:30pm
Saturday, 4/21 at 2:00pm
Saturday, 4/21 at 7:30pm
Sunday, 4/22 at 2:00pm
Thursday, 4/26 at 7:30pm
Friday, 4/27 at 7:30pm
Saturday, 4/28 at 2:00pm
Saturday, 4/28 at 7:30pm

About Dyson College of Arts and Sciences:  Pace University’s liberal arts college, Dyson College offers more than 50 programs, spanning the arts and humanities, natural sciences, social sciences, and pre-professional programs (including pre-medicine, pre-veterinary, and pre-law), as well as many courses that fulfill core curriculum requirements.  The College offers access to numerous opportunities for internships, cooperative education and other hands-on learning experiences that complement in-class learning in preparing graduates for career and graduate/professional education choices.

About Pace University: Since 1906, Pace has educated thinking professionals by providing high quality education for the professions on a firm base of liberal learning amid the advantages of the New York metropolitan area. A private university, Pace has campuses in Lower Manhattan and Westchester County, NY, enrolling nearly 13,000 students in bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral programs in its Lubin School of Business, Dyson College of Arts and Sciences, College of Health Professions, School of Education, Elisabeth Haub School of Law, and Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems. A 2017 study by the Equality of Opportunity Project ranks Pace University first in the nation among four-year private institutions for upward economic mobility based on students who enter college at the bottom fifth of the income distribution and end up in the top fifth. www.pace.edu

Follow us on Twitter at @PaceUnews or on our website: http://www.pace.edu/news

 

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Press Release: Pace Alumna Shines in Black Panther

02/16/2018

Press Release: Pace Alumna Shines in Black Panther Nabiyah Be plays criminal associate to Erik Killmonger in the highly anticipated Black Panther film

Nabiyah Be plays criminal associate to Erik Killmonger in the highly anticipated Black Panther film

Be says Pace education unlocked her skills to create and be an artist

NEW YORK, NY, FEBRUARY 16—Pace School of Performing Arts acting alumna, Nabiyah Be makes her film debut in “Black Panther,” the mega-hit movie produced by Marvel Studios and distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures, Marvel Studios.

Nabiyah Be plays Linda, the criminal associate of Erik Killmonger. Be appears alongside an all-star cast including Lupita Nyong’o, Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, Angela Bassett, and Forest Whitaker. The film has a nationwide release set for February 16.

“They say ‘Black Panther’ is on track to have a record-setting opening weekend,” said Pace University President Marvin Krislov. “It’s already setting records for excitement here at Pace, where we’re proud to witness the film debut of Nabiyah Be, a graduate of our School of Performing Arts. She graduated with a BFA in acting, but she’s an accomplished singer, too. We’ll be rooting for many more big hits from her—and for many more Pace students to follow in her footsteps.”

“Before I came to Pace, I knew that I had the potential to create, but I didn’t know exactly how to create on my own. I’m born and raised in Salvador, which is the capital of Bahia in Brazil, and they say that people in Bahia are not just born, they debut. Pace enabled that for me,” said Be in the following video.

Krislov will see “Black Panther” with students from the Pace School of Performing Arts and cheer on Be’s film debut.

About the Pace School of Performing Arts

The Pace School of Performing Arts in the Dyson College of Arts and Sciences is one of the most sought-after undergraduate training destinations in the United States. Dedicated to providing the finest possible pre-professional education, groundbreaking programs re-imagine how young artists are trained for today’s industry. In addition, Dyson College’s strong liberal arts curriculum provides students with a solid educational foundation that enriches their professional development as artists, giving students a deeper understanding of themselves and the world. The school’s mission is to prepare students for careers as performers, designers, and technicians in today’s ever-changing entertainment industry with curricula that train students for both the world of theater and dance as well as film and television. At the Pace School of Performing Arts, curricula are taught by leading artist-educators from across many disciplines. With more than 50 productions a year in New York City and internationally, intense training led by more than 125 prominent artists and teachers, and unique networking opportunities across the entertainment industry, the Pace School of Performing Arts is the place for aspiring artists to pursue their dreams.

About Pace University: Since 1906, Pace has educated thinking professionals by providing high quality education for the professions on a firm base of liberal learning amid the advantages of the New York metropolitan area. A private university, Pace has campuses in Lower Manhattan and Westchester County, NY, enrolling nearly 13,000 students in bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral programs in its Lubin School of Business, Dyson College of Arts and Sciences, College of Health Professions, School of Education, Elisabeth Haub School of Law, and Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems. A 2017 study by the Equality of Opportunity Project ranks Pace University first in the nation among four-year private institutions for upward economic mobility based on students who enter college at the bottom fifth of the income distribution and end up in the top fifth. www.pace.edu

Follow Pace’s Office of Media Relations on Twitter at @PaceUnews or on the web: www.pace.edu/news.

 

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