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Texas State musical theatre partners to present DSM college workshop

By Colin Ashby
University News Service
June 18, 2013

Kaitlin Hopkins

Kaitlin Hopkins

Texas State University will partner with the Dallas Summer Musicals High School Musical Theatre Awards to present a new college theatre audition workshop to aspiring high school performers Aug. 17-18 at the Music Hall at Fair Park in Dallas.

Kaitlin Hopkins, head of musical theater at Texas State, has been working on the program for about a year. Hopkins said the program was started out of wanting to find a way for students to know more about the musical theater programs in Texas. Texas State collaborated with DSM to design the concept of the event: a mock-audition format. Students will be able to present their material to seven in-state BFA musical theater programs over one weekend.

“[This event] is going to be unique. Multiple programs are not just offering a college fair where they promote their programs but also offering students a mock audition opportunity to show their work and receive feedback in an educational setting,” said Hopkins.

The event will give students the opportunity to learn about various theater programs that different universities offer. All high school students, not just seniors, are welcome to attend. Students will be able to meet with theatre faculty from seven Texas universities. Various presentations and forums will be held during the two-day event. Students will have the chance to participate in a mock dance call and showcase audition material. Feedback and direction will be given for the auditions by university faculty members.

College audition coach Mary Anna Dennard will be featured at the event. Dennard will present on how to prepare for college auditions and selecting the right college. Hopkins said the two-day event should help students and faculty feel more prepared for future auditions for top university theater programs.

Student participation for the program is on two levels. The first level costs $65 and gives students access to all college presentations, Mary Anna Dennard's presentation and an audit mock dance and vocal/monologue auditions. Level two attendance costs $125 and gets students all the benefits of level one plus feedback and direction from university faculty on their auditions.

Hopkins said she believes each musical theater program offered from the in-state universities has something unique to offer. She said some of the advantages Texas State offers are its small class sizes and its many performance opportunities. She said the productions at Texas State are held at a professional level and have received 16 Austin Critics’ Table Award nominations and nine wins.

Hopkins has more than 25 years experience working on and off Broadway productions, regional theatre, film, television and radio. She received the 2011 Austin Critics' Table Awards for Best Direction for her Texas State productions of All Shook Up and Andrew Lippa's The Wild Party. She is a graduate of Carnegie Mellon University’s musical theatre program and studied acting at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in London.

For more information on the DSM College audition workshop, or to register, go to www.dallassummermusicals.org/HSMAwards.shtm or call Tracy Jordan, DSM executive director at (214) 413-3951.