Music theatre students take on NYC

Annual showcase provides seniors opportunities


University Relations

Seniors Michelle Paulker, left, and Meghan Cordier, right, will be among the students performing in the annual showcase.

This semester, fifteen Baldwin Wallace music theater majors will take to the stage in New York City to perform their annual Music Theatre Senior Showcase for industry professionals in hopes of being scouted.

On April 8, the Music Theatre Senior Showcase will have its performance in BW’s very own John Patrick Theatre in the Kleist Center for Art & Drama from 3 to 6 p.m.

Each year, the music theatre senior class travels to New York and spends their first few days in the city performing the showcase for talent agents, managers, and casting directors, said Michelle Pauker, a senior music theater major who will be featured in the showcase.

“We’ve all basically been training to know our types—where we fit in the industry, what types of roles we’ll be playing based upon what we look like, what we sing like, what we dance like, what we act like, just all of those different factors—and how we can kind of put it all into a little nice packaged box so we can say, ‘This is who I am, this is what I do best, and this is what I have to bring to the industry in New York,’” said Pauker.

The showcase accounts for 35 to 40 minutes of performance time for a collective of fifteen seniors, where each student will be allotted cuts from two songs each in order to demonstrate the diverse strengths of each individual in the class.

“When we’re up there and we’re all performing together,” said Pauker, “it’s dynamic. The connection is so real, and we’re a really hard-working group so none of us will settle for anything less than the best we can possibly give. It’s really cool working with a group of people who have that work ethic because in my opinion, there’s not a weak link in the showcase, so it’s going to be a really stellar one this year.”

According to Pauker, music theatre majors strive to discover who they are as performers from the moment they’re accepted into the program, making the senior showcase an opportunity to bring that process of discovery full circle.

“I’ve kind of learned who I am, what my strengths are, and what I have that’s unique to bring to that table that I don’t think a lot of other people will have,” said Pauker. “Each of us has something special and we need to expand upon that rather than blend in.”

Meghan Cordier, a senior music theatre major who will also be participating in the showcase, said that half of the experience for her has not only been showcasing her talents, but also being able to present the essence of who she is.

“I think I’ve gotten to really just show who I am as a person,” said Cordier. “Part of a business and getting hired is showing who you are in point four seconds and really relaxing into it and accepting who you are as a person—as a performer—which is hard.”

These theatre majors have spent the entirety of their four years at BW studying their craft and watching those ahead of them advance to their senior showcases, an experience that, as a freshman, could be described as nothing less than “breathtaking,” said Pauker.

“It’s crazy that we wait four years to do showcase and as a freshman,” said Cordier, it seems so far away. Just to get up there and do it is surreal in itself. I’m very proud of my class and I think we’re very talented. I can only image where we’re going to end up in the next couple of months.”

Though the greatest endeavor of the music theater senior class will be taking their performance to one of the biggest cities for theater in the world, BW students also have the opportunity to see their colleagues perform right on campus.

“I think the audience can look forward to an energizing, high-level performance,” said Cordier.