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Theatre Students Use Laughter for Fundraiser

By Rachel Judy

February 28, 2011

Third-year MFA in acting students.<

Third-year MFA in acting students.
Photo courtesy of Gabrielle Davison

For Regent University's third-year MFA in acting students, Saturday, Feb. 12, was a night full of laughter and music and doing what they do best—entertaining an audience. The group presented a musical cabaret titled "Love Actually," which featured what they described as "an evening of musical numbers chronicling the comedy, drama and stages of relationships."

The low-key production was designed as a fundraiser for the group of actors who are planning a trip to New York in the spring. The trip will give the new graduates a chance to showcase their talents in front of industry professionals.

Third-year performers included Sean Cowan, Sharon Eyster, Andy Geffken, Chad Gilliland, Hannah Hughes, Nathan Schmidt and Tabitha Ray Strong. Schmidt provided musical accompaniment on piano.

"The New York showcase is an annual event where our third-year MFA in acting students showcase scenes for industry professionals in New York. Every year we've raised the profile of Regent University in New York with last year being our most successful showcase," explained Mark Paladini, professional-in-residence in the School of Communication & the Arts.

"As far as the musical cabaret this past weekend, we chose to use it as a fundraiser mainly because it was fun. It was a fast, easy and fun way to entertain an audience," explained Gilliland. "As we began to discuss the format of the show, we knew we wanted to perform the weekend of Valentine's Day. This led to us settling on our "Love Actually" theme, and we were on our way. We all thoroughly enjoyed the creation of this project, and we were ecstatic that the audiences loved it."

Saturday's performance also featured the Varsity Improv Players (V.I.P.), who entertained the audience with improvisational comedy games. The group is led by School of Communication & the Arts adjunct professor Derek Leonidoff.

Learn more about Regent's theatre arts program.

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