Emily Goldberg and Emma Hamrick
Sports Editor and Editor-In-Chief
Six musical theatre majors at Florida Southern College took engaged learning to a new level last week when the traveled to Oslo, Norway to perform in the Musical Theatre Educator’s Association conference. Senior Jessica Kronenberger, sophomore Sierra Bores, and juniors Martina Long, Rachael Lord, Molly Garrett and Justin Baret traveled across the pond to perform alongside 16 other students from USA, Italy, Australia, Thailand, Denmark and Norway.
“To be selected to go on this trip, we each had to send in an audition video with an introduction, two 30 second cuts of songs (one classical musical theatre and one of our choice), and a 30-60 second dance clip,” Garrett said. “This was the first year that there has been a student portion of the conference so it was really exciting that six students from FSC were chosen to attend and participate in the international showcase.”
The audition process was unique to the conference.
“The auditions were very fast paced and thrown together, we went right into rehearsals the minute we got there and had a total of three rehearsals before the showcase,” Baret said.
The students performed for a panel of European casting directors on Aug. 27 at Oslo’s Teaterkjelleren.
“Being in the showcase was definitely a lot different from other shows I’ve been in because we only had about 10 hours of rehearsal time before we performed,” Garrett said. “We worked with choreographers and directors from all over the world who we’d never worked with before. They were all fabulous.”
The quick turn around time between arriving in Oslo and performing required the students to prepare prior to their international departure.
“In order to make it all happen, we all got our music well in advance and were expected to know our parts before we got there. Also, we were all paired up with students from all over the world so we did not have a scene partner we knew,” Garrett said.
Despite their pressing schedule, the students managed to squeeze in sightseeing in the mornings and the evenings.
The conference was a unique experience for Garrett and has excited her for the opportunity to participate in similar showcases in the future.
“I hope I have an opportunity like this again to study what I love overseas because its really cool to see how musical theater has spread all over the world and how it’s different in other countries,” Garrett said.
Meeting performers from across the globe was also a highlight for Baret.
“My favorite part of the trip was just the experience of meeting people from around the world that shared a passion for performing arts as much as I do,” Baret said.
Following the trip, Garret said that performing across the Atlantic brought her “a new appreciation for [the] art and more knowledge about the opportunities [she] will have to perform not only in the United States, but in Europe as well.”
The group returned Sunday, Aug. 28 to return to classes and begin work on their first production, The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940. While the bright spotlight of the international stage has dimmed for now, the performers look back on the experience fondly.
“Overall, this trip was just really eye opening and a humbling experience to be selected to represent a small portion of the collegiate musical theatre community,” Garrett said.