Perched atop the recital hall stage before a crowd of expectant faces, theater majors Lauren Landmen ’18, Kate Kreiss ’19, and Sam Meyers ’18 were, more likely than not, right at home. Having returned from the Big Apple only a few months ago, the three joined Music Department Chair Andrew Koehler and Center for International Programs Operations Manager Heather Garcia for an information session on the New York Arts Program this past Monday.
The New York Arts Program, according to a description on their website, is the “premiere off-campus domestic program specializing in providing students with opportunities in the arts and creative industries.” Kalamazoo College has been a part of the program as a “Study Away” option for years now, sending five students to New York City annually for experience in the performing, visual, or media arts, as well as in the field of writing and publishing—often for a combination of two or more of these groups. Although a working internship, usually 20-30 hours per week, is at the core of the experience, K students often take additional classes while they spend the winter semester abroad.
Such was the case for Kreiss, who majors in English as well as theater and fulfilled the program’s independent capstone requirement through her screenwriting class, returning to K with a completed script for the pilot episode of a TV series of her own creation. Landmen, meanwhile, found time between voice classes and her work at a dance company near Times Square to audition for acting gigs—one of which that landed her a spot training as part of the Musical Theatre Intensive Company at the Stella Adler Studio of Acting. As a result, Landmen will return to the city this summer, which will double as both valuable experience as well as her Senior Individualized Project.
“[The program] is a chance to better your craft, of course,” she said. “But it’s also an opportunity to have an amazing time in New York City. I went to nine Broadway shows, which I never thought was possible, and there were always new restaurants to eat at—you could never visit them all!”
Kreiss agreed. “I really can’t sing the praises [of the program] enough,” she said to the crowd of hopefuls. “The New York Arts Program set me up with opportunities I didn’t think I’d ever have.”
Students interested in being part of the New York Arts Program during next year’s winter semester are encouraged to apply. Applications are due on September 13—Wednesday of first week of the 2017-18 academic year—and any questions can be directed to the CIP.