Thursday, January 28, 2010

Break in to New York Theater

The American Theatre Wing’s SpringboardNYC, an intensive summer boot camp for student actors, is now seeking applications for the 2010 summer program, being held June 7 - 18 in New York City. Limited to 35 participants, SpringboardNYC also offers financial aid and multiple scholarship programs to students who qualify.

“It's a pretty remarkable opportunity, to get to workshop and train with a wide array of working theatre professionals - casting directors, actors, directors," said SpringboardNYC mentor Neil Patrick Harris. "If I were in college, I would definitely try to attend.”

The program is the ideal transitional program, offering young adults information and contacts that would otherwise take years to develop. Designed for serious students looking to take the plunge into the New York theatre world, SpringboardNYC prepares the next generation of theatre artists for working life in New York.

Taught by industry professionals, sessions include on-your-feet audition training with directors and casting directors and seminars with the industry's leading agents and managers, as well as intimate conversations with some of Broadway’s biggest names. Sessions are held with a variety of the theater industry’s major “behind the scenes” players, including general managers, press agents, company managers and more, giving participants the advantage of better understanding the world into which they are entering. Participants also get to attend several Broadway and Off Broadway shows (with special talkback sessions), as well as the dress rehearsal for The Tony Awards.

SpringboardNYC mentors and speakers have included: actors Allison Janney (Tony Award-nominee, 9 to 5), Lauren Graham (Guys and Dolls), Phylicia Rashad (Tony Award-winner, A Raisin in the Sun), Cynthia Nixon (Tony Award-winner, Rabbit Hole), Billy Crudup (Tony Award-winner, The Coast of Utopia), Jonathan Groff (Tony Award-nominee, Spring Awakening), Liev Schreiber (Tony Award-winner, Glengarry Glen Ross), Paul Rudd (Three Days of Rain); directors and choreographers Kathleen Marshall (Tony Award-winner, The Pajama Game) Rob Ashford (Tony Award-winner for Thoroughly Modern Millie), Jerry Mitchell (Tony Award-winner for La Cage Aux Folles) and many more.

The Director of SpringboardNYC is Randy Ellen Lutterman, who founded the program at Musical Theatre Works. Now in its eighth year, many SpringboardNYC alumni are living their dreams of working in the theatre, including: Felicity Claire, currently appearing on Broadway in Mamma Mia!; Ryan Bauer-Walsh, who is appearing in the National Tour of Billy Elliot, opening in Chicago in March, 2010; Amy Toporek, who played Tracy Turnblad in the National Tour of Hairspray, and many more who are working behind the scenes, including Ilana Becker, who was Assistant Director of Reasons To Be Pretty; Frances White, Junior Account Executive at The Hartman Group and Torrie Gekas, Wardrobe Assistant at the “Wendy Williams Show."

Applications are being accepted now through April 1. The program, which accepts 35 participants per session, is open to college students who are currently in their junior or senior year. Other admissions may be possible by special arrangement on a case-by-case basis. Because the American Theatre Wing is committed to making the program accessible to everyone, need-based financial scholarships are available. Visit for application materials and more information.

For additional information about all American Theatre Wing programs, go to You can also find the American Theatre Wing on Twitter (

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Our reviews are professional reviews written without a religious bias. At the end of them, you can find a listing of language, content or theological issues that Christians might want to know about when deciding which shows to see.

** Mature indicates that the show has posted an advisory because of content. Usually this means I would recommend no one under the age of 16 attend.

Theater Critic Lauren Yarger

Theater Critic Lauren Yarger

My Bio

Lauren Yarger has written, directed and produced numerous shows and special events for both secular and Christian audiences. She co-wrote a Christian musical version of “A Christmas Carol” which played to sold-out audiences of over 3,000 in Vermont and was awarded the Vermont Bessie (theater and film awards) for “People’s Choice for Theatre.” She also has written two other dinner theaters, sketches for church services and devotions for Christian artists. Her play concept, "From Reel to Real: The Jennifer O'Neill Story" was presented as part of the League of professional Theatre Women's Julia's reading Room Series in New York in February 2018.

Yarger trained for three years in the Broadway League’s Producer Development Program, completed the Commercial Theater Institute's Producing Three-Day Intensive and other training and produced a one-woman musical about Mary Magdalene that toured nationally and closed with an off-Broadway run.

She was a Fellow at the National Critics Institute at the O'Neill Theater Center in Waterford, CT. She writes reviews of Broadway and off-Broadway theater (the only ones you can find in the US with an added Christian perspective) at

She is editor of The Connecticut Arts Connection (, an award-winning website featuring theater and arts news for the state. She is a contributing editor for She previously served as theater reviewer for the Manchester Journal-Inquirer, Connecticut theater editor for and as Connecticut and New York reviewer for American Theater Web.

She is a Co-Founder of the Connecticut Chapter of the League of Professional Theatre Women. She is a former vice preseint and voting member of The Drama Desk.

She is a freelance writer and playwright (member Dramatists Guild of America). She is a member if the The Outer Critics Circle (event manager for the annual awards ceremony), The American Theater Critics Association, The League of Professional Theatre Women and the Drama League. She served as a judge for the SDX Awards presented by the Society of Professional Journalists.

Yarger is a book reviewer for Publishers Weekly and freelances for other sites. She is a member of the National Book Critics Circle.

She also is a member of the Episcopal Actors' Guild, the NY Public Library for the Performing Arts and The O'Neill Theatre Center..

A former newspaper editor and graduate of the University of Missouri’s School of Journalism, Yarger also worked in arts management for the Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts, the Hartford Symphony Orchestra and served for nine years as the Executive Director of Masterwork Productions, Inc. She lives with her husband in West Granby, CT. They have two adult children.


All material is copyright 2008- 2018 by Lauren Yarger. Reviews and articles may not be reprinted without permission. Contact


Key to Content Notes:

God's name taken in vain -- means God or Jesus is used in dialogue without speaking directly to or about them.

Language -- means some curse words are used. "Minor" usually means the words are not too strong or that it only occurs once or twice throughout the show.

Strong Language -- means some of the more heavy duty curse words are used.

Nudity -- means a man or woman's backside, a man's lower front or a woman's front are revealed.

Scantily clad -- means actors' private areas are technically covered, but I can see a lot of them.

Sexual Language -- means the dialogue contains sexually explicit language but there's no action.

Sexual Activity -- means a man and woman are performing sexual acts.

Adultery -- Means a married man or woman is involved sexually with someone besides their spouse. If this is depicted with sexual acts on stage, the list would include "sexual activity" as well.

Sex Outside of Marriage -- means a man and woman are involved sexually without being married. If this is depicted sexually on stage, the list would include "sexual activity" as well.

Homosexuality -- means this is in the show, but not physically depicted.

Homosexual activity -- means two persons of the same sex are embracing/kissing. If they do more than that, the list would include "sexual activity" as well.

Cross Dresser -- Means someone is dressing as the opposite sex. If they do more than that on stage the listing would include the corresponding "sexual activity" and/or "homosexual activity" as well.

Cross Gender -- A man is playing a female part or a woman is playing a man's part.

Suggestive Dancing -- means dancing contains sexually suggestive moves.

Derogatory (category added Fall 2012) Language or circumstances where women are referred to or treated in a negative and demeaning manner.

Other content matters such as torture, suicide or rape will be noted, with details revealed only as necessary in the review itself.

The term "throughout" added to any of the above means it happens many times throughout the show.

Reviewing Policy

I receive free seats to Broadway and Off-Broadway shows made available to all voting members of the Outer Critics Circle and The Drama Desk, the two professional critics organizations with journalists covering NY theater. Journalistically, I provide an unbiased review and am under no obligation to make positive statements. Sometimes shows do not make tickets available to reviewers. If these are shows my readers want to know about (I review all Broadway shows and pertinent Off-Broadway shows), I will purchase a ticket. If a personal friend is involved in a production, I'll let you know, but it won't influence a review. If I feel there is a conflict, I won't review their portion of the production.

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