Every spring, students in the BFA Theatre Performance program prepare and perform in a showcase for Hollywood professionals. This performance opportunity allows them to network, meet top casting directors, and secure an agent before they graduate from Chapman. This year the BFA Showcase is directed by instructor of theatre Jonathan Pope Evans.  Jonathan is a professional writer/director in Hollywood who has written and directed independent films, commercials, and television, and won numerous directing awards for his commercials and film work.  Recently he has shown his film work at top film festivals across the world, including Prague International Film Festival, Big Muddy International Film Festival, and World Film Festival in Bangkok.

The BFA Actor Showcase will be presented at The Actors Company, a new theatre space in West Hollywood.  Jonathan says, “this new venue has really established itself as a “go to” place for casting directors and agents.”   Actors in the showcase are learning skills in marketing, branding, and career strategy.  “Learning how to strategize about one’s acting career is paramount as one graduates from a rigorous program like Chapman’s. Many actors have no idea where to start. Hollywood seems like an overwhelming prospect, and many actors give up because they have no strategy for their career,” he says.  Casting directors from top shows and networks such as Pretty Little Liars and the Disney Channel will be in attendance.

The BFA Showcase will be held April 30, 2012 at 7pm at the Waltmar Theatre on Chapman’s campus and May 2 at 3pm and 7pm at The Actors Company. Tickets for the April 30 show at the Waltmar Theatre are free and can be secured by emailing tdoffice@chapman.edu with BFA ACTOR SHOWCASE in bold letters in the heading.

The end of April will also bring the annual Student Produced One Acts, which will include Check Please: Take 2 by Jonathan Rand, directed by Shawnee Brew, Twitch by Stephen Gregg, directed by Ali Arams, and Hotline by Elaine May, directed by Benjamin Brandt.  The shows are student-produced from beginning to end and the experience is invaluable for the students, who are free to work on projects of their own choosing.  Says director Shawnee, “I chose [Check Please: Take 2] originally because I liked the vignette structure and the “tale as old as time” feel of the writing. Jonathan Rand makes the scenarios both painfully real and incredibly funny. I love the depth potential for each of the characters with the lightheartedness of the comedy. All in all, it’s a great show and I cannot wait to put it before the Chapman audience.”  Director Ali says “while Twitch is packed with goofy comedy, it also has great potential to encourage reflection about communication and existence.  Our biggest challenge is to shape and convey our message to wake people up. “

The Student Produced One Acts are presented in the Waltmar Theatre April 25-28, 2012 at 7:30pm, with an additional performance Apr. 28 at 2pm.  Tickets are $15 general admission; $10 senior citizens and non-Chapman students; and $5 with Chapman ID and may be purchased by calling 714-997-6812 or visiting www.chapman.edu/copa.