Wagner College Theatre Wins Emerging Young Artist Award

Wagner College Theatre located on Staten Island in New York City may have bragging rights as the one of the nations Top College Theatre Programs, but earlier this week Wagner College Theatre gained not only only another bragging right but a seal proving that top honor. It has announced by the Council on the Arts and Humanities for Staten Island that Wagner College Theatre will receive its Emerging Young Artist Award for 2011.

Wagner College Theatre was founded at Wagner College located on Staten Island in 1968. And while that may not seem like a long time, the theatre program has most definitely made a name for itself consistently placing itself in the Top 5 College Theatre Programs in the Nation via The Princeton Review. The program each years offers four Main Stage productions in their larger theatre located in the campus’ Main Hall Building and four Stage One productions in their smaller black box located across campus in the Stage One Building.

So what exactly does this award mean for Wagner College Theatre? The Emerging Young Artist Award honors “a Staten Island individual or group of individuals under 30 years of age who have a strong record of achievement in any discipline or for a particularly significant single achievement.” Melanie Franklin Cohn, Executive Director of the Council on Arts & Humanties for Staten Island said Wagner College Theatre was chosen for this award, “for being a great community asset, for its achievement of being the most highly recognized theater program in New York City, and for encouraging and helping young artists achieve their career goals.”

Usually, the four Stage One productions are straight plays. However, there has been time when a dance concert or smaller musicals have also been featured in this venue. Recent productions in Wagner’s Stage One include The Dance Project, Loose Knit, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Burn This, Dead Man’s Cellphone, Speech & Debate and Waiting for Lefty. This season at Stage One includes Catholic School Girls by Casey Kurtti, Lysistrata by Aristophane, The Dance Project which will feature original choreography and One Act Plays of Tennessee Williams.

Over on the Main Stage, Wagner College usually presents four musicals. However, there have also been times when a play or dance concert have been featured on this stage. Recent productions in Wagner’s Main Stage include Seussical, Smokey Joe’s Cafe, 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Cinderella, Beauty and The Beast, Little Women, Brigadoon and The Who’s Tommy! This season at the Main Stage includes Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Jesus Christ Superstar, Lerner & Loewe’s My Fair Lady, Hollman & Kotis’s Urinetown the Musical and Galt MacDermot & Matty Selman’s Goddess Wheel.

Dr. Felicia Ruff, chair of the Theatre and Speech Department at Wagner College, was quoted as saying, “It’s gratifying to have Staten Island’s lead arts agency recognize Wagner Theatre for the artistic achievement of our extraordinary student actors as well as our faculty,”

Luner on Theatre would like to wish a big Congratulations to everyone involved at Wagner College with the theatre on a truly deserved award as alumni of the program continue to have success with regional productions, national tours, Off-Broadway and even Broadway productions. Click here for Proof of that Success. Or Click here for Proof of more Success. The award will be presented to Wagner College Theatre at the Council of the Arts and Humanities Annual Gala on Thursday October 20th, 2011 at The Great Hall of the Snug Harbor Cultural Arts Center located on Staten Island’s North Shore. Click here to check out the Gala’s Site for Tickets. For more information, you can check out Wagner College Theatre’s Official Webpage on the Wagner College site. Also, Luner on Theatre will be bringing you a whole new year of coverage on Wagner College Theatre and its productions! If you liked what we did last year, you’re going to love this year! Until next time, continue to check out Luner on Theatre for all your theatre need to know news!

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