The Great White Way shines with a distinct shade of maroon these days, as several Fordham Theatre alumni are currently performing in Broadway shows, with another set to star off-Broadway in Shakespeare in the Park.
Heather Lind, FCLC ’05, (right) is acting opposite Al Pacino, as Jessica in Shakespeare’s Merchant of Venice. Van Hughes, FCLC ’05, is playing the lead role in Green Day’s American Idiot. And over at the Vivian Beaumont Theater, a stone’s throw from Fordham’s Lincoln Center campus, Ian Lassiter, FCLC ’06, is featured in Nick Stafford’s acclaimed drama War Horse.
“It gives me such fantastic satisfaction to see our artists get work,” said Matthew Maguire, director of the theatre program at Fordham. “To see them so swiftly move to the top of the profession is an amazing thrill.
“We must be doing something right.”
Regarded as one of the most outstanding B.A. theatre training programs in the country, Fordham Theatre combines the intimacy of a small conservatory, a traditional liberal arts education, and New York City’s rich resources and artistic opportunities. Theatre majors specialize in performance, playwriting, directing, or design and production, and produce four mainstage productions and more than 20 studio productions every season.
Lind landed the role of Jessica in spring 2010, while completing her M.F.A. in acting at New York University. She also took on the role of Perdita in The Winter’s Tale. Produced by the Public Theater, both plays ran in repertory in June and July at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park. The Merchant of Venice is now on stage at the Broadhurst Theatre.
Recently, the Public Theater announced its plans to cast a repertory company of actors in its 2011 Shakespeare in the Park production—and for the second consecutive year, it has turned to a Fordham theatre alumna to play a big role. Annie Parisse, FCLC ’99, (above) has been cast as Helena, the lead female character in All’s Well That Ends Well, and Mariana in Measure for Measure.
“It’s about people searching for meaning, like all shows,” said Hughes, whose Broadway credits include 9 to 5: The Musical and Hairspray. “It’s about these kids trying to figure out the next steps forward in a post-9/11 world.”
Most recently, Ian Lassiter (left) made his Broadway debut as part of a 35-member ensemble in the Lincoln Center Theater production of War Horse. He also understudies three roles in the play.
Lind, Hughes and Lassiter join a Playbill-length list of Fordham College of Lincoln Center alumni currently showcasing their talents on Broadway. They can be seen in The Lion King (Charity DeLoera, FCLC ’08, and James Pierce, FCLC ’08); In the Heights (Jennifer Locke, FCLC ’08); and Memphis (Ephraim Sykes, FCLC ’07).
—Miles Doyle, FCRH ’01