Theatre & Dance Majors Visit Broadway & Learn From the Pros

Seventeen Seton Hill students enjoyed VIP access to Broadway on a recent trip to New York City. 

“We learned a ton about auditioning and making ourselves a brand,” said Michele Gala, a dance and business double major.  "To top it off, we had the opportunity to see shows such as ‘Hello Dolly’ and ‘The Boys in the Band.’ ” 

Theatre and Dance Program professors Denise Pullen and TaMara Swank orchestrated the trip. They also accompanied the students on what was, for some, their first trip to Broadway. 

“It was really rewarding for TaMara and I,” Denise said, “and eye-opening for the students to meet with our alumni in New York.”  

Seton Hill grad Laura Stracko (‘08) has been working in city and regional theatres since graduation. Fellow alum Kristy Bissell (‘12) is a teacher with New York Vocal Coaching, training professional actors of all ages. In conversations with the students, the women shared unique perspectives on living and working in New York City. 

And yet, it wasn't all Broadway shows and insider tips. Students also enjoyed:

  • Audition, song and dance, and monologue workshops conducted by creative talent from “An American In Paris,” “Hello Dolly,” “Escape To Margaritaville,”  “Aladdin,” “Cinderella,” and “The Boys in the Band.” 

  • A behind-the-scenes tour of “Wicked.”

  • Visits to museums and other cultural sites. 

  • The option to take the trip for course credit. 

TaMara and Denise plan to take another group of students to Broadway in the near future. By then, some of the students from this trip may have already joined the expanding group of Seton Hill performing arts alumni living and working in New York.

“We’re so proud,” Denise says. “Of all of them.” 

Photo: Faculty and students leaving for New York from the historic train station next to Seton Hill's campus.