Three Columbia College Chicago Theatre Department students and two alumni have been accepted into the prestigious School at Jacob’s Pillow Musical Theatre Dance Program for a Summer 2017 intensive. The current students are Andrew Casey, Evelyn Finne, and Isaiah Silvia-Chandley, all students in the Theatre Department’s BFA Program in Musical Theatre Performance. The alumni are Musical Theatre Performance BFA graduate Shantel Cribbs ’17 and Louis Ridis ’17, a graduate of the Theatre Department’s BA Program in Musical Theatre. The five will be among 24 students from around the world chosen for this four-week intensive, which is directed by veteran Broadway dancer/choreographer Chet Walker.
Chet Walker‘s Broadway credits include the 2013 revival of Stephen Schwartz’s musical Pippin, for which he won the 2013 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Choreography, and the 1999 revue Fosse, which he co-conceived and for which he re-created dances choreographed by his mentor, the late Bob Fosse. He also appeared on Broadway in two of Fosse’s shows, Pippin and Dancin’.
Walker taught a series of master classes in the Spring 2017 semester at the Columbia College Chicago Theatre Department in collaboration with the Dance Center of Columbia College Chicago — a residency arranged by the Theatre Department’s Musical Theatre Dance coordinator, Amy Uhl, a former student of Walker’s. As a result of this residency, Walker selected Casey, Cribbs, Finne, Silvia-Chandley, and Ridis to join the 85th Anniversary Season at Jacob’s Pillow as part of a 24-member international ensemble for an intensive four weeks of study culminating in a final performance. Walker and his team of award-winning Broadway choreographers, directors, composers/ arrangers, and musicians will collaboratively create original numbers on the student dancers with the same fast pace and rigor required to audition for and mount Broadway productions. The dancers will present excerpts from the works for the public on August 5, 12, and 19, and then, working as an ensemble, they will perform the complete works with a live band on August 20 in the historic Ted Shawn Theatre as a benefit for The School at Jacob’s Pillow.
Jacob’s Pillow is one of America’s most prestigious dance training centers. It was established by modern dance pioneer Ted Shawn in 1931 and is home to the internationally acclaimed Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival.