Aurora Theatre Apprentice Company—Post-Graduate Training Program for Aspiring Professionals
Aurora Theatre is excited to introduce our 2017–18 Apprentice Company! These talented young theatre artists join Aurora Theatre’s staff for a year-long intensive that will prepare them for a career in the arts. The program includes acting, teaching, technical and administrative duties—and they will get valuable performance experience in shows like The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Christmas Canteen, and in our Learning Library Series, which will make them a valuable commodity in this competitive world.
The Aurora Apprentice Company is designed to help emerging artists bridge the gap between Educational and Professional Theatre. Apprentices will participate in a series of classes and workshops with Aurora’s staff, as well as, with guest artists and workshops with Dad’s Garage Theatre Company, Center for Puppetry Arts, Atlanta Shakespeare Company, Drama Inc, and more. This year Aurora welcomes 10 Actors, 1 Stage Management Apprentice—and new this year, 1 technical Theatre Apprentice—from as far as SUNY Albany, University of Alabama, and Illinois Wesleyan University to as near as UGA, KSU, and Piedmont College! Watch for these fresh young artists on stage, behind the bar, and at all our big events this year!
Meet Our 2017–18 Apprentices
|Russell E. Alexander II is an actor, singer, & director from Selma, AL. He recently graduated from the University of Alabama at Birmingham with a BA in Theatre Performance. While at UAB, Russell performed in productions including Bat Boy: The Musical (Bat Boy), Avenue Q (Nicky), & Stupid F***ing Bird (Con), for which he received the national award for “Best Actor in a Mainstage” from the Kennedy Center. Russell’s professional credits include, The Wiz (Scarecrow) at Birmingham’s Red Mountain Theatre, A Chorus Line (Richie) at Ohio’s Huron Playhouse, & Occupants (La Chi Chi) at the Kennedy Center’s 2016 National Playwright’s Workshop. Russell is thrilled to be joining Aurora Theatre’s 2017-18 AppCo!|
|Branden Cleveland is honored and excited to be a member of Aurora Appco’s 2017-2018 season. Branden is from Long Island, NY. He is a graduate of SUNY Albany with a master’s in Communications and a minor in Theatre. During his time at the University at Albany, his past performances included Words (Teacher), Cruel Intentions (Russell Knight), The Carrion (Dr. Ambrose), Spring Awakening (Hanschen Rilow), Eurydice (Big Stone), 308-B (Neil). Branden’s directing credits include on Legally Blonde and an original piece I’m Not Happy Anymore as part of UAlbany’s Student Playwright Festival. Thanks be to God for his continued blessings! And to Aurora Theatre Staff for allowing him to embark on this new and wonderful experience. “Finally, a special thank you to my mother, father, and sister for their continued love and support in everything that I have accomplished and everything that I will continue accomplish in the future.”
|Morganne Evans is ecstatic to be making the move to Gerogia after living in Florida for her entire life! A recent graduate from the University of Central Florida, Morganne earned her BA in Interdisciplinary Studies by concentrating in theatre, sociology, and the humanities. She recently finished working with the Orlando Repertory Theatre, where she assisted the Education department with community engagement events, Youth Academy productions, and dramaturgy. Morganne is thrilled about returning to her first love in theatre: performing. Her favorite credits include: RENT (Mimi), Spring Awakening (Ensemble), Legally Blonde (Serena) and Avenue Q (Gary Coleman- that’s a story for another time!)|
|Cody Evins (Technical Theatre Apprentice) originally from Franklin, Tennessee, is a recent graduate of Furman University where he received a degree in Theatre Arts. He has a background in technical theatre as well as performance. In addition to his work with the Furman Theatre Department, he spent three years with the Furman Pauper Players, a student-run musical theatre troupe, and served as the president of that group in his final year. Some of his favorite roles while at Furman were in productions of Arcadia (Valentine Coverly), Rumors (Glenn Cooper), The Pillowman (Michal), and Les Miserables (Enjolros). Recently he has worked as a stage manager and a scene shop assistant at Centre Stage South Carolina and as a props apprentice at the Spoleto Festival USA in Charleston, SC.
|Daisean Garrett a recent graduate of the University of Alabama Birmingham, where he received his BA in Theatre. He is very thrilled to be a part of the 2017-18 Appco. Daisean has theatre experience in all aspects of the art, from Directing, costume design, set construction, playwriting, etc. He is currently workshopping a series play he’s writing. But Daisean’s truest passion is performance, his most recent credits include KING/CONCEITED MAN “The Little Prince”, MAJOR MAGNUS “The Real Inspector Hound”, Mr. Kirby “You Can’t Take It with You” … He sends thanks to his loving support system especially his mom!|
Meg Harkins is excited to make her Aurora Theatre debut as part of AppCo18! She recently graduated from Kennesaw State University with a B.A. in Theatre and Performance Studies and a B.S. in Communication. She appeared in several KSU productions including Peter and the Starcatcher (Bill Slank), Spring Awakening (Anna), The Followers (Ino/Securitas/Follower), and The Scarlet Letter (Hester Prynne). She recently made her Atlanta debut in The Threepenny Opera (Betty) at 7 Stages. She is also an improviser, and has been a member of Kennesaw Improv Society, Stupid! for two years. Huge thanks to the Aurora Theatre for this opportunity!
|Chloe Kay is a recent graduate of the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD), where she obtained her B.F.A. in Performing Arts. At SCAD some favorite productions included Romeo and Juliet, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Two Gentleman of Verona, and The Pillowman. A big highlight of her time in school was also directing a student production of Really Really. Since being in Atlanta, Chloe has been fortunate enough to understudy and perform in The Alliance Theatre’s A Christmas Carol as well as perform as in improviser at Whole World Theatre. When she isn’t acting, Chloe is also a singer-songwriter who has released music both as herself and with her production partner as Chloe + Milan. She is so excited to be working with The Aurora for the first time as a part of this year’s AppCo. Lots of love always to her family and friends for supporting her in pursuing a life of joy!
|Valerie Medoff (Stage Management Apprentice) is thrilled to be joining Aurora Theatre’s 2017-18 AppCo! Valerie grew up in Wilmington, Delaware and recently graduated from Wake Forest University with a BA in Theatre and Communication. Valerie’s favorite credits include Spark (SM), The Waiting Room (SM), Having Our Say: The Delaney Sisters’ First 100 Years (ASM), and The Music Man (ASM). She would like to thank Aurora for this amazing opportunity and to her family and friends for their endless support.|
|Cheyanne Osoria is a first generation Dominican that comes from Brandon, FL. In 2016, Cheyanne was awarded the national first place title in the Upper Level Musical Theatre College Women at the NATS competition. She recently graduated from Piedmont College where she received a BA in Musical Theatre. Some of Cheyanne’s previous credits include: Chicago (Velma Kelly), All Shook Up (Lorraine), White Christmas (Betty Haynes), and Lillian E. Smith’s Strange Fruit (Mamie, Bess, & Preacher Dunwoodie). She is beyond grateful and excited to be a part of AppCo18 and cannot wait to see what her future holds at the Aurora Theatre!
|Yuka Sekine is originally from Japan, and a recent graduate from Illinois Wesleyan University with a degree in BFA Music Theatre. Some of her favorite credits include: Giant (Juana), The Boys from Syracuse (Luciana), and The Crucible (Betty). She is extremely excited to become a part of the Apprentice Company 2017-18! Yuka likes to thank her unconditionally supportive family, friends and faculty of IWU, and Aurora.
|Sarah Elaine is a recent graduate of the University of Georgia in Athens, GA, where she received a BA in Theatre and is excited to be apart of the Aurora family. Sarah’s most recent credits include: Beggar Woman in Sweeney Todd, Cathy in The Last Five Years, Rosalind in As You Like It, Blanche Ingram in Jane Eyre and David Moss in an all-female production of Glengarry Glenn Ross. She would like to thank her mother, brother, and sister-in-law for keeping her strong and she would also like to thank Dylan, Dorothy, Caroline, and Hayley for always supporting and believing in her.
|Benjamin Strickland was born and raised in Auburn, Alabama, and is a recent graduate of Auburn University, with a BFA in Theatre Performance. He is extremely proud to be invited into the Aurora AppCo program, and cannot wait to hit the ground running. As an actor and singer he has performed at the Alabama Shakespeare Festival Octagon Theatre, as well as on the Telfair Peet main stage in Auburn. Some of his favorite performances were as John Wilkes Booth in Assassins, Jim O’Conner in The Glass Menagerie, Charlie Baker in The Foreigner, and the Creature in Frankenstein. He hopes to hone his craft even further at the Aurora and looks forward to the coming year.|