Take a class in New York

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By Dinorah Reyes

By Dinorah Reyes

A standing ovation and a farewell song for the last day of a Broadway performance for a renowned actor, unforgettable workshops with professional actors, conquering fears, and feeling free and alive as the ball drops in Times Square on New Year’s Eve.

These are just a few of the unforgettable moments that RCC students can experience when they travel with the RCC Theater program on its annual trip during winter session to New York City.

David W. Nelson, associate professor in theater and director of the Off Broadway play series at RCC, is in charge of organizing the trip, which is part of a 1-unit course titled Theater 42A, open to any RCC student. According to Nelson, the class is “100 percent laboratory.”

Nelson says that it’s a great opportunity for students who want to broaden their minds and gain exposure to professional acting.

Katie Main, a theater major at RCC, agrees.

“It’s like, the best class ever,” she said.

Main thinks that getting college credit for an experience like this is a bonus. She said she benefited professionally the first time she made the trip, and is looking forward to participating again this year.

Nelson believes this is a great way to show young actors what being an actor in the city is really about.

“It just gives them a good feeling of the city and the industry,” Nelson said.

The only prerequisites for being part of this adventure are to sign up for the class and pay the fare, which was about $1,450 this year. This sum covers the students’ hotel and admission to three plays.

Students must also follow the rules of the trip, participate in workshops, and keep a journal. Student Ashley Krentel did not mind this final assignment at all.

“I think they did it for our benefit,” Krentel said. “Something you can look back to.”

Krentel, a business administration and musical theater major at RCC, was part of the New York trip last year and is returning this year.

“New York is unbelievable,” Krentel said nostalgically.

Krentel admits that this trip benefited her both personally and professionally.

“It made me want to jump head first into musical theater,” she said. “It made me want to experience a different lifestyle.”

Krentel also admits that this trip changed the stereotypes she held about New York City.

“I thought I was going to get mugged,” she said. This year, she wants to explore what her fears barred her from before.

“It’s like freedom,” Krentel said.

This is exactly what student Luke Williams is longing for.

“It’s a good step of independence for me,” he said. “A good breather as it is.”

Williams is a musical theater major at RCC. This will be his first experience in New York.

Williams has no doubt as to his plans once he arrives in New York: “Shows, shows, shows!”

He expects that this trip will help him grow as an actor.

“When it’s tangible, you can see it,” Williams said, referring to learning from observing professional actors.

He is also looking forward to seeing the city, going ice-skating and seeing the ball drop in Times Square on New Year’s Eve.

“Times Square, that is going to be awesome,” Williams said.

“I think this theater trip will be a wonderful experience,” Williams said. “A really good thing that I can look back and remember.”

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