The School of Theatre at Florida State presents the Sixth Annual Holiday Benefit Concert on Saturday, December 15, 2012 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, December 16, 2012 at 2 p.m. with the revue, An Evening With Rodgers and Hammerstein Classics.
“Each year the graduating BFA students in Music Theatre and Acting are given the opportunity to showcase their talents to industry professionals and alumni in the two most important arts locations in the US, New York and LA. This annual benefit concert is the primary fundraising event the school uses to ensure this opportunity continues. Without the generosity of our audiences, this showcase would not be possible. This showcase serves as a critical capstone event in the training of these young people; bridging together education and the profession” said Cameron Jackson, Executive Director of the School of Theatre.
The Annual Holiday Benefit Concert is in its sixth year continuing a tradition of bringing back accomplished alumni from theatre, television, and film to give back to the FSU School of Theatre and the Tallahassee community. An Evening With Rodgers and Hammerstein Classics features some of the most recognizable songs in Broadway history “You’ll Never Walk Alone” from Carousel, “I Whistle a Happy Tune” from The King and I, “Oklahoma!” from Oklahoma!, “Some Enchanted Evening” from South Pacific,and many others. In addition to these iconic music theatre classics, a few select carols will be presented to celebrate the holiday season. This year’s event will feature School of Theatre alum, Kevin Covert, and faculty member, Michael Hayden.
Kevin Covert, a 1992 graduate of the BFA Music Theatre program, returns to Tallahassee to appear in the benefit concert following his recent appearance as J.B. Biggley in the FSU School of Theatre’s production ofHow To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying. Kevin appeared in the original Broadway Casts of Monty Python’s Spamalot (Sir Not Appearing), Memphis (Buck Wiley and Martin Holton), and most recently the hit revival of How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying (Mr. Johnson/TV Announcer) starring Daniel Radcliffe, Darren Criss, and Nick Jonas. Kevin can be heard on the original cast recordings of all three.
Michael Hayden has been a steady presence on stage, television and film since winning the Theatre World and Drama League awards along with Olivier, Outer Critics Circle and Drama Desk nominations for his portrayal of Billy Bigelow in the Royal National Theatre/Lincoln Center Theatre production of Rodger and Hammerstein’s Carousel, directed by Nicholas Hytner. His Broadway credits include a Tony Award nomination for his portrayal of the German defense attorney Oscar Rolfe, opposite Maximilian Schell,in the National Actor’s Theatre production of Judgment at Nuremberg; Cliff in Cabaret directed by Sam Mendez and Robert Marshall; Anthony Wilding in Enchanted April; Christian in Festenopposite Julianna Margulies; and Prince Hal opposite Kevin Kline as Falstaff in Lincoln Center Theatre’s Production of Henry IV Parts I and II directed by Jack O’Brien. Television credits include two seasons as Chris Docnovich on the ABC series Murder One, guest appearances on NBC’s Law and Order, Law and Order SVU, Law and Order CI, Hack, the PBS Great Performance Series adaptation of Far East, the mini-series Bella Mafia opposite Vanessa Redgrave, and the Fox movie Texas Tragedy. He received an American Film Institute Best Actor Award for his performance as Billy in Charming Billy. Other film credits include Sam in the upcoming Independent film Patient 001. Throughout his career, Michael has studied voice with Patsy Rodenberg, Liz Smith and Robert Neff Williams, as well as text work with John Barton of the Royal Shakespeare Theatre. He has also had the honor of working closely with Arthur Miller, Edward Albee, Tony Kushner and Steven Sondheim.
An Evening With Rodgers and Hammerstein Classics Benefit Concert will feature direction by Fred Chappell and music direction by Gayle Seaton. Chappell is the head of the MFA Directing Program and the former Artistic Director of the Alliance Theatre in Atlanta. He was also the Artistic Director of North Carolina’s The Lost Colony for twelve years. He has directed regionally at such theatres as the Kennedy Center, the Alabama Shakespeare Festival, the Walnut Street Theatre and A.C.T. in Seattle. He was the 1981 recipient of the Governor’s Honor Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Arts in Georgia, a member of Leadership Georgia and has served as a panelist and on-site observer for the NEA and the Florida Council for the Arts. He is a member of Actors Equity and the Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers.
Seaton is the Music Theatre Program Director for the College of Music, and received a B.M. degree from the College of Wooster. She came to Florida after several years of an active performing career in New York City, where she earned her M.M. degree in vocal performance at the Manhattan School of Music. She has won particular praise for her performances of contemporary music, including several world premieres. In the spring of 2008 in New York City, she performed the world premiere of the song cycleBlood Mountain which was written by composer Harold Schiffman especially for her. She has recorded the cycle and it is available on North/South Recordings. Gayle is a proud member of Actors’ Equity.
Tickets are $45 for the show only, and $75 for the show and a post-show on-stage reception with the cast. Tickets may be purchased online, via telephone, or in person: