Broadway Legend Elaine Stritch Visits Conservatory Students
Point Park University's Conservatory of Performing Arts welcomed Broadway legend Elaine Stritch to the Pittsburgh Playhouse on Friday, October 17. Stritch was in town to perform her Tony and Emmy award-winning show At Liberty, presented by Pittsburgh Irish and Classical Theatre in conjunction with Cabaret Pittsburgh.
Stritch spoke to several hundred Point Park University students and faculty in the Pittsburgh Playhouse's Rockwell Theatre, after beginning the talk with the opening number from At Liberty. In this special engagement, Stritch spoke about her personal experiences in show business and how to survive the ups, downs and challenges of being a performing artist. She told the students, many of whom are budding performers, to never give up believing in themselves.
Jack Allison, Point Park faculty member and director of musical theatre, said, "This was one of the highlights of my life...she is an absolute inspiration." He marveled at the length of her career in show business and her tenacity in sticking through it all.
University students were extremely moved by her appearance. Senior musical theatre major Matthew Benedict remarked, "I have been a fan of hers for longer than I can remember. She literally knows everything one should know about the theatre world. It was the most endearing master class that I have seen at Point Park University."
Caroline Nicolian, also a senior musical theatre major, added, "I thought that Elaine Stritch's visit was astounding to say that least, and quite inspiring. I think it's safe to say that every single person in the audience was in complete and utter amazement of not only the sheer presence of a legend, but an incredible genuine human being. Her visit was very profound and the advice she gave to us students invaluable. We all took something special with us from her visit. Personally, after listening to her, I was reminded of the responsibility we have to honor those who have helped pave the way for theater and who made it as it is today, and I am so grateful for that. I truly felt blessed to be in her presence."
Stritch's music director, Rob Bowman, is a friend of Point Park University faculty member Jeff Saver. The two made arrangements for Stritch to visit Point Park before her performance of At Liberty at the Charity Randall Theater.
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