Starving Students at SLAC
Posted By Salt Lake County ZAP
March 28, 2017
As an undergraduate student studying Vocal Performance, there were a few things I did religiously: Practice, homework, more practice, and stare at my bank account sadly as posters for the newest opera production at Pittsburgh Opera were plastered all over my dorm building. I knew that seeing professionals doing what I wanted to do was necessary, but it wasn’t possible on my meager pennies as a student. Sure, they had student tickets, but that was just half-off of the normal ticket price. Still just too expensive.
When I started working at Salt Lake Acting Company a few years ago, I thought about those times in my education. How could I help the theatre students around here to have better access to the professional plays at SLAC? Cynthia Fleming, SLAC’s Executive Artistic Director, has always been very dedicated to making theatre available to all age groups so we sat down to discuss how to make it even BETTER for theatre students in Utah. And voila! The Starving Student Artist Pass was born!
The Starving Student Artist Pass is a $32 ticket package for current theatre students that includes one ticket to each of SLAC’s mainstage plays during the season. (SATURDAY’S VOYEUR and our annual children’s show are available as add-ons at a discounted rate!) Because of incredibly crazy schedule that theatre students have with rehearsals and other events all year long, the Pass also includes the flexibility to choose any night of a performance during the run with guaranteed entry. Starving Students never need to call ahead to get into a show. Even if it’s sold out, we’ll get you in. Guaranteed.
Also included in the Pass is access to masterclasses with visiting theatre artists including directors, actors, playwrights, designers, etc. FOR FREE. I mean, as a student, I know that this opportunity would have made me giddy with joy. These masterclasses could easily cost over $100 in cities like New York and I am so thrilled that our Starving Students get to experience them for free. Recent masterclasses have included short play composition and staging with playwright Julie Jensen and director Tracy Callahan, puppet work with Glenn and Linda Brown, acting tips with actor April Fossen, and we are so excited to be providing a Q & A with HAND TO GOD playwright Robert Askins coming up in just a few weeks.
Now in its second year, we have more than doubled the number of our Starving Student Pass-holders. We have students from the University of Utah, Westminster, Salt Lake Community College, Utah State University, and even Idaho State University.
The thing that always strikes me the most when I interact with the Starving Students is what incredibly talented, smart, passionate people they are. In a climate where so much is at stake in the arts, I have no doubt that the future of these theatre artists is brighter than we could ever imagine. Their voice is loud and strong, and their creative prowess will produce truly inspirational things. I can’t wait to witness it all.
Olivia Custodio received her BFA from Carnegie Mellon University and her Master of Music from the University of Utah. Originally from Columbus, Ohio, she is still trying to figure out fry sauce. Olivia joined the SLAC family in 2014, working in the box office, assisting in audience communication and development. In 2016, she became SLAC's Development Manager. A local actress, you may have also seen her onstage in many productions including SATURDAY'S VOYEUR, ART DOG, STREETLIGHT WOODPECKER, I'LL EAT YOU LAST, and various New Play Sounding Series readings at SLAC.