Broadway: Friday 28th March
Today’s highlight on the Theatrica tour of New York was visiting the Juilliard School at the Lincoln Center.
While we will tour the Lincoln Center itself in a couple of days, today’s focus was simply Juilliard. Theatrica chief Charles Slucki has been taking performing arts students to New York for nearly two decades now. For the past ten years he has been trying to get a tour of the Juilliard school on the itinerary, which is very difficult to achieve. Today, Charles’ dream came true and we toured what is definitely the most prestigious performing arts school in America, arguably the world.
The Lincoln Center is massive in size and encompasses many buildings. Once inside, the tour participants first had a question and answer session with one of the heads of the Drama school, Kathy Hood, and then Charles’ ex-student currently doing the course, Vicky, also popped by to answer many more questions from the group. The students on the tour got a first-hand opportunity to hear about life in one of the toughest performing arts programs going around.
Over 1,000 hopefuls from across the world audition for the Juilliard School of Drama each year and only nine males and nine females receive a place in the program. Its an all-intensive, all-consuming life for four long years, as students at the school regularly spend 8am to 10pm, Monday to Friday at Juilliard. Saturdays are usually busy as well and sometimes even Sundays are spent rehearsing lines for plays etc. No time for a part-time job here!
What we did today was something few people in the performing arts world ever get a chance to do or see. To be listening to a student and the Head of Drama at such a coveted drama institution was amazing for us all! The photos of the buildings won’t tell the real story, unfortunately. That could only be expressed in feelings. As we walked the corridors of the Juilliard School in New York, some of us realised we were blessed with a once in a lifetime opportunity.
Later in the day we visited Ground Zero. Well, this is New York, so it was too busy and hectic with people and traffic to be haunting or eerie. Construction workers are currently building the winning design of two enormous pools surrounded by trees. The pools are the exact size and in the precise location of the twin towers. There will also be a museum on the site. The block will eventually be enveloped by five tall office buildings.
Reading over nearly 3,000 names on the wall at Ground Zero was a sad moment, as one remembered the event and thought of all those people who had lost their lives.