Broadway Star Shows Students How to Shine on Stage

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Syosset High School theater arts students and members of the Association for Creative Thespians were treated to a visit from alumna, actress and singer Marissa McGowan.

McGowan conducted a workshop with students in which she talked about her career on the stage and screen and provided many helpful tips. Among the students present were cast members of the school’s upcoming production of “Les Misérables,” a show in which McGowan herself starred on Broadway, playing the roles of both Eponine Thenardier and Cosette.
 
"It was awesome to work with someone who has had so much experience with the show,” said Max Herman who will play the role of Jean ValJean in the school’s production. “She gave me working techniques for acting and singing that I will apply to this, and all performances in the future."

 “People who watched me including my chorus teacher said they saw a big difference in my performance, that it was much better after she worked with me," added Paul Esswein, who will play the role of Marius Pontmercy.
 
"Working with Marissa was an amazing experience. It was great to get advice and direction from someone who had played [Eponine] before and knew the show so well,” said Templar Wright, who also plays Eponine in the show. “She helped me a lot both with vocals and acting in such a short amount of time and I'm thrilled I had the opportunity to work with her."

McGowan has also appeared on Broadway in “Bonnie and Clyde” and the most recent revival of “A Little Night Music,” as well as numerous regional theater productions including “A Little Night Music,” “The Nutty Professor” and “The Sound of Music,” to name a few. She has also appeared in film and on television, more recently on TNT network’s “Major Crimes.”

The Association for Creative Thespians will perform “Les Misérables” on March 10, 11 and 12 at Syosset High School. Theater arts teacher and ACT adviser Gene Connor is theater director while Kristen Howell is musical director for the show.