By Ashlan Kelly
It is safe to say that a plethora of doors were opened for alumna Stephanie LoVerde after earning her degree in drama with a minor in business.
Although LoVerde was born and raised in sunny South Florida, her family originates in Chicago—making the north her home away from home. LoVerde’s high school, Pope John Paul II, played a key role in her decision to make Lynn her home for future years to come.
“I took some dual enrollment classes at Lynn and really liked the teaching style of the professors and the overall aesthetic of the school,” said LoVerde. “I applied to Lynn and ended up getting a partial scholarship, and the rest was history.”
After attaining her bachelor’s degree in 2013, this former Fighting Knight decided to pursue her passion to create—leading her to practice the craft of makeup artistry.
This decision resulted in LoVerde attending Cosmix School of Makeup Artistry, allowing her to train under some of the best makeup artists in the industry resulting in Loverde being a freelance makeup artist for nine years now.
In addition to makeup artistry, LoVerde is also an educator and prop and set designer at Showtime Performing Arts. She is currently a scenic painter at Stage Door Theatre in Broward, as well.
Her job entails a great deal of creativity, as she is in charge of developing props, scenery and costume and makeup designs for various shows and characters.
When LoVerde was asked what made her become involved in theatre, she said, “I have loved anything theatrical since I could remember. I used to put together little skits for my family. I would set my living room up as a stage with props and costumes. I had a very active imagination. There was always something so relaxing about creating. It kept my mind occupied and I absolutely loved that it made people smile or laugh.”
In fall of 2018, the university will be launching their new program, the Bachelor of Fine Arts in Drama.
The B.F.A. in Drama is a concentrated acting and musical theatre training program that will prepare students to be professional actors in theater, movies, television and musicals. The unique and comprehensive curriculum aims to blend traditional and contemporary theatrical training methods through innovative approaches that keep pace with the demands of the industry.
The program offers two specialized tracks for students to choose between: Acting and Music Theater Performance. As a BFA in Drama major, students will take a common core of courses where they will have the chance to study acting, auditioning, script analysis, history, voice and movement. In the specializations, they will then focus in on the skills that are needed for their specific discipline.
Acting Specialization students will study aspects such as advanced acting techniques, directing, technical theater, acting for the camera, stage combat and playwriting.
On the other hand, Musical Theatre Performance Specialization students will study aspects such as Singing and Vocal Technique, Dance including Ballet, Tap, Jazz and Hip Hop, Music Theory, Acting, Musical Theatre Performance and Musical Theatre History.
Lynn’s Drama program stands out from the rest due to the personalized teaching approach that the professors’ use, as the average class size is 12 students.
LoVerde stated, “In most schools, you’re just a number because of the sheer amount of students in one room, but at Lynn, you are a name. Getting my degree from Lynn has helped me a great deal, as it has allowed me to mix and mingle with so many different walks of life, which is what you end up doing in the professional world. It gave me some perspective on how to approach different cultures and situations that may arise in your day to day work.”
Lynn Drama produces six productions each year: two intimate cabarets, one student-directed production, one mainstage musical, one mainstage play and the annual Celebration of the Arts.
The university has three performance spaces: The Keith C. and Elaine Johnson Wold Performing Arts Center houses two performances spaces: a 750-seat proscenium theater and a 63-seat intimate black box theater. The International Building houses the 220-seat Amarnick-Goldstein Concert Hall.
There is a Lynn Drama Talent Scholarship available to individuals who are interested in earning a B.F.A. in Drama. All incoming students are eligible to receive this scholarship. Awards are valued up to $10,000 and renewable for four years. Award amounts will be determined by the assessment of students’ audition and applications.
Retention of the scholarship will be determined by students’ academic success and commitment to the program. At the end of each academic year, reviews will be conducted in order to evaluate students’ performance.
The program is designed for students who have the potential to have a professional career as a performer. In order to qualify for this program, students must have a Cumulative High School GPA of 2.5 or higher.
If individuals are interested in earning their B.F.A. in Drama, they must apply to Lynn University and to the B.F.A. in Drama program. They must also schedule a live audition or submit an audition video.
Lynn Drama will host three opportunities to audition live during the ’17-’18 academic year. The live on-campus audition dates are: Dec. 9th, 2017, Jan. 27th, 2018, and Feb. 24th, 2018.
If auditioning live, students should expect a decision regarding acceptance into the program within two weeks of their live audition. If auditioning through video submission, students should expect a decision by April 1st, 2018.
Admittance is for the fall semester 2018, there is no spring or summer admittance. Following both the live auditions and video auditions, applicants will either be accepted into the program, waitlisted or denied. Students auditioning through video may also be asked to attend a live audition for further review.
The two specializations require different audition requirements. Each specialization lists live audition requirements and video audition requirements. Individuals can find these requirements on the Lynn.edu website.
Although LoVerde graduated with a different degree, being a part of the Lynn Drama program has helped her to both excel within the theatrical industry and has given her many opportunities within this business.
Since graduating, LoVerde has been working both on and off stage and continues to take part in Celebration of the Arts. In a few years, she hopes to have reached an international level within her career path, allowing her to travel the world continuing to do what she loves.