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MMC Theatre Faculty Collaborate with DreamYard Project’s Audition Intensive

February 11, 2020
  • MMC Theatre faculty Kevin Connell, MFA, and Kenny Finkle, MFA (far left) with students and organizers of The DreamYard Project's January audition intensive.
The DreamYard Project, a non-profit organization based in the Bronx, works with youth, families, and schools to build pathways to equity and opportunity through the arts. In January, MMC professors Kenny Finkle, MFA, Assistant Professor of Theatre Arts, and Kevin Connell, MFA, Associate Professor of Theatre Arts, assisted DreamYard with an audition intensive, leading one-on-one lessons and mock auditions for high school students.

Before joining the faculty at Marymount Manhattan College, Finkle worked for nearly twenty years as a Teaching Artist for the DreamYard Project. The organization, now celebrating its 26th year, has grown to become the largest arts provider in the Bronx, as well as a nationally recognized community arts organization that uses the arts, digital tools, and social justice to transform students, schools, and communities. Since the organization’s inception, DreamYard has instituted the Bronx Arts Learning Community, opened the DreamYard Preparatory High School, and developed a multi-arts and digitally integrated Community Art Center that serves hundreds of students each week.

It was Finkle’s relationship with DreamYard that facilitated his and Connell’s visit in late January. “I had the honor of participating in DreamYard’s Audition Intensive,” shares Connell, “working one-on-one with a very gifted high school senior and then adjudicating an afternoon of mock auditions. What a gift it was to nurture our theatrical future!”

Finkle, who joined MMC’s full-time faculty in August 2019, hopes to see a continued relationship between DreamYard and MMC. “DreamYard’s mission and the core values of Marymount Manhattan align so beautifully and I hope in the coming years through events like this one that we can develop a sustainable pathway for the massively talented students in the Bronx to continue their learning and discovery at Marymount.”