Theatre TCU’s Rising Stars Stand Out at 2018 Senior Showcase


Ellie Hertel performs at the 2018 Theatre TCU Senior Showcase

Theatre TCU senior Ellie Hertel performs as part of the 2018 Senior Showcase.

With the Spring 2018 Commencement ceremonies just around the corner, there’s no better time to recognize the incredibly talented performers graduating from the TCU Theatre Department this semester.

The Senior Showcase, now in its fifth year, gives senior performance majors a chance to display their talent for industry professionals, including agency representatives, as well as area TCU alumni and friends. Not only do students get to perform, but through the TCU Theatre Department’s affiliation with Actors Connection they can participate in workshops focusing on all aspects of an actor’s professional life – from representation to life in New York to direct feedback on their showcase material from casting directors and agents.

While the showcase has always been a fantastic opportunity to display the talent in the TCU Theatre Department, the 2018 edition was the most successful yet. It is extremely rare for a New York agency to sign an actor before they have graduated, but four of Theatre TCU’s seniors (Alex Vinh, Rhett Warner, Samantha McHenry and Sara Kreski) have been signed after their showcase performances. All 13 participating seniors had multiple agencies request their headshot and resume for their files, there were an additional 20 requests for immediate interviews and 44 separate requests for a student to contact the requesting agent upon moving to New York.

McHenry, in addition to being signed by a premier agency, was cast as the lead in the Kansas City Spinning Tree Theatre production of the musical Daddy Long Legs. Another ten TCU students were invited to auditions after the showcase, including Logan Lane, for Book of Mormon on Broadway.

For the first time, the showcase included a one-hour cabaret performance at Don’t Tell Mama in Midtown. Hosted by TCU alumnus Ben Thompson (current performing in the musical Waitress on Broadway), the seniors performed to a sold-out crowd of New York City theatre-goers and TCU alumni and friends.