Theatre students take a field trip to the stars

Theatre students backstage on Broadway

On a trip to New York City with director of theatre Yasen Peyankov (second from right), students meet actors Tom Hanks (center) and Brian Dykstra (far left) after a performance of “Lucky Man” on Broadway.

Graduating theatre students met some stars, performed onstage and enjoyed a close look at Hollywood via Broadway on a four-day trip to New York led by Yasen Peyankov, director of theatre studies.

The group of 10 met actor Tom Hanks and most of the cast of Nora Ephron’s “Lucky Man” after seeing the play on Broadway during their trip last month.

“Rick Corley, one of our adjunct professors, arranged the backstage tour through Brian Dykstra, who was in the cast and has worked with Rick before,” Peyankov said. “Meryl Streep was also backstage, as was Orlando Bloom.”

Another highlight was “Old Hats,” a show of magic, music and comedy starring Bill Irwin and David Shiner. Before the show the students met director Tina Landau, like Peyankov a member of the Steppenwolf Theatre ensemble.

During the show, Shiner asked two of the students to improvise on stage in a scene where he played a filmmaker casting a western.

Mikey Saubert and Lauren Demerath were invited to play a young couple caught in a love triangle, with a lot of┬ádrinking, kissing and shooting. After a long and passionate ‘make out’ moment, he asked them, ‘You guys know each other, right?'” Peyankov said.

After the show, all the students met the two stars.

The group also saw “MacBeth” with Alan Cumming and “The Trip to Bountiful,” starring Cicely Tyson, Cuba Gooding Jr. and Vanessa Williams. Jonathan Abarbanel, adjunct lecturer of theatre history, arranged a free tour of the Top of the Rock, the observation deck at Rockefeller Center.

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