PRACTICAL AESTHETICS SCHOLARSHIP – FALL 2015 RECIPIENTS
Atlantic Theater Company and Atlantic Acting School introduced the Practical Aesthetics Scholarship in September 2014 and received over 100 applicants before the December 2014 deadline. After reviewing applications, interviewing select students, and holding audition panels, the Atlantic admissions team awarded four full scholarships to Atlantic Acting School’s Professional Conservatory. This year’s recipients include Vanessa Alvarado Flores and Jessica Hajdu-Nemeth, who will be attending the Evening Conservatory, and Langston Darby and Luke Ledger, who will be attending the Full-Time Conservatory.
“We want students to concentrate on honing their craft while attending Atlantic, and dealing with financial issues can take away from that focus,” said School Executive Director Mary McCann. “The Practical Aesthetics Scholarship will lighten the economic load for these talented students and give them the chance to fully invest themselves in the work. We’re thrilled to welcome Vanessa, Langston, Jessica and Luke to the Atlantic family, and look forward to seeing them grow as actors.”
Vanessa Alvarado Flores
Vanessa Alvarado Flores was born and raised in the Rio Grande Valley, along the Texas-Mexico border. Shortly after graduating from Texas A&M University, she was cast in her first film shot in Rio Grande City. Vanessa moved to Austin, Texas where she quickly joined the theater scene and signed up with a talent agent. She has performed on stage for productions by Teatro Vivo, the Aztlan Dance Company, and the Gale Theater Company. She has also appeared in regional commercials and public service announcements. She will soon complete a Master of Liberal Arts at St. Edward’s University.
“What interested me about the Atlantic Acting School is not only its curriculum but also that it has a support system for its actors. I believe it is a conservatory program that is invested in seeing its alumni succeed. And I want to succeed in this profession. Two years ago I decided to step out on faith and follow my heart. Receiving this scholarship has been a huge affirmation. I know that this opportunity is both a significant stepping stone and a huge door. I can’t wait to step through it.”
Langston Darby is a native of Laurel, Mississippi. Langston was a Drama major in the first graduating class of the Mississippi School of the Arts and went on to earn a BFA in Acting from the University of Southern Mississippi. Winning a Dorothy Haas Acting Apprenticeship at the historic Walnut Street Theatre in Philadelphia, PA, Langston stayed on and worked with numerous companies in the Delaware Valley such as 1812 Productions, Egopo Classic Theatre, The Idiopathic Ridiculopathy Consortium, Plays and Players Theatre, Philadelphia Young Playwrights, Shakespeare in Clark Park, and the Walnut as an actor, performer, and teaching artist. Langston is also an improviser and a member of ComedySportz Philadelphia and Bright Invention, the ensemble of White Pines Productions.
“To me, this opportunity is about giving my career and craft a major portion of focus; allowing myself to really commit. I come from an, in a word, humble background. I’ve been able to live working various part-time jobs while doing non-equity regional work, but I really wouldn’t be able to attend a conservatory like this on my own.”
Jessica Hajdu-Nemeth hails from the great state of New Jersey, but she has seen much more of the world than just the Jersey shore. She studied at New York University’s Tish School of the Arts, did a semester abroad in Johannesburg, South Africa and lived in Berlin, Germany. Although, she has had many different jobs throughout the years, theater has always been her passion.
“The Atlantic Acting School is known for learned and talented actors and I wanted to include myself among them and learn their secrets. This is one of the greatest opportunities that has ever been bestowed upon me. The Practical Aesthetics Scholarship will finally enable me to complete my education, something that I had essentially given up on. This scholarship is a most precious and beautiful gift that I cannot wait to take full advantage of!”
Luke Ledger grew up in Perth, Western Australia and moved to Sydney at the age of 18 to pursue a career in performance. Luke gained representation and has worked on several projects in both film and television. The life experience Luke has acquired while working independently in pursuit of his career has been a wonderfully rich education so far and he is excited to expand his knowledge during his time at Atlantic Acting School.
“Along with all of the wonderful experiences that being on film and TV sets gave me, they weren’t without real times of doubt, rejection and costly mistakes made. That took a very real toll on my confidence. So when I received the good news [about the scholarship], it felt more than anything, like another chance to get back on the horse and finally study theatre and be the best performer I can be. This school has already instilled in me a sense of encouragement and reassurance, which has strengthened my belief that maybe I can be in a position one day to tell the stories that both myself and Atlantic want to tell.”