Rising senior Lucas Wiesemann, a member of The Webb Company Players, has been accepted into Summer Performing Arts with Juilliard, a two-week program at the College du Leman boarding school in Geneva, Switzerland. Held July 8-21, the program website notes that it is "an immersive experience enabling students to engage deeply in music, dance, or drama, and to make powerful connections with like-minded students from across the world. This is a unique opportunity for young students to engage with and learn from performing artists from the Juilliard School, the world's leader in arts education."
There were two tracks that he could have pursued -- an exploration track for those less advanced who want to explore multiple talents and the Young Artist track.
"In that (exploration track) you would have a major and a minor, so you would spend most of your time doing something such theatre, but then spend some time on an activity such as singing or violin. I applied for the Young Artist, which is the track for those students who have been practicing their discipline for a few years and are pretty well advanced. In this track, instead of spending extra time working on a separate discipline, I will be having one-on-one sessions with teachers, who are all Juilliard professors, and have more opportunities to work and perform than those in the other track."
Wiesemann said he initially explored Summer Performing Arts with Juilliard because of a scholarship he receives through the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation, which pays for a summer program every year.
"I'm incredibly excited for this opportunity. I have always done something with medicine, but this year I wanted to explore my other passion of theatre," he said. "I decided that if I was going to do theatre instead of medicine I was going to really have to make it worth my while, so I said 'go big or go home', and looked for high school programs with Juilliard. I explored the webpage, followed a few links, and finally found a summer program for high school actors. I fell in love with the program and what it had to offer just by reading the webpage until finally I realized that it was in Geneva, and I was floored," he added.
"The application process was intense. Along with providing a detailed description of my experience, my passion, and my reasoning for wanting to attend the program, I also had to provide a recommendation from Ms. (Ruth) Cordell and submit an audition tape. The audition tape included the answering of a few basic questions, then the performed recitation of one of two provided poems and no more than 45 seconds of a song. Due to my choosing the more competitive track, I also had to submit a one-minute monologue from a play of my choice."
The program website explains that "students, ages 10-18, from all nationalities and all levels of experience are eligible to apply. Summer Performing Arts with Juilliard offers everyone from beginners to those with a more advanced arts background a daily routine of rehearsals, workshops, and outdoor activities exposing them to an array of people, cultures, and arts from around the world."
During the 2016-2017 school year, Wiesemann was cast as Horton in Seussical and Puck, or Robin Goodfellow in A Midsummer Night's Dream. He also has appeared as Jonathan Brewster in Arsenic and Old Lace, Butterworth in Dracula, Peter Bailey and assorted characters in It's a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play, and Jacob Marley, the narrator, in A Christmas Carol. As an eighth grader prior to enrolling at Webb, he was in a middle school production of The Wizard of Oz, playing the Cowardly Lion.