Coming Soon to a Theater Near You

Meghan Doherty ’06 is not waiting for the curtain call. She is doggedly pursuing her dream to be a professional film actor.

 

The stage is where it starts. This spring, the vivacious, chameleon-like theatre major appeared in the New York State Theatre Institute (NYSTI) production of The Lark, about the trial of Joan of Arc. She played a monk and a servant.

Megan Doherty '06

 

Doherty worked on three productions during her semester-long internship with NYSTI. In Inalienable Rights Denied, set during the McCarthy era, she played a
housewife interrogated about being a communist. And she picked up behind-the-scenes skills as assistant stage manager for Number the Stars, about the Holocaust.

 


All RSC theatre majors intern with NYSTI, housed at the Schacht Fine Arts Center, to train and perform with professional actors. The experience was especially satisfying for Doherty, who saw a NYSTI play in the sixth grade and decided to attend RSC.

 

Her resume was already impressive—high school and community theatre productions, a local radio station, and Radio Disney— when she was accepted with a scholarship in 11th grade.

 

Doherty pursues theatre education and experience wherever it takes her—on campus and off.

 

Last fall, she played the lead in Russell Sage’s production of The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie. The day after the closing show, she began rehearsals for You Can’t Take It With You at the Capital Repertory Theatre in Albany, a professional union theatre. For a non-union actor to get a role in such a production is quite an accomplishment, said Michael Musial, associate professor of creative and performing arts. Doherty won the lead. “The director took a chance on me, and I really appreciate it,” she said. Acting with Capital

Rep was exhilarating—and exhausting.

 

Doherty balanced a full course load with eight-hour rehearsals, requiring several half-hour bus rides back and forth to Albany each day.

 

“It was definitely worth it. Working at Capital Rep was awesome. The director was fabulous, cast members were incredibly nice, and we got really good reviews,” she said. The Albany Times Union wrote, “Classic remains funny, wise…enjoyable…the cast has fun.”

 

Doherty has been auditioning at every opportunity throughout the Hudson Valley and New York City for stage, television and film. “The combination of my Sage education, professional experience, and the people I’ve met, opens doors for me.”

 

She has already begun the transition from stage to film. She appeared in a training video for media giant Transworld Entertainment, and has landed roles in four independent films.

 

“Working on independent films has helped me improve my acting,” Doherty said. “They’re a great place to start … you work with good people, and build connections that will get you better parts.”

 

Independent films often go to festivals, giving up-and-coming actors exposure. One film Doherty was in went to a festival attended by director Martin Scorsese, and the film she’s shooting now is also a festival candidate.

 

Doherty will complete her B.A. this July. She has lined up places to live in New York City, Los Angeles and Vancouver, a hot spot in the film industry, and will spend time in each—but be ready to go wherever the auditions lead her.

 

Play a Part in the Campaign for Schacht

One of the most urgently needed projects on the Russell Sage campus is the upgrade of the 1,100-seat Schacht Fine Arts Center, home of the New York
State Theatre Institute (NYSTI). Sage and NYSTI will benefit from a matching grant program recently approved by Governor George Pataki and the New York state legislature that will stimulate capital investment at independent
colleges and universities. Under the program, for every $1 in state support, eligible colleges must contribute $3 in non-state funds. Sage is eligible for $1 million in capital funding, requiring a minimum match of $3 million.

 

For more information on how you can play a part in the Campaign for Schacht, call (518) 244-2345 or e-mail Shirley Hartman at hartms@sage.edu.