Five actresses singing on stage together

SJSU theater students Kristen Majetich (on her knees, far left) and Ernestine Balisi (far right) appear with Broadway professionals in the San Jose Rep's "Spring Awakening."

By Pat Lopes Harris, Media Relations Director

Walk by the San Jose Repertory Theater (the bright blue building between campus and light rail) and you might see the names of SJSU theater students flash across the marquee.

That’s because amateur actors Ernestine Balisi, Kristen Majetich, and Manuel Rodriguez-Ruiz are starring in the Rep’s “Spring Awakening.”

“It’s been remarkable sharing my passion with the staff and artists at SJ Rep. Because of this collaboration, not only are there acting opportunities, but also other internships which gives every person an opportunity to create amazing theatre,” Majetich said.

The students are appearing on stage with professionals thanks to new, professionally sanctioned internship program.

“Our students are doing a terrific job and no one can tell them from the Broadway cast members,” said theater Professor Ethel Walker.

Set in 19th century Germany, “Spring Awakening” is “a powerful celebration of youth and rebellion in a daring fusion of morality, sexuality and rock & roll,” according to the Rep.

The internship program may do more than open doors for theater students. It is also an invitation to all Spartan to see the show.

“Hundreds of students stroll past the Rep every day and we are always looking for new ways to get them to step inside,” Artistic Director Rick Lombardo told the San Jose Mercury News.

“Both the SJSU theatre program and San Jose Rep are thrilled by the results of this partnership and its many benefits for our students and our organizations,” said theater Professor David Kahn.

“We believe our professional/academic linkage will lead to even more benefits down the road as we build on the success of the student internships with further collaborative enterprises and the development of external funding sources.”

“Spring Awakening” continues through September 25. Read a review. Purchase tickets.

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