Meadows Talent in Guys and Dolls at Majestic Theater

Performance opportunities a result of Meadows partnership with Lyric Stage

Meadows students and alumni with actor David Fenley (plaid shirt). Photo courtesy of Ally Van Deuren (second from left).

Lyric Stage, Dallas’s premier professional musical theatre company, has cast eight Meadows students and alumni in its upcoming production of Guys and Dolls, a classic musical romantic comedy about New York gamblers, hustlers and Save-a-Soul missionaries. Ever since its 1950 Tony award for Best Musical, Guys and Dolls has been a favorite on stages across the United States and in London, enjoying numerous Broadway runs and revivals. Among its many accolades, Guys and Dollsreceived the 1977, 1992 and 2009 Tony for Best Revival.

Meadows students and alumni cast in Guys and Dollsinclude:

  • Alyssa Barnes (M.M. Performance/Voice ’17, Performer’s Diploma ’19), Band Member
  • Kailey Berry (B.M. Performance/Voice ’20), Band Member
  • Griffin Camacho (B.M. Performance/Voice ’19), Band Member
  • Shannon Conboy (B.M. Performance/Voice, B.M. Music Education ’16), Hot Box Girl/Havana Dancer
  • Jackie Malish (B.A. Music, minor Musical Theatre ’19), Band Member
  • Laura Smolik (B.M. Performance/Voice ’13), Band Member
  • Ally Van Deuren (B.F.A. Theatre, B.A. Journalism ’15), Hot Box Girl/Havana Dancer
  • Austin Zhuang (M.A. Music Therapy, minor Musical Theatre ’21), Band Member

This is not the first time Van Deuren, Conboy and Barnes have been cast in a Lyric Stage production. Both performed in the 2017 production of Hunchback of Notre Dame, which provided them an up-close view of how theatre professionals work.

“Because we were an ensemble with minimal staging, we were able to observe the main characters and the chorus members,” she says. “They always brought consistency to the stage, but it never felt stale. Every single actor would bring a fresh and new experience for each rehearsal and performance. My aim is to deliver that spontaneity and preparedness.”

Partnership Between SMU Meadows and Lyric Stage; alums working in musical theatre

Winner of 35 Dallas Theatre League Leon Rabin Awards, Lyric Stage has produced 17 world premiere musicals and two Off-Broadway productions. A partnership between Lyric Stage and SMU Meadows formed in 2016, providing Lyric Stage with fresh talent and SMU Meadows with professional performance opportunities for its students.

“We are happy to partner with such a prestigious professional organization as Lyric Stage in downtown Dallas,” says Virginia Dupuy, professor of voice at SMU Meadows. “A goal of the Meadows School is to extend opportunities outside of the academy for ‘real-world’ experience. As we have partnerships with Dallas Theater Center and The Dallas Opera, we now offer on-stage performing opportunities for musical theater.”

Dupuy adds that several Meadows current and former students have gone on to professional careers. “We are thrilled to boast that our graduates were recently cast in Hamilton(Hope Endrenyi, B.F.A. Dance ’16) and Beautiful(Rosharra Francis, B.M. Performance/Voice ’10) on Broadway; Motown the Musical(Elias Hendricks) in the West End in London; national tours of Bridges of Madison County(John Campione, B.M. Performance/Voice and B.M. Music Education ’10); and many more productions,” she says. “Our curriculum reflects the skills demanded by the business of musical theater in new offerings of dance and acting for the musical theater stage.”

Read more about the minor in Musical Theatre at SMU Meadows School of the Arts, Lyric Stage and Professor of Voice Virginia Dupuy.