October 23, 2017
Thanks to ASD’s Gifted Mentorship program, one local teen is experiencing the behind-the-scenes magic of a Broadway musical.
Jayci VanDehey, a senior at Service High School, is studying technical aspects of musical theatre with Mackenzie Foster, production coordinator for the national Cinderella tour. Foster has been mentoring VanDehey for the last few weeks leading up to the Anchorage Concert Association’s presentation of Rodgers + Hammerstein's Cinderella, a 2013 Tony® Award-winning Broadway musical.
The Gifted Mentorship program is for 11th- and 12th-grade students who have the self-discipline and interest to pursue independent study under the direction of a professional/expert in a field of great interest to the student. The mentor, student, and ASD coordinator design a curriculum of activities and projects that expose the student to real-life work situations as well as the latest information and technology in the field.
“I have been involved with school theatre productions and enjoy the arts, but I wanted to find a way to incorporate my love for it in a more logistical and realistic job,” said VanDehey. “This mentorship has given me the unbelievable opportunity of interning under several people on the management team of Rodgers + Hammerstein's Cinderella.”
VanDehey has earned praise from many of the people she’s worked with so far. According to Gina Rattan, Cinderella tour director, to make it in the professional theatre business, you have to be curious about the people you work with. “Jayci certainly has this quality.” Rattan also acknowledges the importance of this opportunity for VanDehey. “It’s great that she gets to see this big machine working together.”