Oakland University
Monday, September 19, 2011

New York Times praises OU alumna for musical theater work

By Dan Bodene, contributing writer

It’s rare that an Oakland University alumna earns a very favorable review in The New York Times for her work, which puts Alexandra Zorn in an extremely select group.

Zorn, who graduated in 2009 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Musical Theatre in OU’s Department of Music, Theatre and Dance (MTD), earned kudos this summer from The Times for her leading performance as Maria in a Gateway Playhouse production of “West Side Story,” Jerome Robbins’ iconic 1950s reinterpretation of Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet.”

“I will never forget reading that article for the first time!” Zorn remembered. “I was sitting in my dressing room before curtain call and our stage manager announced over the speakers that the article had been published. I am still pinching myself over our great reviews, especially from The Times.”

Of course, Zorn’s success has come as a result of talent, hard work and experience.

Growing up in a musically inclined household in Livonia, Mich., Zorn also sang in church. The environment inspired her to pursue music and theater in school and, later, as a career.

By 2005, she had already progressed to acceptance at the Broadway Theatre Project in Tampa, Fla., billed as the world's most prestigious musical arts education program for high school and college students.

During the intensive three-week program, Zorn heard about MTD. “I met some wonderful people who inspired me to pursue my degree at OU,” she said. “Oakland University was a great experience with great teachers and incredibly talented students.”

OU alumna Alexandra Zorn earns acclaim for her performance as Maria in "West Side Story."
While at OU, Zorn was a part of several productions. “My favorite role was Precious Maguire in ‘Steel Pier.’ Kristin Chenoweth originated the role and she is such an inspiration. It was a joy to play such a great character while still in school,” Zorn said.

Shortly after graduating from OU, Zorn moved to New York City. It was there that she got an audition for the company of Gateway Playhouse, the oldest summer theater on Long Island and one of the most respected summer theaters in the United States.

“It was my first time auditioning for the lovely family of Gateway and I am so honored to have been hired,” Zorn said. “It was a dream role in a dream show with a beautiful cast. I am very thankful.”

For now, Zorn is right where she wants to be.

“I could not be happier about where I am in life,” she said. “I plan on continuing in this career for as long as I can and I am so thankful for the opportunities I've had thus far. God is good.”

And with an approving review in The New York Times already on her resume, could an appearance at the Tony Awards be far behind?

“I had friends perform on the show this year and it was so exciting to literally watch a dream come true,” Zorn said. “Absolutely amazing. I hope to one day experience that as well!”

Read the review of Gateway Playhouse’s production of “West Side Story” on The Times’ website.
An OU alumna earned a very favorable review in The New York Times for her performance as Maria in “West Side Story," this summer.  

Created by Katherine Land - Deleted (land@oakland.edu) on Monday, September 19, 2011
Modified by Katherine Land - Deleted (land@oakland.edu) on Monday, September 19, 2011
Article Start Date: Monday, September 19, 2011