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New York, NY

The Ensemblist is an inside look at the experience of being a Broadway performer- from the first rehearsal through performing eight shows a week and beyond. Whether you’re an experienced theatre professional or a passionate fan, The Ensemblist will give you the opportunity to get to know new performers and the great work they do onstage, while also shedding light on some of the hidden innerworkings of the Broadway experience. Created and hosted by Mo Brady (The Addams Family, SMASH) and Nikka Graff Lanzarone (Chicago, Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown), The Ensemblist is the only podcast that shows you Broadway from the inside out. 


"It is Important to Find a School that Speaks to You."

Mo Brady

In our first ever "College Week," The Ensemblist is celebrating the myriad of ways aspiring theatre artists receive an education in the arts. Today, we hear from Diego Villanueva as he makes his way to the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Diego Villanueva

Diego Villanueva

Broadway: that is the goal for most of us aspiring actors and actresses. College auditions are just one step closer to achieving that goal. Personally, college is the time to experience, experiment, and excel; the three Es as I would say. But before we get started with the three Es, it is crucial for us to find a safe space where we can feel comfortable enough to further our learning experience. There are thousands of schools out there that can offer an education tailored to our personal needs, but it is important to find that one school that speaks to you, challenges you, and most importantly, makes you feel at home.

The University of Alabama at Birmingham is that school for me. UAB is located in the heart of downtown Birmingham, Alabama, and although their theatre program has been around for many years, their Musical Theatre program is only a few years old. This budding new program is led by Valerie Accetta with a fantastic group of experienced professors alongside her. The reason I love this program and this school is not only because of the dedicated professors and the professional learning environment they create, but because it also presents a unique opportunity to students in the form of a conservatory-like program in a state school setting. It offers a safe yet challenging environment that will for sure push you to your greatest potential.

The aforementioned reasons combined with the challenging curriculum and numerous opportunities were the main reason I decided that UAB was the perfect fit for me. Plus, it doesn't hurt that the campus is very pretty and modern with state-of-the-art facilities. As I am about to start my freshman year, I am confident that this program will teach, inspire, and push me to reach my goal. Go Blazers! 

Listen to our episodes on college theatre programs here.