An SMTD Scholarship Story: Brianna Stoute, BFA in Musical Theatre

An SMTD Scholarship Story: Brianna Stoute, BFA in Musical Theatre


[Music] It is the most tremendous gift to study musical
theatre at the University of Michigan. The excellent faculty, rigorous programming,
and track record of Emmy and Tony award-winning alumni are why
I came to SMTD, but I never imagined how much I would develop
as a person and artist while being on campus. Growing up I didn’t see many women who looked
like me performing in leading roles. There were so many dream parts that I never
added to my list; I thought if they were originally played by
a white actress there would probably be a one-percent chance
I would ever be cast in that role. Since being at the School of Music, Theatre
& Dance, my eyes have been opened to new possibilities. In the past year, I was cast in the production
of Passing Strange and for the first time in my life I worked
with a female director of color, Tiffany Stewart. Then I trained with another director of color,
Michael McElroy, performing in his work Broadway Our Way. These experiences broadened my view of what
I am capable of achieving through my artistry. This April, I performed in the ensemble of
Sweeney Todd, which was an amazing learning experience because
of the challenging score. Through the exceptional vocal training I received, I learned how to sing in an operetta-style
show and can now use my voice in new ways, making me all the more versatile as a performer. As I move toward my professional career, I have the confidence and skills necessary
to apply my talents to a wide range of theatrical roles. Furthermore, I hope to use my experience to
inspire young actors of color to pursue performing without limiting themselves. I am so honored and grateful to receive the Donald R. Shepherd Scholarship in Musical
Theatre and the Chisholm Musical Theatre Scholarship, which will support me as I take advantage
of my last year at Michigan under the guidance of our unparalleled faculty, with enrichment from inspiring visiting alumni, all the while continuing to develop my unique
voice. Thank you so much for your scholarship support
and for all you do for the students of the School of Music, Theatre
and Dance! [Music]

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