Acting Up is a student repertory program designed to train and prepare the serious musical theatre student seeking pre professional instruction. This class is directed by Ms. Nicole Ruark and will focus on increasing and balancing technique in the disciplines of acting, singing, and dancing through weekly instruction, as well as performance opportunities and real world experiences.
ACTING UP: COMPANY 3
Nicole Ruark has had the honor of performing and choreographing throughout the country as well as internationally. Her work as a professional performer includes favorite roles in Cats, The Will Rogers Follies, A Chorus Line, Crazy for You, Guys and Dolls and Sweet Charity. Ms. Ruark has staged ballets for numerous professional companies both in the US and abroad. Her contemporary work has landed her several awards including Top Honors and Outstanding Choreography at the Youth American Grand Prix in New York and Outstanding Contemporary at the Prix de Lausanne in Switzerland as well as gold and silver medals at the 2013 New York City Dance Alliance. She has extensive experience as a director and choreographer for universities, regional, and touring companies including such productions as: Pippin, Urinetown, Annie, Seussical, Little Shop of Horrors, Swing It! (national premiere) and Once on this Island. Ms. Ruark recently traveled with the cast from The American University to St. Petersburg, Russia for the international debut of the reworking of Jane Martin’s Talking With.
In addition to her directorial and choreography work, she currently oversees the musical theatre program she created for The Mid Maryland Performing Arts Center where she is also an instructor. Now in its 12th year, the program has produced students currently working in Broadway workshops, in national touring companies, and in major US dance companies. In 2012, Ms. Ruark became a resident artist with the prestigious Broadway Theatre Project where she works with such luminaries as Ben Vereen, Lloyd Culbreath, Terrance Mann, John Parks, Donna McKechnie, Christopher D'Amboise, and Debra McWaters. Later that year, she joined the dance faculty of the renowned Imagination Stage in Washington DC where she instructs and choreographs the next generation of musical theatre performers.
Most recently, Nicole has created a new student repertory company, Acting Up, with the goal of providing pre professional training and career coaching for students aged 13-18 seeking a career in musical theatre.
Ms. Ruark graduated cum laude from The American University with a Bachelors of Arts in Theatre. She attended The Joffrey Ballet School on full scholarship and is the recipient of the Herbert R. Brent Scholarship, the Herb Edelman Acting Award, American University’s Outstanding Musical Theatre Performer award, and the Greenberg Scholarship for the Performing Arts.
35 Questions to Determine the Perfect Audition Song: HERE (pdf)