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USD Theatre Students Attend NYC Open Jar Institute

VERMILLION, S.D. – Four theatre students at the University of South Dakota were accepted to the prestigious New York City Open Jar Institute for the summer of 2017. The accepted students are Braeden Garrett, Christa Gesicki, Alyeska Krull and Tabitha Bass.

Garrett, who attended the institute last summer, credits the training received at the Open Jar Institute with exposing him to new concepts. “During my first attendance, I learned invaluable information; new ways of approaching my vocal instrument, new ideas and concepts on how movement connects to each aspect of theatre, and phenomenal dance instruction,” said Garrett.

Under the direction of Broadway Association Director and Choreographer, Jeff Whiting, the students experience five days of high intensity workshops in acting, singing, dance and audition techniques, all taught by Broadway professionals.

Only sixty students nationwide are selected to participate in each of the two summer sessions in late July and early August.


USD's College of Fine Arts encourages students to pursue their chosen professional field in art, music or theater through their study with nationally recognized faculty who are working professionals. Students learn and grow to be professional fine artists with great job potential anywhere in the country. The college offers opportunities for additional real-world experiences through work with guest artists, study tours abroad and opportunities at the National Music Museum and the University Art Galleries on the Vermillion campus and the Black Hills Playhouse in Custer State Park. The college brings more than 80 guests artists to campus annually to work with students.


Founded in 1862 and the first university in the Dakotas, the University of South Dakota is the only public liberal arts university in the state, with 202 undergraduate and 84 graduate programs in the College of Arts & Sciences, School of Education, Knudson School of Law, Sanford School of Medicine, School of Health Sciences, Beacom School of Business and College of Fine Arts. With an enrollment of nearly 10,000 students and more than 400 faculty, USD has a 16:1 student/faculty ratio, and it ranks among the best in academics and affordability. USD’s 18 athletic programs compete at the NCAA Division I level.


Hanna DeLange
USD News