Westfield's Ko Shares Paper Mill Experience
Geoffrey Ko talks about this weekend's upcoming performance of Paper Mill Playhouse's "New Voices of 2012."
Geoffrey Ko is one of seven Westfield students who were accepted into Paper Mill Playhouse's highly selective Summer Musical Theatre Conservatory.
In addition to Ko, Duncan Cook, Steven Del Col, Madeline Hudelson, Matt Lynn, Emmanuelle Nadeau, and Rebecca Skowron are among over 110 students from the area who participated in five weeks of intensive classes, which include musical theater performance, acting, dance and improvisation. They also attended workshops led by professional directors, actors and casting agents.
The culmination of their hard work will be on view for all to see this weekend when the aspiring entertainers take the stage in "New Voices of 2012."
Ko, who is recipient of the 2012 Paper Mill's Rising Star Award for Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role for his work in Westfield High School's production of 'Pippin,' in which he played “King Charlemagne,” shared what this summer's experience has meant to him.
"It's been an amazing process for me, getting to work with everyone at Paper Mill," he said. "It's such a professionally run program and, as such, we (as students) are treated as professional actors and receive that caliber of training.
"By the same token, it's been both mentally and physically exhausting and I've had to dedicate pretty much these entire past couple of weeks to this work."
But that hard work is paying off as Ko said this weekend's show is going to be "amazing."
"We're about a week into rehearsals now and the entire company is so dedicated to putting on the best production we can," Ko told Patch in late July. "The directors and performers have been doing tons of work outside of the nine-hour day at the conservatory to get everything into shape, and we'll be backed by a professional crew and orchestra when we get to the Paper Mill stage.
"It's been a great experience so far and I've gotten a realistic glimpse of what a future in this sort of industry and business would look like, and I can't wait for the concert!"
The Westfield residents and other local talents will perform in the "New Voices of 2012: It's Our Time" concert at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 3 and at 1:30 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 4. Tickets range from $25 to $45 and may be purchased by calling (973) 376-4343, online or at the box office.