May 3, 2013 was a special day in the history of the Randolph Academy. It was the 20th anniversary of the Broadway premiere of Kiss of the Spider Woman starring Chita Rivera and the then up-and-coming Canadian actor Brent Carver. Considered Canada's most successful musical, Kiss went on to receive seven 1993 Tony Awards --a record for a Canadian-produced musical that stands to this day.
Kiss is also the reason why the Randolph Academy exists. It was at the Toronto auditions for Kiss at our dance studio, when I saw so many locally trained and talented performers passed over for those trained in New York, that I realized that Canada needed a school that would provide an industry-driven curriculum to train performers equally in acting, vocal, and dance. The Randolph Academy was established in response to an industry that had changed, and that demanded more.
In the 20 years since Kiss opened on Broadway, the performing arts industry has changed even more, bad and good. And with it, our alumni have persevered. I've proudly watched our alumni succeed on stages not only across the country, but also around the world. Just last year, we were again thrilled to see Randolph Academy alumni on Broadway. But I am most proud of the credits of our alumni that don't have the cache of Stratford, Shaw, and Broadway. I see their names roll by on film and TV credits. I see them working as producers, directors, playwrights, composers, choreographers. I see them establishing theatre companies or passing on their skills as teachers.
The Randolph Academy doesn't train just Triple Threats; ultimately, we train artists who can adapt to and weather the changes that life throws at them. Individuals who can take their discipline, confidence derived from meeting challenges, ability to work under pressure, ability to work as a team member-all of those skills they learned in studio - and to survive an industry that is often temperamental.
It's incredibly satisfying to know that a program started in response to a change in an industry produced artists who were able to change with an industry. I could not be more proud.
Enjoy this excerpt from Kiss of the Spider Woman from the 1993 Tony Awards