Playbill: CCM Musical Theatre alum wins Ashley Longshore Excellence in the Arts Award
Blaine Alden Krauss is the inaugural recipient of the $25,000 award that supports artists
UC College-Conservatory of Music alumnus Blaine Alden Krauss (BFA Musical Theatre, '14) is the inaugural recipient of YoungArts' The Ashley Longshore Excellence in the Arts Award. Read more via Playbill.
This award is made possible by the generous support of artist Ashley Longshore and aims to deepen and expand support for artists in the disciplines of theatre, photography and visual arts. In honor of musical theatre and visual artist Patrick B. Hale, the award aims to support to artists at all stages of their careers. Winners receive an unrestricted $25,000 award and mentorship opportunities. Krauss was "chosen for his ambition, excellence and passion for musical theater," according to the YoungArts announcement.
In addition to the cash award, Krauss will have opportunities for mentorship and continuing education that can have a significant influence the trajectory of an emerging artist’s career.
“We are truly grateful to Ashley Longshore for her generosity and commitment to gifted emerging artists like Blaine, who exemplify the creativity and dedication to excellence that is central to the mission of YoungArts,” said Lauren Snelling, YoungArts Artistic Director, in the announcement. “We are delighted to share in providing this support to Blaine and are confident this award will be transformative for his career.”
“It is with all of my heart and my deepest passion for the arts to announce the recipient of the Ashley Longshore Excellence in the Arts Award. It is my dream to create a legacy of funding talent that deserves a chance to be seen. I crave art in every area of my life,” said Ashley Longshore in the announcement. “This year’s award is in honor of my dear friend Patrick B. Hale who was a grand presence in musical theater in my hometown of Montgomery, Alabama. Artists need opportunity and a chance to share their vision with the world. I am so thankful for the opportunities I have been given, and giving back to creatives fills my soul with joy, enthusiasm and gratitude. We need art!”
Krauss added, “Above anything, I am incredibly humbled to be given this award in the memory of Ashley Longshore’s dear friend, Patrick B. Hale. It is a testament that we never know the influence and legacy that our lives will leave. I am graciously reminded of lyrics I get to sing nightly on the tour of Hamilton, ‘You have no control…who tells your story.’ Well, I get to hold this honor in Patrick’s name and because of Ashley and YoungArts, I get to take this award and advance on my artistic pursuits, which simply is to be a reflection of the human experience. I am so incredibly moved and thankful.”
Krauss, a native of Tampa Bay, Florida, is currently starring in the national tour of Hamilton as the standby for both Hamilton and Burr. He was thrilled to be part of the second season of Pose while appearing in The Cher Show on Broadway. Prior to that he was seen understudying Lola in Kinky Boots shortly after making his Broadway debut in the hit Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812. Krauss regularly performs with symphonies around the globe as an artist with Scott Coulter’s Spot-On Entertainment and is a regular performer at Feinstein's/54 Below where he debuted his acclaimed solo show, “From the Soul.” His talents led him in 2011 to be a feature performer for the largest commemoration of 9/11 outside of the U.S. at the Trocadero in Paris, France. He is a 2010 YoungArts award winner and a U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts. This venture led to having met President Obama and concluded with a performance at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.
About CCM Musical Theatre
CCM set the standard for musical theatre training ... literally. CCM Musical Theatre was the first program of its kind in the US, and it continues to be a leader in the industry. A four-year bachelor of fine arts (BFA) program, it was used by the National Association of Schools of Theatre in formulating the guidelines for the accreditation of Musical Theatre programs nationwide.
The program provides professional conservatory training designed to help singers, dancers and actors become accomplished musical theatre performers. Students participate in a number of productions while in residence and create a freshman and a senior showcase, the latter functioning as their New York debut for agents and casting directors. In addition, students undertake courses in English, history, psychology, dramatic literature, social and ethical issues and the humanities.
CCM Musical Theatre graduates are following careers as performers and creative artists in every facet of the entertainment industry. CCM Musical Theatre graduates are working on Broadway and throughout the nation in such productions as Anastasia, Hamilton, Waitress, The Book of Mormon, Pippin, Wicked, Jersey Boys, Les Miserables, Kinky Boots, Big Fish, Newsies and The Lion King. Students represent CCM in national and international touring productions, in dinner theatres and theme parks, on cruise ships, on television, in talent agencies, as producers and in many of the related entertainment fields.
Featured image at the top: Blaine Alden Krauss (BFA Musical Theatre, '14) and Kimber Sprawl (BFA Musical Theatre, '14) in CCM's 2014 production of Les Misérables. Photo/Mark Lyons.