|Danielle Summons `11|
Danielle Summons, Class of 2011
As a Music major with a Concentration in Musical Theater, I studied under the direction of the gifted and accomplished Professor, Mark Cherry and magnificent voice coach, Ron Cappon. During my time at Manhattanville I was featured in many of our musicals, Into the Woods, Brigadoon, Showtunes and our mandatory end of the year recitals. I also was a proud member of the renowned Quintessentials as well as a Duchesne Scholar and President of our Black Student Union for 3 years.
Upon graduation, I moved to New York City and hit the ground auditioning with high hopes of booking gigs. During that time, I booked many gigs including a role in Little Shop of Horrors, solo feature in Bound for Broadway and landed background singing gigs for Broadway's Chester Gregory and Tituss Burgess as well as American Idol, Justin Guarini to name a few. I also had the great pleasure in participating in tributes to Amy Winehouse at the Duplex Theater in NYC as well as a Whitney Houston tribute at the Triad Theater in the city.
Not only has this journey afforded me the opportunity to perform all over the city, but it has opened many other doors. Last January, I competed in the Miss New York USA pageant where I represented Upper Manhattan. I placed Top 20 amongst over 130 equally beautiful and intelligent young women. I truly enjoy my daily journey and agree that I am bound for great success. I am currently focusing on a career as a R&B/Pop artist.
My current role as Deena Jones in Dreamgirls fell right into my lap. Another supremely talented alumna from the same department, Sarah Morris `12, messaged me to share the details about the show and theater and asked if I was interested in the role as she would be the Assistant Musical Director. After sending in a quick audition video - I was a part of a wonderful cast and family of ambitious, talented, compassionate and thrilling group of women and men. The rehearsal process has been a rewarding experience with much growth amongst the entire cast.
I am most grateful for all of my professors and teachers at Manhattanville who introduced me to a world of professionalism, slight perfectionism and a work ethic that has allowed me to stand out amongst many other talented artists.
After a record breaking SOLD OUT run at the Downtown Cabaret Theatre in Bridgeport, CT, Dreamgirls exceeded my expectations immensely. From the exceptional direction of Christy Newsome with assistance from Gina Lariccia, the efficient stage crew and fierce production team, our super talented choreographer, Emily Frangipane, the grade A musicians under the direction of Stephanie Gaumer and Eli Newsome, ushers and staff at both Bridgeport Theatre Company and Downtown Cabaret Theatre to my incomparable and incredibly talented cast -- we put our souls on stage every single night. There is no need to highlight any of the obstacles we experienced as a team because none of that mattered. We know that there is no testimony without a test and to whom much is given; much is required. Passion and sheer love for the art were the only things displayed on stage and of course a huge amount of class, sass and how could I forget-- soul. Bridgeport Theatre Company's, Dreamgirls was a huge success and I am grateful to have those moments forever etched in my memory.