Audition of a lifetime

Senior takes steps closer towards her dreams


Photo courtesy of Brianna Nelson

Holding the result of her hard work, Senior Brianna Nelson showcases her scholarship. Having auditioned a few days prior, the accomplishment was huge in Nelson’s dreams of performing. “The experience of auditioning has taught me that anything and everything is possible if you put your mind to it,” Said Nelson. “Now the experience of the Broadway Intensive? That’s to be determined. But I’m sure it’s going to be everything I’ve ever dreamed of and more.”

Brenna Batchelder, Staff Reporter

Singing, dancing and acting have always been the pinnacle of senior Brianna Nelson’s life. On January 2nd-4th, the annual State Thespian Festival took place in the Holland Center and Nelson’s hard work in the performing arts resulted in the opportunity to start pursuing her passion. 

Nelson heard about a chance for a scholarship from her drama director Brooke Phillips. 

The scholarship, from the Open Jar Institute, focuses on training the next generation of Broadway performers. The organization sends a representative to the Nebraska State Thespian Festival to select a qualified performer to receive a $600 scholarship and a chance to attend a Broadway Intensive and train with Broadway’s finest in New York. 

When she heard of the scholarship, Nelson jumped at the chance to get this once in a lifetime opportunity.

“I was completely driven by my desire to become a performer,” Nelson said. “I want so badly to be able to be paid to go up on stage and do what I love. Making it to Broadway would be my ultimate dream.”

The scholarship was perfect for a performer like Nelson. 

“Bri is a triple threat performer who loves learning and perfecting her craft,” Phillips said. “She is always seeking more performance and learning opportunities and a Broadway intensive like this would be perfect for enhancing her skill set.”

Determined to win the scholarship, Nelson worked hard during the festival to make her dream happen. The audition for it took place at the festival. Applicants were required to sing, dance and perform for the representative from the Open Jar Institute. Nelson performed choreography from a musical called “The Prom” and she showcased her talent of singing with the song “Kindergarten Boyfriend from Heathers”

Nelson worked hard throughout the festival for this audition and many other programs. With her plate full, Nelson participated in many events like an audition for the Musical Works program and individual performances. 

“Trying to do everything at once as I did at STF is difficult, but not impossible,” Nelson said. “I had to move some things around, be late for events more than a few times, and drive myself and others just a little crazy, but I managed to make everything I wanted to do at festival work.”

With the festival coming to a close, Nelson’s busy weekend was winding down. The closing ceremony happened on the last day and they announced the awards that students had won throughout the weekend. The mention of the Open Jar Institute scholarship raised anxiety in Nelson. All that anxiety was diminished when Phillips announced that Nelson had won the scholarship. Friends of Nelson were all proud of her accomplishment and supported her while she was recognized for her talent.

“I was freaking out, Bri was so anxious about the whole weekend,” senior Ainsley Olsen said. “She is so talented and deserves it. Bri is really excited about it and I’m really excited for her.”

Nelson’s dreams of becoming a performer were suddenly more real. With the Broadway intensive coming closer each day, Nelson awaits the trip to New York.