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  • Writer's pictureBroadway Beat

Receiving Diploma During Graduation the Most Amount of Stage Time BFA Has Gotten in All Four Years

by Luke Maynus. @ luke.maynus.

PORTLAND, OR - The Bachelor of Fine Arts degree has cemented itself as a popular way for many Broadway-hopefuls to start their theatrical careers, usually receiving experience in their field by appearing in a variety of shows throughout college. However, one recent Oregon University graduate, Rebecca James, has just experienced her main stage debut: accepting her diploma during the class of 2023 commencement ceremony.

“I finally did it! I got on the stage!” shouted James, completely satisfied with the fruits of her $150,000 education. “That wasn’t even really scripted - I like totally improv’d that whole thing where I shook the dean's hand and walked across the stage!”

Many of James’s classmates shared in the excitement of her big moment, including fellow thespian Brendon Burningham, a rising senior BFA in Musical Theatre.

“I’m just so happy I could be here for her big moment. I wasn’t sure if I’d have time, as I’m currently juggling three shows right now.” explained the incredibly average looking white man, generous enough to talk to us considering he’s like a pretty big deal on campus. “It’s nothing, though. I mean I played sixteen leads this past semester, so I know how to manage my time. It’s definitely a lot, but that’s what I love so much about OU: all the opportunities to perform!”

Oregon University faculty members in attendance also showed support for their newest alum. Derrick Fields, the head of Musical Theatre at OU, rejoiced in his student’s success.

“I’m just so proud of Rebecca, I’ve always said she was a star,” lied Fields, as he openly started precasting the fall semester’s shows on a nearby napkin he found. “There unfortunately wasn’t anything in this past season that catered to her talents… or last season… or the one before that. It’s such a shame she’s graduating, because next season we’re doing some shows I’m sure she’d be perfect for!”

Following her dynamic stage debut, Rebecca James was immediately noticed by multiple NYC based casting agencies. You can catch her playing Elphaba in Wicked on Broadway this July, and more importantly, you can catch Brendon Birmingham in every single OU show this upcoming school year.


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