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Roswell’s talent goes to Broadway

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Christina Stock Photo Maryl McNally presents the artists at the recent New Mexico’s Got Talent show at the Anderson Museum of Contemporary Art. McNally will keep in contact with the Roswell arts community while studying theater management and production at Columbia University in New York City.

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At Maryl McNally’s last public performance as master of ceremonies for New Mexico’s Got Talent Show on April 28, very few in the audience knew that McNally, Neverland Theatre Company’s president, had been accepted at one of the country’s most esteemed universities.

It was McNally’s dream to study at New York City’s Columbia University in theater management and producing. In a recent interview with Vision Magazine, McNally spoke about her chance to follow that dream.

“It didn’t really occur to me that theater producing was an option before we started Neverland. I don’t know why — I have done film production and loved it, I have my legal background. I don’t know why that actually never clicked,” she said and laughed.

“Then we started Neverland Theatre Company and I realized, I really, really love mixing the business side and the creative side of theater. It is on the money though, because I do have an analytical side of me. I went to law school, but I have to fulfill the creative side too.

“I started researching programs and I waited. I considered applying the year before last, but I didn’t have the portfolio I needed and Neverland had just gotten on the ground in May and I wanted to take a little bit more time to build Never-

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land and to see it grow, to be able to show Columbia what we were able to create here, what work we were doing here.

“To be perfectly honest, because I have a career and because I have been already doing good things that I wanted to be doing here, I only applied to Columbia and New York University,” McNally continued. “They feed directly into the New York theater scene and Broadway and Columbia was always my first pick. A big reason I picked that program (Columbia) is because its focus is theater management and producing. In some ways, it is a trade school in that it is training you and sending you out to do it.”

As part of Columbia University School Of The Arts, McNally is partaking in the Shubert Internship Program.

In one of its cooperative programs with New York and regional theaters, The Columbia University Theatre Program joins with the Shubert Foundation in facilitating internships for students who must complete them as a graduation requirement. Students work with theater companies, production organizations, theater owners, talent agencies, individual artists and productions, both in New York City and throughout the world.

McNally is going to be working on her degree for three years.

“Two years as a full time student and then the third year I can go to work. I have to write a thesis and do a final production as well,” McNally said. “You have a minimum requirement of three internships, they try to cover the gambit. You learn how non-profit theaters work but also commercial theater, and you have an opportunity to intern for a commercial production, commercial producers as well as Manhattan Theater Club, which is amazing roundabout theater. Very well connected. I am going to intern on Broadway, which is crazy.”

Recently McNally, together with Paul Hanna, has opened a law firm.

“My wonderful colleague Paul Hanna knew in advance going into the partnership that I was doing that,” McNally said about her goals to study in New York City. “We had a conversation and decided to move forward and see what happened. We situated ourselves well for this transition. Also, due to the work with Neverland I was truly a part-time lawyer. In so many ways I stayed a nomad. It is my personality generally to not tie myself down. I think I stayed so long in Roswell because Roswell has given me so many gifts and unexpected gifts that kept me here longer. It has given me time for my parents, my family, my sister, her husband and their kids.”

According to McNally, the timing couldn’t be better. On May 31 she is transitioning out as president of Neverland Theatre Company.

“Dom Batista has been sitting as vice president, it is quite possible that he takes over and that would make sense,” McNally said. “I am so excited about what Neverland is doing, but I am having total faith in the board that they are going to carry on and create a new Vision for it. It will be good.”

Asked what McNally will miss most, she responds immediately, “The kids. I teach at the Studio+ for Jennifer Wolfe and Neverland has an ongoing partnership with them. I have two musical theater classes. They are the greatest and the cast of ‘Peter and the Starcatcher’ — I see them on a regular basis and connect with them. I am going to have a very difficult time leaving them behind. They are my kiddo’s and I love them and am going to miss them.

“It comes at a cost and that’s the most challenging thing about it,” McNally said.

McNally is going to have a farewell show before she leaves in August for New York City. The show she calls “Maryl and friends” will be at The Liberty Club, July 21-22.

“I’ve asked some friends to sing with me,” she said. “I really haven’t been able to share with the community how I’ve gotten where I’ve gotten, and that is something I want to do with this show. Josh Ragsdale is very generous to work with me to do that. It’s going to be fun.”

Details about the show and times were not available at press time. For more information, visit neverlandtheatre.com.

Christina Stock may be contacted at 622-7710, ext. 309, or at vision@rdrnews.com.

 

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