Introducing our Fall 2011 teachers!
Lauren Silverman Durban (Roar, Slither & Buzz) is best known as former evening anchor for Channel 8 Eyewitness News. Before moving to Lincoln in 2004, she performed extensively in plays and musicals throughout Southern California. Lauren studied musical theater under John Hall at UCLA, worked with disabled artists for the Other Voices Project at the Center Theater Group in Los Angeles, and taught video production and multimedia classes for at-risk teens. Currently, Lauren is the parenting columnist for L Magazine and a happy mom to her one- and three-year-old boys!
Marie Thurmer (Intro to Musical Theatre Dance) is a native of Kalamazoo, Michigan and a lover of all things artistic. Though her educational background is in creative writing, she has always enjoyed theatre, dance, and visual art as equally important—and surprisingly similar—modes of creative expression. With 13 years of dance training in many styles, she is eager to share the joy of musical theatre dancing with young artists while also providing them with helpful knowledge for future auditions.
Amelia Barrett (Musical Theatre: Acting through Song) is a junior at the University of Nebraska Lincoln studying Elementary Education with a minor in Music. She teaches dance at Traveling Dance Steps as well as choreographs for Lincoln Northeast and Lincoln Southeast show choirs. She started performing at age 7 and hasn't left the stage since. Recent credits include Marcy Park in "The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee", Liesl Von Trapp in "The Sound of Music, and Penny Pingleton in "Hairspray". "Performing is a huge passion of mine, whether it be singing,dancing or acting. I hope to share that with the students in this class!"
Breanna Benjamin (Continuing On-Camera Acting) has extensive experience in the entertainment industry. After graduating from the University of Nebraska, she began a four-year stint as “Miss Ann,” the teacher, on the CBS syndicated television series “Romper Room.” The Romper Room series lead to her hosting a syndicated radio show-emphasis on in-depth celebrity interviews including such luminaries as Ronald Reagan, Jimmy Stewart, Katherine Hepburn, Peter Jennings, etc. Upon exiting Romper Room, Benjamin went on to appear in major motion pictures, episodic television, soap operas, and as the principal spokesperson in over one hundred commercials. With her knowledge and affinity for working with talent, and a desire to work behind the scenes, she founded Creative Talent Company, a talent management company that guides the careers of a select group of actors..
Benjamin has been involved in all sides of the entertainment industry. As a Casting Director she has cast for film, television, theatre, commercials, industrials, and voices for animation. Her casting credits include motions picture festival award winners, commercial Cleo Award Winners, and theatre award honorees. She has been credited with launching the careers of many fine actors and directors.
Benjamin, through her Creative Talent Company, of which she was president and now serves in an advisory position has produced a pilot for the ABC television network, a dramatic special for PBS, telethons and pageants, both local and nationally televised. She has served as Associate Producer on several Independent feature films. She also produced a series of 200 reading tapes for educational use, sponsored by General Electric. Theatre audiences have viewed her producing talents off-Broadway and regionally. Benjamin served as Creative Consultant on Scholastic Sports Academy Soccer Series for USA Cable Network. She has served on the Advisory Board of the Bahamas International Film Festival.
Affiliations and Awards…
Ms. Benjamin has been listed in Who’s Who in Theatre, and Who’s Who in Business Executives. Affiliations have been with SAG, AFTRA, AEA, ACTRA. Has been a member of New York Women In film and Television, Past President of Midwest Broadway Theatre League. Has been on the Blue Ribbon Panel for the Emmy Awards. Is a Cable Ace Award Winner. Past President of Junior Women’s Club, Past President of Heart Association, Volunteer Board and Outstanding Volunteer of Covenant House, Outstanding Alumnae University of Nebraska, Adjunct Professor Montclair State University-Theatre Department, and New York University Tisch School of the Arts. She was honored by the State of Nebraska-and named an “Admiral in the Great Navy of the State of Nebraska.” Benjamin is currently a faculty member in the Theatre Department at the University of Nebraska/Lincoln, and at Doane College. She is on the board of the Lincoln Arts Council and the Haymarket Theatre. Breanna is an in-demand coach for actors and business professionals for public speaking engagements and/or auditions and performances.
3000 South 72nd Street, #17, Lincoln, NE 68506. Tel/Fx 402-488-4827