Hooley joins others in New York
Thanks to an anonymous good deed by a local couple, former Cowley College student Rose Hooley had an opportunity to attend the school’s trip to New York in the spring. That trip led to an audition and eventually acceptance into the prestigious New York Conservatory for Dramatic Arts in June.
Hooley will join Cowley College graduates Hayley Rogers (Class of 2013) and fellow theatre student Gary Fizer III (Class of 2014) at the New York Conservatory for Dramatic Arts. Rogers is already at the school, while Fizer was accepted to the school in January.
After serving in the lead role of “Peter Pan” in Cowley College’s Theatre Department’s Spring Play, Theatre Director Dejon Ewing was approached by a local couple that inquired about Hooley. After learning she was not going to have the finances to attend the New York trip the couple offered to pay Hooley’s way.
“They asked me to urge her to see as many (Broadway) shows as she could and audition if possible,” Ewing said.
Hooley’s first acting role came at age 11 when she played a munchkin in Arkansas City High School’s production of “The Wizard of Oz”. She also began to sing while in the middle school choir.
As a member of Cowley’s Theatre Department, Hooley had roles in “Noises Off” and “White Christmas” prior to her performance in “Peter Pan”.
“She is going to get loads more experience in New York and will be with others that have the same heart and drive that she does,” Ewing said.
Hooley hopes her opportunity to attend the New York Conservatory for Dramatic Arts will allow her to learn as much as she can about acting and help her pursue her dream of performing on Broadway or in the movies.
“I also hope to inspire other people around here,” Hooley said. “There are a lot of talented kids around Arkansas City and hopefully seeing something like this will make them want to pursue their dreams.”
Hooley credits Ewing with helping her receive this opportunity.
“Mrs. Ewing taught me so much about acting,” Hooley said. “I also became a better person by being a part of the Theatre Department at Cowley.”
Fizer, who was Cowley College’s 2013 homecoming king, first performed on Cowley’s theatre stage during the school’s Children’s Theatre production of “Monster in the Closet”.
“After that first play I was hooked,” Fizer said. “My passion and love for theatre grew from there.”
Fizer also had acting parts in Cowley’s theatre productions of “Cactus Flower”, “The Beeple”, “White Christmas”, “Noises Off”, “The Drowsy Chaperone”, “A Walk in the Woods”, and “Peter Pan”.
The three former Cowley College students will have each other to lean on in New York.
“It will be invaluable for them to have somebody there to go through the experience with,” Ewing said.