Juilliard School of Drama,
One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest was Phoebe Dunn’s “Aha” moment. While playing “Nurse Ratched” in the Horace Greeley High Theatre Company production in 2008 it hit her. That was when she realized, “I was going to give this profession my all”. Greeley Theatre and Schrauf (Performing Arts Department Chairperson Christopher Schraufnagel) put her on the path to Juilliard School of Drama where she is currently in her 3rd year.
Playing “Nurse Ratched”, the tyrannical head nurse of the mental institution who exercises near-total power over those in her care, was the first time Dunn says she “really got inside a character”. She did research on the role, using various inspirations, from music to paintings. This character analysis, she said, is the same type of work she does today, at Juilliard. Juilliard School of Drama is one of the most respected training programs for actors in the world. An extremely selective conservatory program, there are only 18 (undergraduate and graduate) students in her class. This is a rigorous and intense, 9AM-10PM program. Dunn says, “I gained a work ethic in Greeley Theatre that has allowed me to keep pace with the demands of the program I am in now. Schrauf both asked and expected excellence from us.”
At Greeley, where she graduated in 2009, Dunn took two semesters of acting class and was in Theatre Repertory (a class chosen by audition). In the (extra-curricular) Greeley Theatre, she played “Brooke” in Noises Off which she called a “whirlwind experience in a fast paced and fun show”. Her first Shakespeare play was The Tempest where she played “Miranda”. She says this Greeley show helped “light the spark” for the rest of my career”.
“Greeley Theatre has been instrumental to where I am today”, says Dunn. “ The pieces which Schrauf had us work on are some of the most challenging things I’ve done to date. The amount of performing that we are able to do is astounding for a public school and I’m extremely thankful both to Schrauf and to the Greeley Theatre program.”
--Margo Rudman Gold