Alyssa McAnany

Alumni Spotlight
Alyssa McAnany: Class of 2011

As part of our effort to reconnect with former graduates of Robbinsville Public Schools, we are featuring Alyssa McAnany, RHS Class of 2011, in this version of Alumni Spotlight. If you are a graduate of RHS and would like to share your story with our school community please email Superintendent Kathie Foster. And now, a few words from Alyssa.

After graduating from RHS, I was lucky to study at one of the top music theatre programs in the country at Elon University. I met wonderful peers on campus and made life long friends through fellowships and organizations both in and outside of my major. I graduated with a BFA in Music Theatre and Minor in Communications and continue as a member of Alpha Psi Omega and Omicron Delta Kappa.

Still, my experience in academia was not a normal one. There were many peaks and obstacles that helped shape and prepare me for the roller-coaster that is life, especially in the arts.

Throughout seasons of performing I have suffered setbacks through injuries and barriers that needed to be overcome. Each experience led to honing my craft and refining my skills in new ways and allowed me to become stronger as I grew through each specific experience.

During my senior year of college I performed in a master class series with casting directors in the business. I was called into NYC for professional callbacks, of course during the time of finals! The multiple trips, studying on the plane, and rehearsing after tests was challenging but well worth it. Three days before graduating college that same year I received a phone call offering me a role in a Broadway national touring musical Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, directed and choreographed by Tony Award winner, Andy Blankenbuehler; best known for choreographing the hit musical sensation “Hamilton.” I toured the country, Canada, and Japan right out of school with the show.

I learned that we are capable of accessing great strength from within ourselves. The experience of living on the road right out of school for about a year, performing in a different city almost every night, proved it. The knowledge I gained by seeing how diverse we are as a country, culture by culture and city by city, guided me through every day while constantly being reminded that we all share the same hopes for happiness, connection, meaning and fun filled moments.

Setbacks come. But they too have a purpose. It is our setbacks that provide a chance for the victories to be so real. We hone our craft and refine skills in new ways along the journey which I believe allows us to become stronger: mentally, physically, and spiritually. The biggest lesson I can share is that nothing - no circumstance, no injury, no obstacle - can deter you from what you were meant to do. You have the strength in any situation to defy even your own expectations of what’s possible. It’s amazing what can happen when preparation, passion, and dedication meet opportunity.

I have worked consistently in theatre since graduating college. A year and half ago my dream came true - rehearsing in a Broadway theatre within Times Square in New York City as an original company member of a new large scale musical production. I have spent the last year and half performing across the country in the First National Tour of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s sequel to The Phantom of The Opera, Love Never Dies. Working for and with composer and creator Andrew Lloyd Webber in the US premiere of his newest musical in the ensemble and understudying one of the leading roles was an absolute blast! I made my principal debut as Meg Giry performing for nearly 5,000 people (standing room only) at the legendary Fox Theatre in Atlanta, GA with my loving parents in the audience.

In five years time I can see myself exploring various avenues in the arts through live theatre, TV, and film. I would love to continue my artistic and personal journey wherever life leads - not held down by a plan, but motivated by a passion.

To the students preparing to graduate from Robbinsville High School, I say believe and trust the timing of the big picture. Your timeline will be different than your peers and perhaps differ from your own or your loved ones expectations for you. That’s okay. Be a sponge and constantly be open to learning from those around you. Embrace the doors that close and open before you. It will all lead to where you are suppose to be in order to facilitate your best experiences and growth.

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