College of Visual and Performing Arts
George Mason University
George Mason University Mason
George Mason University

Theater Scholarship Recipient Cristina Casais Profile

June 3, 2020

Where are you from?

I was born and raised in Bayonne, NJ.

When do you plan to graduate?

I am currently on track to graduate Spring 2021.

What area are you focusing on?

I am pursuing my BFA in Theater with a concentration in Musical Theater.

What do you want to do after graduating?

My current plans are to continue performing while working towards my Master's Degree in Education. My ultimate goal is to teach theater to the next generation while also pursuing my passion for theater.

What play would you recommend the Friends read?

I would recommend Stage Door by George S. Kaufman and Edna Ferber. It is a great play that details the lives of young actresses during the Great Depression and what becomes of each of them. It is a true love letter to theater, referred to as the "legitimate child" of performing arts while it satirizes Hollywood. 

What difference has this scholarship made for you?

It has made all the difference. After visiting GMU, I fell in love with the school and the theatre program. The scholarship has made attending GMU possible. Without it, my family would not be able to afford the out of state tuition. Attending GMU's theatre program, I have learned a great deal from the wonderful faculty and feel confident in my ability to work professionally once I graduate. It has also provided me with platforms to teach theatre through the TA program and AFYP. These experiences influenced my decision to pursue my Masters in in Education, so that I can continue teaching theatre to future generations.

Also, I am very proud to say that not only am I am the first recipient of the Mack and Paulette Miller scholarship, and I have been fortunate enough to receive the Friends of Theater scholarship more than once. I cannot thank the Friends of Theater enough for their generous donations that help students like myself, afford to go to their dream school.

What made you come to Mason?

When I was applying to colleges, I was researching the top programs of each state. George Mason, immediately caught my attention due to its proximity to DC, campus life, and professional faculty who still work in the field. After my first visit, I knew that George Mason was the school I wanted to go to. I received a personal tour of the theatre school from Interim Director Kevin Murray, and was able to see their production of the "Fantasticks" at the Hylton Performing Arts Center. The cast had a talk-back after the show and when I told them I had recently been accepted into the program, they applauded me.

The generosity I received from both students and faculty, especially the personal touch of Kevin's tour, in addition to their amazing program, made my decision very easy for me. I knew I had to become a Patriot.

What School of Theater Productions have you worked on?

My freshman year I worked as the Light Board operator on the Mason Fringe productions and I was a part of the first Mason Players' Originals. My sophomore year I had the pleasure of being a part of the Originals' in the Fall and in the Spring I was cast as Women #3 as well as the Dance Captain in Lysistrata. This past year I had the honor of being cast as Gertrude in the D.C. premiere of Rags, in the Fall and this Spring I was cast as an understudy for the role of John Colton Sumner in Men on Boats. Unfortunately, Men on Boats, was cancelled due to the pandemic, but I am so proud of all the work the cast and crew had put into this production.

What are you most looking forward to after social distancing ends?

I am most excited to come back to Mason for my senior year! George Mason and the School of Theater have become my home away from home over these past three years and I look forward to finishing this chapter of my life on a high note.

What is your favorite musical?

I have a list of musicals that I love and know every single word to. However, my top two favorites are Phantom of the Opera and Anastasia.

What is your dream role or production to direct, design, or stage manage?

While I have a very long list of shows that I would love to be a part of, one of my dream roles is Belle from Beauty and the Beast. A show that I would love to direct/choreograph would have to be Mamma Mia!

I would like to thank the Friends of Theater for their continuous support and generosity. It has allowed me to attend my dream school and I cannot thank you all enough.

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