Mauricio Pita-Goncalves, a 2009 graduate of the visual and performing arts theatre and dance program at Naugatuck Valley Community College, and former vice-president of the College’s Student Government Association, was accepted into Yale University's 2009 Summer Conservatory for Actors at the Yale School of Drama.
The highly selective program chooses only 30 students out of thousands of applicants worldwide. The conservatory only selects academically and artistically strong students who are willing to explore new concepts in a challenging environment by working with Yale alumni, faculty and theatre professionals as well as in workshops at the O'Neill Theatre Center and one-on-one classwork.
“Before Mauricio became a student of mine, I saw him in theatre productions at our College,” said Elena Rusnak, professor of English and dance at Naugatuck Valley Community College. “I was drawn to this remarkable young man because he filled the stage with energy, passion and focus. His seriousness of purpose is always recognizable and his determination unsurpassed by any student I have had in my long teaching career.”
The program is an intensive conservatory based on the principles of Stanislavski and focuses on the personal and professional growth of its participants. The conservatory consists of six different elements of acting which include: play analysis, acting class, voice and speech, improvisation and mask, movement and scene study. Patrick Diamond, director of the Yale Summer Conservatory for Actors, has worked extensively on Broadway, in Italy and in the U.S.
Mauricio has received awards including Outstanding Theatre Artist: Student of the Year 2007-08, the Who’s Who Among American Junior College Students, the Billie Mae Collier Scholarship for the Performing Arts – Voice and is a member of the Phi Theta Kappa and National Scholars honor societies. He has worked extensively as an actor with the New Zenith Theatre, the Warner Theater in Torrington, Connecticut and the Terpsichorean Dance Ensemble. He appeared in the summer of 2008 at the New York International Fringe Festival’s New York premiere of Symphony Pastorale and Fugue Series by Los Angeles playwright Robert Barnett. Following his Yale work, Mauricio will attend Marymount Manhattan College as a drama major in fall 2009.