AEA Alan Eisenberg Award
DESIREE OAKLEY RECEIVES AEA/ALAN EISENBERG AWARD SCHOLARSHIP
Former AEA Executive Director Alan Eisenberg with this year's AEA/Alan Eisenberg Award Scholarship recipient Desiree Oakley
Desiree Oakley, University of Michigan Class of 2011, was named the recipient of the AEA/Alan Eisenberg Award Scholarship. She is the fifth graduating student to receive the award, which was created by former AEA Executive Director Alan Eisenberg, an alumnus of the school. The award, in the amount of $5,000, is given to a graduating senior in the University's Musical Theater Program. "Receiving this award is one of the biggest blessings in my life. After knowing my summer plans, I wanted to move to the city right away, but made plans to do otherwise since I couldn't afford it. This award is allowing me to move immediately--and to live here for the first few months without the stresses that money can bring. Because of Mr. Eisenberg, I can freely focus on my passion, without the worry of finding a temporary job or scrounging for money. I am undeniably grateful," exclaimed Oakley.
Ms. Oakley performed in her first musical theatre production when she was eight years old and decided to make this a career when she was 16. She found out about the Eisenberg Award when Mr. Eisenberg visited the University of Michigan to talk about AEA.
She was shocked to find out the news that she was this year's recipient. "Mr. Wagner (Brent Wagner) the Chair of our Musical Theatre Department notified me via email that I would be receiving the award, and tears immediately filled my eyes as I read it. I had to ask my roommate to read the email to verify that I, in fact, was reading what I thought it said!"
Oakley explained that her time as a musical theatre major at the University of Michigan changed her life. "This award is the absolute best "first step" into the real world. I am so thankful. And so far, it's more than I could have ever dreamed of." Ms. Oakley can be seen this summer performing "Ariel" in THE LITTLE MERMAID at Music Theatre of Wichita...performances are August 5-7 and 10-14.
Arizona Theatre Service
Diversity on Broadway
Spirit of Diversity
The Actors' Equity/Alan Eisenberg Award was established in 2007 in
recognition of the Mr. Eisenberg's twenty-five years of dedicated
service to AEA as the Union's Executive Director. The $5000 award goes
to a graduating senior from the University of Michigan's Musical Theatre
Department to recognize outstanding talent and career potential. The
winner is selected by Brent Wagner, Chair of the Department.