Published On: Tue, Nov 28th, 2023

Broadway Star Headlines FAU C.A.S.T. PartyCelebrating Arts and Culture

Marc Kudisch

Boca Raton, FL – Florida Atlantic University alumnus and Broadway and television star Marc Kudisch ’88 will headline the fourth annual Culture, Arts and Society Today (C.A.S.T.) Party hosted by FAU’s Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters. The event will take place on Monday, Feb. 19, 2024 from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Boca Raton Marriott at Boca Center, 5150 Town Center Circle, Boca Raton, to celebrate the cultivation of arts and letters on campus and in the community.

Guests of this “friend-, fan- and fundraiser” for student scholarships in the college will enjoy cocktails, fine food, and live musical theater numbers with three-time Tony Award nominee Kudisch, who recently starred in his 15th Broadway show.

Other entertainment will include the FAU Jazz Band, Phil Hinton on piano, Juan Peña (FAU ’16) on guitar, Ryan Hutchings and Mitchell Hutchings with musical theatre, visual arts pop-ups, and dancing to live pop music from FAU’s own commercial music band.

Kudisch, whose own career path started with honing his theater skills as a scholarship student in the Schmidt College of Arts and Letters, has been seen on and off Broadway, as well as in modern opera, on television, and in film for the past 30 years, most recently as a co-star in “Girl From The North Country” at The Belasco Theatre. He has been nominated for a Tony Award for his role as Trevor Graydon in “Thoroughly Modern Millie;” Baron Bomburst in “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang;” and Franklin Hart in “9 to 5.” Opera credits include Carl Magnus in “A Little Night Music” for NYCOpera/LA Opera, The Pirate King in “Pirates of Penzance” for NYCOpera, and more. Television/film credits include Dr Gus on “Billions” (Showtime); Ty Rathbone on “The Tick” (Amazon); Billy Kastner on “Late Night” (Amazon); and Roger Wade on “Mindhunter” (Netflix). 

The 2024 CAST Party also will commemorate the 30th anniversary of the naming of the Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters by honoring the legacy of Schmidt and the Schmidt Family Foundation.  In addition, Myrna Gordon Skurnick will be honored for her contributions to the arts in South Florida and BrandStar will be recognized for its generous gift to transform the former FAU Studio II Theater into BrandStar Studios at FAU.

In 1993, FAU commemorated the transformational gift made by Charles E. Schmidt and the Schmidt Family Foundation in naming the college after his late wife, Dorothy F. Schmidt. A gracious patron of the arts, she devoted much of her later life to promoting FAU as a center of academic excellence and a cultural resource for the community. The arts and humanities, the foundation of all learning, grew and developed at FAU through her dedication and inspiration.

“My mother would have been proud to recognize this milestone,” said Dick Schmidt, son of Dorothy and Charles Schmidt. “She dedicated a good portion of her life to the arts and in support of scholarships for hundreds of students. She knew the importance of the arts and education, and she made it her mission to make both more widely available.”

Corporate honoree BrandStar recently installed state-of-the-art industry production technology that will especially enrich students studying multimedia production, broadcast journalism, short film and video, and digital production. Students in commercial music, theater, political science, as well as students outside of the college will also benefit from this advanced technology. BrandStar is a multi-faceted marketing agency based in Fort Lauderdale, specializing in technology innovation, television production, media strategy and integrated marketing. The company was founded by Mark Alfieri, founder and chief executive officer, and Doug Campbell, co-founder and chief revenue officer.

Chairpersons for the CAST Party evening are Melanie Cabot, chair of the Dean’s Advisory Board, and members Maurice D. Plough and Beth K. Schwartz. CAST host committee members include Alisa Cohen, Nancy Dershaw, Silvana Halperin, Andrea J. Karsch, Bonnie and Jon Kaye, Deborah L. Kull, Jo-Ann H. Maynard and Linda Satz. Sponsors to date are the Schmidt Family Foundation, the Barry and Silvana Halperin Foundation, Inc., Arthur Gutterman, the Mithun Family Foundation, Margie and Maurice D. Plough, Melanie Cabot, Beth K. Schwartz, Kaye Communications PR & Marketing, Myrna Gordon Skurnick, Howard and Judy Weiner, Alisa and Dr. Richard Cohen, Bonnie Halperin and family, and Sally and Dick O’Loughlin. The Boca Raton Observer is the exclusive media sponsor.

All proceeds from the event will benefit student scholarships for the Schmidt College of Arts and Letters. The college houses 21 academic programs including the School of the Arts, along with humanities degrees, social science degrees, and the areas of communication and architecture. The college also houses the Center for Peace, Justice and Human Rights; the Center for the Future Mind; Women, Gender & Sexuality Studies; Global Studies; Jewish Studies; among others.

Tickets are $250 per person until Saturday, Dec. 31; and $300 per person thereafter. To purchase tickets, visit fauf.fau.edu/2024cast or contact Daniela Andrade at 561-297-2337.

Sponsorships are available at many levels. For more information, contact Daniela Andrade at [email protected] or 561-297-2337.  For more information about the CAST Party, visit www.fau.edu/cast-party. For more information about Marc Kudisch, visit marckudisch.net.

Florida Atlantic University, established in 1961, officially opened its doors in 1964 as the fifth public university in Florida. Today, the University, with an annual economic impact of $6.3 billion, serves more than 30,000 undergraduate and graduate students at sites throughout its six-county service region in southeast Florida. FAU’s world-class teaching and research faculty serves students through 10 colleges: the Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters, the College of Business, the College for Design and Social Inquiry, the College of Education, the College of Engineering and Computer Science, the Graduate College, the Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College, the Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine, the Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing and the Charles E. Schmidt College of Science. FAU is ranked as a High Research Activity institution by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. The University is placing special focus on the rapid development of critical areas that form the basis of its strategic plan: Healthy aging, biotech, coastal and marine issues, neuroscience, regenerative medicine, informatics, lifespan and the environment. These areas provide opportunities for faculty and students to build upon FAU’s existing strengths in research and scholarship. For more information, visit www.fau.edu.

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