Jessa Pyette, incoming senior at Havre High School, left today for a four-week summer program at The New York Conservatory for Dramatic Arts.
This is an intensive four-week, acting-based program that is intended to help high school- and college-aged students determine if they would like to go into acting full-time.
Pyette said she heard about the program through Casey Pobran and Stephanie Mclain of the Rocky Mountain Entertainment Agency, who encouraged her to audition in Missoula in late October.
The conservatory holds auditions in 28 locations around the country and one audition in London.
Pyette prepared two pieces to perform for the judges. One piece, an excerpt from “The Diary of Anne Frank,” and another from the play “Nuts” by Tom Topor.
Pyette must have done very well, because she later received word of her acceptance. She was participating in an acting class at Havre High when the call came in.
In addition to her acceptance, she was also told that she received a scholarship from the program that covered nearly half of the tuition.
“I’m terribly excited for her,” said Jessa’s father, Jay Pyette, theatre director at HHS, and artistic director of Montana Actors’ Theatre, “I think it will give her a broader view of what theater really is.”
Jessa Pyette also received a scholarship from MAT, where she has performed for several years. She was even cast as the lead character, Anne, in “The Diary of Anne Frank.”
Another scholarship came from the Dave Hamilton Memorial Arts Endowment, which “really helped,” said Jay Pyette, “The trip may not have been possible without it.”
Pyette became involved in theater at a very young age, which may be a factor in her stage presence and undeniable talent. “I’ve grown up in the theater,” said Jessa Pyette.
“Quite literally,” added her father.
Pyette said that she does not yet know what she will be studying at the conservatory, because there is another audition held when the summer participants arrive. Each student performs a one- to two-minute piece for a faculty panel, and students are placed according to perceived strengths.
She said that she is uncertain of where she will attend college, or what she plans to major in, but she did say, “if the summer goes well, I will probably go into acting.”