TEWKSBURY — Scott Mazzapica is a familiar face to many who’ve enjoyed his performances in Tewksbury school’s theater productions over the years.
“I’ve been interested in theatre since the Wynn,” said Mazzapica, a 2018 Tewksbury Memorial High School graduate, during a recent telephone interview with the Town Crier.
Mazzapica, now a junior at the University of Hartford’s Hartt School’s theatre division, is majoring in actor training with a minor in cinema. He’s performed in cabaret, worked with a Salem theatre company as Young Scrooge, and appeared in a host of other performances both in and out of school.
While pursuing his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree, Mazzapica reflected on the process he undertook to get to U of H.
“I had researched the college application process for those interested in theatre while I was working on my senior project at TMHS,” Mazzapica shared.
The Senior Project is an off-campus experience replacing the fourth quarter of a student’s senior year. The project, as described on the TMHS website, provides eligible seniors with the opportunity to utilize and apply 21st century skills in a real world setting.
Students may pursue an externship with businesses or professional organizations, a community service project, or complete a research paper or project. Since Mazzapica, through his own college application process, discovered there was no guidebook for applicants specifically interested in theatre programs, he evaluated four different college programs and tried to think of every angle and every question that a student might have during the application process.
He then addressed these topics in his project. His hope was that prospective college students could use his information as a roadmap for the college application process, specifically geared toward those wishing to major in the theatre arts.
“There didn’t seem to be one place I could go to for information,” said Mazzapica.
Mazzapica credits his TMHS teacher Heather Ware for her assistance as his project advisor.
Of course, taking a senior project and turning it into a published book is another whole level of commitment, and it was a big step for Mazzapica. He felt his research was really worthy of sharing and set about figuring out how to bring the book to reality. Through a chance encounter his mother had at a local restaurant, he was connected with a publishing company.
Mary Mazzapica, proud of her son’s work, was mentioning her son’s manuscript and the representative, who worked with Page Publishing, gave her his card. Fast forward and Mazzapica has done edits, worked with a publishing representative, and now has the book available for purchase on Amazon and Barnes and Noble websites. An eBook version is also in the works so that the guide may be downloaded via Kindle, iTunes, etc.
While the range of options in a theatre major is vast, including areas such as acting, producing, music or set design, Mazzapica’s books help readers decipher majors, find a school that’s the right fit, how to find audition material and even how to make travel plans and schedule auditions.
Mazzapica’s book jacket reads: “With the proper education, any hardworking student can do anything they set their mind to.”
Mazzapica hopes high school students, guidance counselors, drama clubs, drama coaches and libraries use his book as a resource for pursuing the arts in higher education.
Mazzapica, hopes to move to Los Angeles after graduation and “audition, audition, audition,” he said.
While at school, productions have had to shift to an online format.
“We have practice each night by Zoom and do readings with our acting partners while the director/instructor oversees the virtual rehearsal. We’re going to be presenting our first production of the semester next week, streaming live for students and family.”
While it’s a bit different, Mazzapica is hopeful to get back on the stage soon.
“I just enjoy bringing stories to people and I look forward to being able to do that in person again soon.”
Mazzapica’s book is titled “A High Schooler’s Guide to College Performing Arts” by Page Publishing.