Reporter: Mark Kelly l Videographer: Dan Heffner
Lynchburg, VA - Breaking into theatre, music and dance isn't for the faint of heart. For many, it's a tough business to land a job. But a new nonprofit Liberty University launched is making a theatre career more than a pie in the sky dream for its students.
Walk inside Liberty's Tower Theatre, and it feels like a professional Broadway stage. And now it's equipped with a professional program for LU students like Caleb Hughes.
"That first step toward that professional life," said Hughes.
Caleb Hughes plays Peter Pan in the current production. He was thrilled when LU announced they were elevating their theatre program to new heights, launching the Alluvion Stage Company - a nonprofit that gives LU theatre students real-world stage experience.
"It has been a huge success so far," said Cooper.
Linda Nell Cooper started Alluvion. She says having a nonprofit lets LU go beyond what a traditional college student theatre department can produce. A nonprofit means better financing, hiring professional actors and having them work alongside LU students.
"They are not considered students when they are in this show. They are considered professional actors. So they are on contract, they are on salary. They receive everything that the other professional actors do," said Cooper.
"This is a really nice kind of look in to what that's going to be like. What to expect as far as rehearsals and show expectations," said Hughes.
And in the theatre world, where everyone's looking for their big break, this program gives these talented students a leg up.
"Especially coming out of college, to have professional credit at the top of the list - that really helps," said Hughes.
"Peter Pan" is the Alluvion stage company's current show. It is running right for the next couple weekends. The first weekend saw sold out shows. For ticket information, click here.