Marla Schulz Wins Stuart Fischoff Excellence in Musical Theater Award

by Jacob Coakley

Marla Schulz, winner Stuart Fischoff Excellence in Musical Theater Award for fall 2014Marla Schulz, a junior in the Bachelor of Fine Arts Musical Theater program, won Stuart Fischoff Excellence in Musical Theater Award for fall 2014. The award honors a student in the SIU Department of Theater and School of Music who shows outstanding excellence and exhibits great potential for success in their career.

Marla Schulz receives Stuart Fischoff Excellence in Musical Theater Award Fall 2014

Marla Schulz, a junior in the Bachelor of Fine Arts Musical Theater program, was awarded the Stuart Fischoff Excellence in Musical Theater Award for fall 2014. Established last year by Stuart Fischoff and Rachel Gordon Fischoff the award is given each semester to a student in the SIU Department of Theater and School of Music who shows outstanding excellence and exhibits great potential for success in their career. The award comes with a cash scholarship of $1,000.

Marla Schulz is a multi-talented actress and performer. Born and bred in Fort Worth, Texas, she became interested in musical theater at a children’s summer camp at Casa Manana in Texas. Through the camp, she appeared, at age 6, in the children’s chorus of a touring production of “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat” and was bitten. She decided to pursue musical theater professionally in high school.

Her family is mostly from Venezuela. She describes their gatherings as lively, “filled with food and music.” She celebrates their “contagious energy” and is grateful for their love and support.

In her free time she likes to compose music. Last year she composed a score for a movie musical, “The Sound of Shadows,” which she directed and produced as a thesis project. She enjoys playing the piano. “It's a great way to let out the tensions of the day,” she says. She is also learning to play the violin and guitar and jokes that she may start her own home band.

This past summer she spent six weeks studying at the Collaborative Arts Project 21 (CAP21) conservatory in New York City. “It was an incredible experience,” she says and solidified her choice to target the city as her “choice.”

At SIU she appeared in “Ragtime,” served as assistant to the director of “Curtains” and will be assisting Mr, Ojewuyi on the Pulitzer Prize winning play “Clybourne Park.”

After completing her degree at SIU, she plans to “hopefully” work as a director and/or choreographer for a few years, and then apply to a graduate program. She has her eye on the Musical Theater Directing program at Penn State.

"Marla has a vivid and irresistible presence on stage. We are very pleased that she has won. We will follow her career in musical theater with keen interest and a special smile," said Rachel Gordon Fischoff.