The spotlight shines on NWSA as students showcase artistry in motion with Rising Stars

on .

Rising Stars Parade photo of actors.New World School of the Arts, South Florida’s premier arts conservatory located in downtown Miami, presents its annual signature showcase Rising Stars, a professionally staged, energy packed, one-of-a-kind performance. Presented by the extraordinary students of the NWSA high school and college programs, the showcase begins at the New World Gallery with a juried visual arts show featuring impressive student artworks. The exhibition, as diverse as the school population, includes painting, drawing, design, sculpture, digital media and installations. The evening continues just a few blocks away at the historic Olympia Theater with a pre-performance VIP Reception to welcome guests to this artistic landmark. Following the reception, the performance showcases dance, music, and theater excerpts from works performed during the school year.

March 19 – April 24
Opening Reception: March 19, 5:00 PM – 7:00 PM
25 NE 2 Street, downtown Miami, FL 33132
Free and open to the public
Information at 305-237-3620
Free event thumbnail icon.

March 19 at 7:30 PM
174 E. Flagler Street, downtown Miami, FL 33132
Performance Tickets: $40, $30, $20
Please visit: or
Information at 305-237-3135
Buy now thumbnail icon.

March 19 at 6:00 PM
174 E. Flagler Street, downtown Miami, FL 33132
VIP Reception and Performance Tickets: $125 – $250 per person
For tickets to the VIP Reception and Performance, please call: 305-237-3502
Buynow VIP thumbnail icon.

Rising Stars Exhibition: The Rising Stars Exhibition, The Condition of Being Oneself, kicks off the showcase featuring a wide range of artwork created by the college and high school students of the prestigious New World School of the Arts in downtown Miami. The themes of this show are the self, the uniqueness of every person, and the viewpoint of the artist. In approaching their work for this exhibition, visual arts students focused on something that they bring to their work that is particular to themselves, or the way in which they see the world. Whether it is a painting, a sculpture, a photograph, a film or a design, it is the artist’s singular vision and being that serves as inspiration to make the work unique.

Rising Stars Performance: Just a few blocks away, at the historic Olympia Theater, NWSA continues an evening of artistic showings with excerpts of renowned works in dance, music and theater that will capture the artistic heart and soul of the audience. Presenting an excerpt from Paul Taylor’s dynamic masterpiece work, Cloven Kingdom, performed by NWSA high school dancers Rush Carson (YoungArts Finalist), Julian Sanchez, Michael Lerma, and Jhonatan Valdes. This men’s quartet is athletic, witty, and powerful. Cloven Kingdom, set to the music of Arcangelo Corelli along with driving percussion, was first performed in 1976. NY Times critic Anna Kisselgoff said, “The choreography for Cloven Kingdom is breathlessly virtuosity – keeping his dancers on the move, Mr. Taylor has created some of the most difficult dancing around.” Robert Battle’s soaring work, Channels, will be performed by the NWSA college dancers. This rich and lyrical work is set to a score of Brahms lieder, and it is both powerful and uplifting. The New York Times critic Roslyn Sulcas described Channels as “a lyrical, fast-flowing dance” with “lush amplitude and expansive ardor.” Robert Battle, an alumnus of New World School of the Arts, currently serves as the Artistic Director of the world-famous Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater Company. Jennifer Archibald has created a dramatic and exciting new work – as yet untitled – for select NWSA college dancers. Ms. Archibald is the Artistic Director of the Arch Dance Company and has created works for numerous companies and programs including Ailey II, the Atlanta Ballet, Kansas City Ballet and many more. She is currently a faculty member at Barnard College/Columbia University and also at the Yale School of Drama.

Meanwhile, the NWSA music division has beautifully crafted a musically inclusive evening highlighting the different disciplines of the program. Led by Maestro Alfred Gershfeld, the NWSA Symphony Orchestra will showcase the high school and college music students while the Jazz Ensemble, directed by Jim Gasior, will enthuse the hall with the rousing sounds of jazz. The audience should expect exhilarating performances from NWSA’s high school choir, under the direction of Alan Denning, as well as from the wind ensemble, under the direction of Brent Mounger. The NWSA High School jazz Ensemble ill welcome the second half of the program with A Tone Parallel to Harlem by the Duke Ellington. Originally commissioned by conductor Arturo Toscannini in 1950, the work was actually directed by Ellington himself and recorded for his Ellington Uptown album and given its live premiere at a benefit concert at the Metropolitan Opera House in 1951 and performed by symphony orchestra in Carnegie Hall in 1955. Since then, major symphony orchestras around the world have performed and recorded the work, bringing incredible attention to this work. Performing Dmitri Shostakovich’s Festive Overture, the NWSA Symphony Orchestra, under the baton of Maestro Gershfeld, will offer this fast-paced, energetic work. Written in a matter of days at the request of Bolshoi theater conductor Vassili Nebolsin in 1947, based on Glinka’s Ruslan and Ludmilla overture, the piece invites all the members of the orchestra to play with vigor and excitement beginning with a grand brass fanfare. Continuing the evening will be the NWSA Choir performing Dan Forrest’s Entreat Me Not to Leave You. A moving work with a powerful message based on Ruth’s pleas from Scripture, is sung a cappella and highlights the ensembles pure sound. The wind ensemble will perform John Mackey’s exhilarating symphony for band, Wine-Dark Sea (2014), based on Greek heroic poem, The Odyssey, tells the musical tale of Odysseus and his voyages through war, sacrifice, and the epic consequences of the hubris as Zeus strikes him down. Odysseus must travel through pain and anguish against time and the “gauntlet beyond the edge of the world” as the Mackey describes the section, besieged by the dead to return home! This spectacular work for wind ensemble will keep you on the edge of your seat from the first sounds until the dramatic finale.

With scenes from award-winning musicals including the heartwarming Side Show, with book and lyrics by Bill Russell and music by Henry Krieger, NWSA faculty member Matthew Buffalo directs the cast of high school theater students in a story of love beyond the superficial. “On the surface, Side Show can be seen as a musical about the love of two sisters and the fascinating world of the freak shows of the past. After taking a closer look at the core of the musical, you will find a beautiful story of acceptance,” said the director about the play that brought to the stage the remarkable lives of entertainers and conjoined twins Daisy and Violet Hilton. An excerpt from the Broadway musical Parade will display the talent of the college students, under the direction of new NWSA theater faculty member Sam Osheroff, in the all too relevant 1913 story of Leo Frank. With book by Alfred Uhry, and music and lyrics by Jason Robert Brown, this timeless musical will take the audience back to a time of racial and cultural divide while helping an unlikely marriage find its way back to love. Sprinkled throughout the program, the graduating college theater students will present vibrant and captivating short monologues. From drag queens to beauty queens, and from Jackson Pollock to Russian nesting dolls, these captivating excerpts are sure to surprise and delight Rising Stars enthusiasts of all ages… as per tradition!

NWSA Rising Stars Alumni Award: New World School of the Arts will recognize NWSA Theater alumnus Michael Aronov, class of 1994. Michael Aronov is a Tony Award-winning actor that has made a name for himself by pushing the boundaries on stage and screen. In film, he is most known for his role as Chovka, the Chechen warlord and head gangster opposite Tom Hardy and James Gandolfini in The Drop. Recently the actor portrayed a real-life Mossad Nazi hunter, going toe-to-toe with Oscar Isaac and Ben Kingsley in the MGM feature Operation Finale. Earlier in his career Michael earned respect for his unique level of immersion into a role as he lost nearly fifty pounds to reflect the authentic downfall of Sacco Valenzia, a charismatic and boundless addict in the Sundance Film Festival favorite and Independent Spirit Award nominated film - Lbs. For his upcoming screen work, Aronov will soon be seen in the feature film Dreamland, starring Gary Oldman. On television Michael was recently the series lead alongside Carla Gugino, playing troubled undercover cop Jack Dillon in the HBO/Cinemax drama Jett. He spent three seasons on the award-winning series The Americans, playing a physicist that is torn from his family and exiled as a political prisoner. Starting their fifth season, Aronov was added to the cast of The Blacklist, as fast-talking lovable hustler, Smokey Putnum. Previously Michael played undercover narcotics officer Danny Raden - starring apposite Larenz Tate in BET's original pilot/film Gun Hill. He portrayed Michael Cahill in Person of Interest, Danny Lambros on The Good Wife, cocksure Mafia protege Ricky Vintano on Blue Bloods, billionaire Brice Hunter on Without a Trace, and avenging father and Italian royalty, Count Vincent of Naples in Reign. Other notable recurring roles include Madam Secretary, right had man to John Malkovich in Showtime’s Billions, and The Closer - where Aronov portrayed concealed war criminal Armand Marku, pitting him head-to-head with Kyra Sedgwick. Michael will later be seen recurring on the new Netflix series Hit and Run. Aronov received the "Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Play" for his work in the Broadway production of Oslo. He was also honored with the "Lucille Lortel Award", the "Obie Award", and received "Drama Desk Award" and "Outer Critics Circle Award" nominations for originating the role in the gripping political thriller. Prior to that the actor originated the role of Paul in Lyle Kessler's First Born at The Actors Studio in New York. He won "The Elliot Norton Award - Best Actor", for originating the lead role in Theresa Rebeck's Mauritius. On Broadway he had also appeared as Siggie, in the Tony-nominated revival of Golden Boy, directed by Bartlett Sher. Previously he worked with Sher and Lincoln Center yet again, playing Gromov, in the American premiere of Blood and Gifts. To sold-out houses at the 78th Street Theatre Lab and later the Harold Clurman theatre in New York, Michael gave audiences a wild run playing six polarities in his solo-show Manigma. In Europe, Aronov portrayed Stanley Kowalski in the classic A Streetcar Named Desire. The actor also took on Jean in Miss Julie at the Cherry Lane Theatre, Dionysus in The Bacchae 2.1, and Edgar in an award-winning production of King Lear.

About NWSA: Founded by the Florida Legislature more than three decades ago as a center of excellence, New World School of the Arts has educated, trained, and cultivated a generation of artists who have become the artistic leaders of the future. Graduates from the high school and college programs of NWSA are award-winning artists, playwrights and performers with Academy, Emmy, Tony, Grammy and Bessie Awards. They are influential painters, sculptors and graphic designers, and their work thrives in museums and galleries, as well as on stages and concert halls around the globe. Our alumni are a source of inspiration to young artists from all walks of life in our community and in our state, and their success is a testament of the possibilities that emerge when the right blend of support and resources are engaged.

A Florida center of excellence in the visual and performing arts, New World School of the Arts is an educational partnership of Miami-Dade County Public Schools, Miami Dade College and the University of Florida. NWSA provides a comprehensive program of artistic, creative, and academic development through a curriculum that reflects our community and the rich multicultural state of Florida. Through our partners NWSA confers the high school diploma, Associate of Arts degree, and Bachelor of Fine Arts and Bachelor of Music degrees in programs accredited by the National Association of Schools of Dance, Music, Theater and Art & Design. New World School of the Arts' rigorous eight-year curriculum and conservatory-style teaching has empowered students in our community and our nation to become leaders in the arts for more than 30 years.

Providing access is one of New World School of the Arts most important missions. Blind to academic standing at the onset, NWSA’s acceptance policy is based solely on artistic talent. This allows students from all backgrounds, ethnicities and socioeconomic status to compete for their spot in the school’s coveted arts programs based on their individual talent. Once accepted, students are expected to achieve both academically and artistically. Earning respected national merit and leadership-based scholarships such as the Gates Millennium Scholarship, Posse Foundation Scholar, and Presidential Scholar in the Arts, NWSA students have demonstrated over the years that a rigorous arts curriculum not only helps foster their passion and create the next generation or artists, but it also helps students engage and achieve excellence in any academic discipline. Information about New World School of the Arts at 305-237-3135 or at