062615-mis-ent-broadway-star

Broadway star Eden Espinosa will perform with students in the Next Step Prep program at the MCT Center for the Performing Arts on Wednesday, July 1.

Provided by Ray Garcia

Broadway star Eden Espinosa will grace the MCT Center for the Performing Arts's stage on Wednesday, July 1.

Espinosa is best known for her role as the evil witch Elphaba in the musical “Wicked,” as well as her parts in “Brooklyn the Musical” and “Rent.”

MCT's Greg Boris said Espinosa is visiting as a guest artist for Next Step Prep, a summer musical theater program for high schoolers.

Next Step Prep students will open for Espinosa before she performs an hourlong concert. The students will then join her on stage for the finale.

“We have a lot of female students, so we really wanted a strong female,” said Boris, managing director of the program.

Espinosa said she has a passion for teaching and emphasizes the importance of embracing individuality.

“Just be the most authentic version of yourself. That’s what you need to bring to the table,” she said.

She plans to arrive a day before the performance and hold a series of classes for the students afterward.

Growing up in Southern California, Espinosa spent much of her time in theater classes.

“Performing has always a part of who I am, so it was just a natural thing to move into,” she said.

In addition to being a distinguished Broadway performer, Espinosa released a full-length album, “Look Around,” in 2012. She has begun work on a second album that she expects to be finished in the fall of 2016.

And although Espinosa has dabbled in television – she's been featured in a number of Adult Swim’s TV shows, including "Robot Chicken" and "Titan Maximum" – that has always come second to theater, she said.

Her performance at MCT begins at 7:30 p.m., with doors opening at 7. Tickets cost $25, and can be purchased at the MCT box office, by calling 728-7529 or by visiting mctinc.secure.force.com/ticket/#details_a0Sj00000022lBEEAY.

All proceeds from the performance will go to the Next Step Prep scholarship fund. Other Next Step Prep guest artists this summer include Andy Taylor, Suzanne Carey and Erin Ortman.

For more information about the program, visit mctinc.org/In_Missoula/Next_Step_Prep.

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