BW student Jailen Josey in Spongebob musical

BW student Jai'len Josey '20 makes her Broadway debut. Ten BW music theatre alumni are also appearing in shows in the acclaimed theatre district.

BW student makes Broadway debut among 10 alumni on Great White Way

December 12, 2017

BW student Jailen Josey in Spongebob musical

JaiLen Josey headshotJai’len Josey ’20 was only nine months old when the hit TV series "SpongeBob SquarePants" premiered. Eighteen years later, she made her Broadway debut originating the role of Pearl Krabs in a vibrant musical about the optimistic sea sponge whose underwater adventures take him to places like the Krusty Krab restaurant and Bikini Bottom Mall. 

For the Atlanta, Georgia, native enrolled in BW’s nationally acclaimed music theatre program, the Dec. 4 premiere of "Spongebob Squarepants, The Broadway Musical" was a dream come true. Dressed in a bold neon pink dress embellished with an overstated "P" on the bodice, Josey belted out the lively "Daddy’s Knows Best" with her father, Mr. Krabs, and the ensemble. It was an unforgettable moment for the 19-year-old, who 11 days earlier performed with the cast as part of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade.

John Kramer headshotAlso making his Broadway debut this fall was John Kramer, a member of the BW music theatre class of 2016. The Portage, Michigan, native joined the ensemble of the six-year running production of "The Book of Mormon," a winner of nine Tony Awards. 

From BW to Broadway

From theatre to theatre in one of the most acclaimed entertainment centers in the world, BW music theatre alumni can be found in both premieres and beloved, long-running shows. Among the current list of BW grads on Broadway are:

Kate Rockwell headshotKate Rockwell ‘06

Rockwell is originating the role of the clueless but likeable Karen in "Mean Girls" on Broadway. Previews for the hilarious, sarcasm-riddled musical, which is based on the book by Tina Fey and movie, begin in March 2018.

Caitlin Houlahan headshotCaitlin Houlahan ’14

Houlahan stars as the anxious but lovable Dawn in the diner-based musical "Waitress." The feel-good, dreams-do-come-true inspired show opened on Broadway in April 2016.

Steel BurkhardtSteel Burkhardt ‘07

Burkhardt is performing as Kassim in the magical and beloved Disney classic "Aladdin." The colorful and exuberant production opened with fanfare on Broadway in 2014.

Kyle Post headshotShannon O'Boyle headshotShannon O'Boyle ’12 and Kyle Post ’06

O'Boyle and Post are performing as Nicola and Angel/ensemble, respectively, in the dazzling Broadway production of the five-year running, boisterous hit "Kinky Boots."

Zach Adkins headshotZach Adkins ‘15

Adkins appears in the ensemble in the enchanting and historic tale of "Anastasia." The captivating musical, which features opulent settings and stunning costumes, previewed on Broadway in March 2017.

Libby Servais headshotLibby Servais ‘08

Servais has rejoined the cast of the long-running Broadway production of "Wicked" as Glinda (standby). Among her credits, she has appeared as Glinda across the nation on both the national tour and in the San Francisco company (Glinda standby). 

Cassie Okenka headshotCassie Okenka ‘08

Okenka is currently performing in the ensemble of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s "School of Rock," which is based on the hit movie about a struggling rock singer and guitarist who disguises himself as a substitute teacher at a prep school. The show opened on Broadway in December 2015.

Colton Ryan headshotColton Ryan ‘17

Ryan recently finished his role as understudy for Evan, Connor and Jared in the critically acclaimed musical "Dear Evan Hansen," a six-time Tony Award-winning show. Ryan, who was part of the original cast when it opened a year ago, made his Broadway debut while still a BW senior.

BW music theatre alumni are also appearing in numerous shows both nationally and internationally, as posted by Buzzfeed. Among its many national recognitions, BW's music theatre program is listed as one of the "Top 10 Colleges for Musical Theater" by Backstage and was named the "Best Undergraduate Theatre Program" in Ohio by Onstage.