HAMILTON star Phillipa Soo brings more than music, with a student master class & support for state-wide arts recovery

HAMILTON star Phillipa Soo brings more than music, with a student master class & support for state-wide arts recovery

Photo: JJ Geiger

She has been praised as "luminous" by The New York Times. Tony-nominated and Grammy-winning singer & actress Phillipa Soo now brings more than just her presence and her music to Rowan University when she appears in a virtual concert on April 16 at 8:00 p.m. 

Headlining the 20|21 Marie Rader Presenting Series, the engagement gives back to the community in multiple ways, beyond being an evening of top-notch entertainment. Soo, star of the Broadway and filmed productions of the smash hit musical Hamilton, will connect with Rowan students in conjunction with her appearance, while a large portion of proceeds from the concert benefit the New Jersey Arts and Culture Recovery Fund (NJACRF), formed to provide relief to a sector devastated by the pandemic. 

"In addition to the public performance that Rowan students can access free of charge, this is also a wonderful opportunity for our students to participate in a virtual masterclass," said Debbie Shapiro, Director of Community Engagement and Presenting for the College of Performing Arts. "Having a renowned, yet relatable, artist like Phillipa mentor our students is a valuable experience they will never forget."

Soo, whose father is a New Jersey native, reflected on the importance of bringing aid to another of the many communities in need as a result of the pandemic: the state’s artists and arts organizations. 

"Among the many things we have learned this year, one is that we cannot take for granted the people and spaces that give us the opportunity to gather in a room, have a shared experience and go on a journey together, to find healing together," she said. "Without help, many of these theaters might close, so I am proud that proceeds from my Rowan performance will help support the New Jersey performing arts community."

Best known for originating the role of Eliza Schuyler Hamilton in Hamilton, a performance that garnered numerous industry awards and a Tony nomination, Soo can currently be seen in the film version of Hamilton (on Disney+) and heard voicing a lead role in Netflix’s animated film Over the Moon. She can also be seen in Sony’s The Broken Hearts Gallery and in Disney+’s The One and Only Ivan

She will next be seen in Hulu’s upcoming drama series Dopesick, based on the bestselling book of the same name by Beth Macy, and in Spectrum Originals’ upcoming series The Second Wave, opposite Audra McDonald, Taylor Schilling, and Steven Pasquale. She was previously a series regular on CBS's The Code and featured in NBC's Smash

On stage, Soo co-starred on Broadway in The Parisian Woman, as well as playing the title role in the Broadway musical Amelie. She also originated the role of Natasha Rostova in Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812. She is a graduate of the Juilliard School Drama Division. 

NJACRF, hosted by the Princeton Area Community Foundation, was created by a coalition of New Jersey funders whose shared purpose is to ensure a coordinated approach to providing financial support that will catalyze a statewide recovery and bring resilience to the cultural community. 

"When we learned that the New Jersey Arts and Culture Recovery Fund was formed to support the most vulnerable during the pandemic and would be prioritizing BIPOC-led and -serving organizations and individual artists who have been hit hard in the last year, the decision was easy," Shapiro noted. "We felt it was our responsibility, as an institution that could help, to step up."

Tickets for the Phillipa Soo livestream performance are $40 for the general public, $30 for Rowan employees and alumni, and FREE for Rowan students. Tickets for the Exclusive VIP Q&A are $60 for the general public and $25.00 for Rowan students. Tickets can be purchased at go.rowan.edu/phillipasoo

The Marie Rader Presenting Series at Rowan University brings exceptional artists to campus, enriching the university community and the Southern New Jersey region through expanded performing arts programming, bolstering a robust academic program in dance, music, and theatre. The series is made possible in part through generous support from the Henry M. Rowan Family Foundation, via the Marie F. Rader Memorial Fund. Programming is also made possible by funds from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts.