Carl Zurhorst, a 2010 graduate from Rumford’s Mountain Valley High School has been selected as one of only 12 actors to attend the one-year International Master of Arts in Professional Acting program at England’s Bristol Old Vic Theatre School starting in September.
Zurhorst has appeared in performances at MVHS, Lewiston-Auburn Community Little Theater and Lakewood Theater. He performed with City Lights North of Farmington and toured with that troupe in France. In 2004, Zurhorst was one of the local actors cast in The 12 Dogs of Christmas when it was filmed in Bethel. Zurhorst also was cast for the 2012 national tour of the musical, Damn Yankees, after auditioning just to gain experience.
Founded by the acclaimed actor, Sir Lawrence Olivier in 1945, Bristol Old Vic Theatre School, or “BOVTS”, has produced many notable performers including Gene Wilder, Daniel Day-Lewis, Patrick Stewart, Jeremy Irons, Samantha Bond and Naomie Harris.
“The honor of being selected to attend Bristol Old Vic is almost beyond belief. This really is a dream coming true. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for me to hone my craft and my passion,” said Zurhorst who auditioned for BOVTS while completing the two-year acting program at The William Esper Studio in New York City and two years of voice and choreography instruction and performances with the Paper Mill Playhouse Broadway Show Choir in New Jersey.
Zurhorst explained it hasn’t been easy funding this dream, “I had counted on using a student loan to attend, but learned there was a recent US Department of Education policy change that made BOVTS ineligible to receive US student loans or financial aid. BOVTS is applying for reinstatement, but it that wouldn’t come in time for this session and, because it’s a conservatory, deferment wasn’t an option.”
Zurhorst, who also works as a bicycle courier and on-line concierge in New York City, didn’t give up. “I started a GoFundMe crowdfunding campaign and looked for other options, and I’m overwhelmed by the support I’m receiving from my family, friends and even strangers. I want to send a huge thank you to everyone who’s supported and helped.”
Zurhorst leaves for England the third week in September but he’ll continue his fundraising efforts to help pay back private loans he received. His GoFundMe page can be found by searching on-line for “carl zurhorst gofundme”.