Carolina Sanchez ’14

Toured nationally with “West Side Story”
Major: Music Theatre

Rider molded me into everything I am! My professors pushed me when I needed to be pushed. They set me up for success.

The Proof Is In Our People

Why Carolina Chose Rider's Westminster College of the Arts

Carolina decided to come to Rider from her home in Florida after visiting the university website and watching YouTube videos about its performing arts program. “When I saw the talent, I knew I wanted to be part of it,” says Carolina. “I knew alumni, like Russell Fischer in ‘Jersey Boys, were performing on television and on stage. I wanted the education they got.”

Rider's Impact on Carolina's Success

“Rider molded me into everything I am! I came here not knowing how to sing: Mariann Cook taught me how to use my voice. Robin Lewis taught me to dance and to move,” Carolina says.

Appearing in Rider productions provided valuable hands-on experience. Faculty connections helped open doors to auditions and open calls, including the opportunity of a lifetime: a national tour with “West Side Story” as Rosalia and understudy for Maria. Says Carolina, “It was exhausting and beautiful, and I loved it.”

Continued Success

At the end of the 2012-13 national tour, Carolina was offered another contract, but turned it down. Mariann Cook (an established professional actress and singer) encouraged me to come back and finish my degree. That’s the way Rider is … everyone there cares about me and my future. And I know they will always be there for me.”

Carolina signed with the Wolf Talent Group in New York (the same agent who represents her professor, Robin Lewis, a Broadway veteran). After graduating from Rider in May 2014, she moved to New York City where she landed roles in two professional workshop performances of “Murder at the Gates,” a new musical by Tony Award-winning writer Steven Sater (“Spring Awakening”) — which made her eligible for her Actor’s Equity Card. In Spring 2015, she will perform in the Off-Broadway production of “Iowa” at Playwrights Horizons Theater. "It’s a dream come true!" says Carolina.

  • 20+10+2
    While attending Rider, Carolina participated in 20 professional auditions with 10 callbacks, plus two open call auditions.

  • 255
    The number of times Carolina performed in the national tour of “West Side Story” — 205 times as Rosalia, 50 times as the Maria understudy.

Browse Alumni Stories

Chelsea Bradshaw Success Story
Chelsea Bradshaw ’12
Kindergarten Teacher at Hopewell Elementary
Majors: Elementary Education, Psychology
Jad Nasrini Success Story
Jad Nasrini ’14
Clinical Research Assistant, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania
Majors: Behavioral Neuroscience, Psychology
Carolina Sanchez Success Story
Carolina Sanchez ’14
Toured nationally with “West Side Story”
Major: Music Theatre
John Gratton Success Story
John Gratton ’11
Audio Engineer and Music Producer, The Cutting Room Studios
Major: Music
Katie Zeck Success Story
Katie Zeck ’14
Third Grade Teacher at Logan Elementary School
Majors: Elementary Education, Journalism

All my experiences allowed me to grown into something I never thought I’d be…. Everything is going in the right direction because of Rider.

Carolina Sanchez ’14
Music Theatre