January 10, 2022

MSM Spotlight: Zane Zapata
(BM ’22) prepares for the title role in Sunday in the Park with George (March 25 to 27, 2022)

Zane Zapata is a senior in the Musical Theatre program at MSM. This March 25 to 27, he will perform the title role of George in Stephen Sondheim’s beloved Sunday in the Park with George. 

Zane talks about his preparation for the role, his experience at MSM, and what he’s most looking forward to in 2022.

Zane Zapata (Center) (BM '22) in Wild Party, February 2020

Tell us a little about yourself!

Zane: I am a senior at Manhattan School of Music and originally from Princeton, NJ. I moved to Princeton from Florida when I was 11 to attend the American Boychoir School and started my music journey. I learned a great deal from my teachers there as well as my time in choir at Princeton High School. I’m the proud son of two army vets and am thankful for their endless support. I couldn’t be happier at MSM and have learned priceless lessons. Last year, I played Aldolpho in our production of The Drowsy Chaperone and had a blast. Even though it was all on film due to COVID-19, I had the best time with it and will never forget that experience.

It’s 2022 — what are you most excited for this year?

Zane: Sunday in the Park with George! I can’t wait to start the rehearsal process and get to work on this beautiful material. I’m also eager to put my foot in the door and start auditioning. MSM has prepared me well, and I feel confident to go into these casting calls with the skills and knowledge I’ve attained over the past four years.

Congratulations on being cast as George in Sunday in the Park with George. As one of the most beloved Sondheim characters, how are you preparing for this iconic role?

Zane: Thank you! It’s a privilege to be a part of this show and a dream come true. This past semester I did an independent study with my incredibly gracious teacher, Mana Allen. We read James Lapine’s new book Putting it Together, which explores how Sunday in the Park with George was created… it’s fascinating! Also, I took my first ever art class where I attempted to sketch a model. No one told me that the open sketch classes have nude models, so I was a bit shocked, to say the least.

“The faculty, community, and location of MSM are truly incomparable. Also, who wouldn’t want to go to a school that’s a
15-minute subway ride from BROADWAY?!”

Which song from Sunday in the Park with George would you add to the soundtrack of your life and why?

Zane: That’s a tough one… I’d say “Move On.” Powerful doesn’t even begin to describe this song. I think its message is one that artists of any kind can relate to. Making art is a wonderful but taxing process that can have little payoff… but we as artists must persevere and learn how to recover from failure. It’s a song that people can come back to throughout life when feeling stuck or lost with their art. The messages of this show are more relevant than ever after recovering from an ongoing pandemic. We need art more than ever!

What has been the most valuable thing you’ve learned at Manhattan School of Music? 

Zane: The most important word in the musical theatre dictionary is BUT! Thank you David Loud. Also, that we’re never going to feel 100% when we’re performing/auditioning… but we have to roll with the punches and learn how to cope with whatever obstacles are in the way.

Zane Zapata (BM ’22) in the 2018 Freshman Hello!

What projects are you working on outside of school? What’s next for you? 

Zane: Auditioning 24/7! I want to expand my resume with more TV and film experience, too. Before the pandemic, I did some extra work for Steven Speilberg’s film, West Side Story, and just being on the set in the background taught me many valuable lessons.

What advice do you have for anyone interested in the Musical Theatre Program? 

Zane: Trust yourself, and BE yourself when you’re auditioning. Do the preparation, and the work will be evident. If you’re certain that theatre is your passion, this program will not disappoint you. The faculty, community, and location of MSM are truly incomparable. Also, who wouldn’t want to go to a school that’s a 15-minute subway ride from BROADWAY?! One more piece of advice about auditioning: don’t try to replicate someone else’s sound, they want to hear your own voice! At least I know MSM does.

Zane Zapata (Left) (BM '22) in Wild Party, February 2020

Zane Zapata (Left) (BM '22) in Wild Party, February 2020

MSM Musical Theatre Presents:
Sunday in the Park with George

MAR 25 | FRI
7:30 PM

MAR 26 | SAT
2:30 & 7:30 PM

MAR 27 | SUN
2:30 PM

MSM Musical Theatre
Liza Gennaro
, Associate Dean and Director

Don Stephenson, Director
David Loud, Music Director


Manhattan School of Music
Neidorff-Karpati Hall
130 Claremont Ave
New York, NY 10027

Presentation of proof of vaccination and i.d. is required. Masks must be worn at all times inside the MSM building 


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