Maxime Prissert ’20 to compete in national music theater competition

Maxime Prissert, a music theatre major from Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., will compete in the National Society of Arts and Letters competition this May

Maxime Prissert ’20 recently won first place in a statewide music theater competition in Florida and will compete in the national competition in May.

Maxime Prissert ’20

Prissert is a music theatre major from Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, and won the National Society of Arts and Letters music theater competition in his home state. The national competition will be May 20-24. It was to be held in Chicago, but has been moved online in response to pandemic restrictions.

In the Florida competition, also altered due to social distancing and crowd restrictions, Prissert submitted an unedited, one-take video performing “My Defenses are Down,” from “Annie Get Your Gun”; “What Kind of Fool am I?” from “Stop the World — I Want to Get Off,” and a monologue from “Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo.” The first-place state prize awarded him $2,000.

Prissert will re-shoot those selections for submission to the National Society of Arts and Letters competition.

Home from Elon, Prissert has converted his garage into a makeshift stage placing himself between his phone’s camera and a white backdrop borrowed from his mother’s photography business. The set-up works but brings a particular set of challenges for repetitive one-take performances.

“There’s no A/C in the garage. I could do two takes but then I’d have to stop and take a break to cool down. I was sweating through my shirt,” Prissert said on Friday morning when the temperature in south Florida was climbing to a steamy 91 degrees.

Prissert has struggled with disappointment about his final semester at Elon being cut short due to COVID-19. He was to perform in the Performing Arts Department’s “Grand Night” revue, and to play a featured role in “Violet.” As those performances were cancelled, he turned his attention to the National Society of Arts and Letters competition on the advice of a hometown mentor.

He has his fingers crossed that his post-graduation roles at the Woodstock Theater in New York in performances of “Cabaret,” “Anything Goes” and “The Will Rogers Follies” will resume as the world reawakens from COVID-19.

In the meantime, he’s sweating it out in the garage with an eye on the national music theater competition’s top prize of $15,000.