Two local Drama Department grads join elite FSU program

275-EMILY-ONIMUSThis spring, two graduating seniors in the St. Johns County Center for the Arts drama department at St. Augustine High School were accepted to the Florida State University Bachelor of Fine Arts in Acting program; an elite undergraduate program with a notoriously competitive acceptance rate, according to an announcement received by Historic City News from Laura Smith today.

Seniors Emily Onimus and Trey Stripling were two of only eight students admitted to the program this year from the thousands of contenders around the country who auditioned for entry.

“It’s the most competitive program in the state and one of the most competitive in the country,” said St. Augustine High School drama teacher Mike Beaman. “They started a video screening process a few years ago, and we have had trouble getting through the screening process, let alone the entire audition process. To have two of our students earn acceptances is historic.”

The acting program at FSU is extremely competitive and is designed to prepare highly talented students for work in professional theatre. Beaman credits the work ethic of his two FSU-bound students as the key characteristic that helped them break into the program.

275-TREY-STRIPLING“Both Trey and Emily consistently go the extra mile in researching their characters and the scene they are working on. They have a natural confidence and fearlessness that is very hard to teach,” he said. “They are able to be confident and humble at the same time which allows them to take criticism and turn that very naturally into growth.”


Beaman has taught acting at St. Augustine High School for five years.

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