“Watching the movie “Black Nativity”, I enjoyed the music, the singing, and the choir. I thought to myself, I know how to dance, I’m getting into acting. Next should be singing.”

Denzel Kazeze is taking every opportunity he can to grow as performer. His drive led him to audition for our production of “Black Nativity”, which opened this past weekend to nearly sold out audiences. 

I’ve always been a good dancer. My senior year of high school was here in St. Cloud at Apollo. I was on their majorette dance team and I danced in elementary school before that. It wasn’t until I was asked to read a monologue at an audition that I learned I really like acting as well.”

For the past several months, Denzel has been balancing his time between classes at St. Cloud Technical and Community College and “Black Nativity” rehearsals. His love for learning goes well beyond the classroom, though.

At rehearsals we always have something to teach each other. This cast and these people here have taught me so much about singing, about dancing, and about this show. It takes all of us and all of our different skills to make the show happen and it’s been amazing to watch that and be part of it. It’s very humbling.” 

The Helgeson Learning Lab Theatre was created for that very purpose. It’s an opportunity to explore a wide range of theatrical productions through lesser known titles, collaborations, and work that challenges us to learn and grow – both for audiences and artists. “This show is helping me to grow in several ways, and it ties into a lot of what I’m studying at school. It’s been a great experience.” Not only has Denzel grown in his stage skills – adding singing to his experience, but he also has grown in confidence and is already planning for the future. “After this show I plan to continue in this direction – auditioning for anything I can and keep studying and improving. Dancing, acting, singing. I’m even looking at trying standup comedy– at eighteen, I want to do everything I can.” 

Congratulations to Denzel and the rest of the amazing cast, crew, and creative team on what audiences called “A phenomenal experience with amazing talent!”