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Allison Strong ’12

From the age of nine, this alumna had dreams of performing on Broadway. Those dreams soon became a reality after attending an open call in Manhattan her freshman year.

Posted in: Alumni Profiles

Allison Strong posing for a picture
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 23: Actress Allison Strong attends the World Premiere of the Netflix film "The Week Of" at AMC Loews Lincoln Square 13 on April 23, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Monica Schipper/Getty Images for Netflix)

“I was lucky enough to be a Musical Theatre major at Montclair State. It was the only college theatre program I knew of that allowed students to audition for professional productions,” says Allison Strong ’12. From the age of nine, Strong had dreams of performing on Broadway. Those dreams soon became a reality after attending an open call in Manhattan her freshman year.

During her time at Montclair State, Strong appeared in two Broadway shows: Bye Bye Birdie and Mamma Mia! She credits much of her early success to Clay James, Theatre and Dance Coordinator of the Musical Theatre program. “Not many program directors would allow their students to take a leave of absence to be on Broadway– Clay let me go and made it easy for me to come back and graduate,” says Strong. In addition to the conservatory-style training she received as a Musical Theatre major, Strong also participated in the Honors Program. “I feel grateful for the hours I spent honing my craft in Life Hall and feel equally grateful for the rich liberal arts education I received as an Honors student.”

Over the past few years, Strong has achieved many milestones as a professional actor and musician. Since graduation, she has released a debut album (2014’s March Towards The Sun) and appeared on NBC’s The Blacklist and Nickelodeon’s Dora and Friends. Most recently, Strong starred in the Netflix Original Wedding Comedy The Week Of, alongside Adam Sandler and Chris Rock. In the film, she portrays the bride-to-be, Sandler’s eldest daughter Sarah. She also recurs as Talia Goldstein in Season Two of the Emmy-Winning The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel on Amazon.

As for her most memorable moment as a student? “I loved performing the role of Johanna in Sweeney Todd at the Kasser Theatre my junior year. The production value— the beautiful costumes and sets, the student orchestra— was beyond what I’ve seen in many professional productions.”

Strong offers the following advice for current performing arts majors and graduates: “The lessons don’t stop when you leave campus; there are breakthroughs to be made in every audition room and practice studio! Be open to improvement and always strive to be your best. When you are doing your best, it is only a matter of time before people notice.”