UM senior takes acting to the seas in Royal Caribbean Cruises’ production of “Grease”

Portrait of Eve Cohen. Photo Courtesy of Eve Cohen

Graduating senior Eve Cohen will soon close the curtain on her time at the University of Miami after starring in six theater productions with the theatre department. Less than a month after graduation, she is set to play Sandy Dumbrowski from “Grease” in Royal Caribbean Cruises’ upcoming production starting June 1.

After starring in productions of “Legally Blonde,” “Bring It On” and “Cabaret,” Cohen never shied away from the spotlight. She encourages everyone to give their dreams a chance and cautions pursuing a career out of necessity.

Cohen found her love for the performing arts when attending musical theater summer camp in elementary school. At Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and North Broward Preparatory School, she joined after-school programs to gain a competitive edge when applying to theater programs.

“Since a really young age, I don’t think I’ve gone more than six months without being in some show,” Cohen said.

At UM, Cohen starred in “The Threepenny Opera,” “A New Brain,” “Frogs” and “Take Flight.” Her voice coach Edgar Abreu guided her through the vocally-challenging roles.

“My biggest challenge as her voice teacher was guiding her to use her instrument sustainably and efficiently,” Abreu said. “This lesson is always tough for passionate actors who want to pour everything into their performances.”

Abreu honed Cohen’s vocal coordination and breath management skills in Italy at an three week program hosted by the University called “Musical Theatre Italy.” They delved into discovering the most effective air control to sharpen her passion into an unforgettable performance.

“What sets Eve apart from others is her unparalleled tenacity and vigor,” Abreu said. “When she sets her sights on a goal, nothing could stand in her way.”

Before memorizing any lines, Cohen imagines her character’s backstory and their similar or differing qualities to herself to strengthen her understanding of them.

“I like to pull a lot from myself,” Cohen said. “Every character I play is a version of myself in a different world.”

Despite meticulous preparation, Cohen has faced numerous rejections. Yet, her resolve grows stronger with each as she grows to not take them personally.

“You have no idea why that role didn’t work out for you. It could’ve been a million different reasons,” Cohen said. “Everything happens for a reason.”

In her senior year, Cohen got rejected for a role and later got accepted by Royal Caribbean. Had she gotten the other role, Cohen would’ve had to forfeit this life-changing opportunity.

“You’re always going to be put where you’re meant to be in this career,” Cohen said. “All you can do is keep working on your craft and try to be the best performer you can be.”

Cohen tries not to compare herself to the competition when auditioning. Hearing other actresses sing challenges her resolution and focus. She’s learned to be prepared enough to deliver an impressive performance, while leaving room to be unique.

“[Casting directors] aren’t looking for 60 carbon copies of the same thing,” Cohen said.

Her untraditional audition for Royal Caribbean tested her techniques. Cohen noticed Royal Caribbean was holding auditions in New York for their upcoming season. Because she was in Miami, Cohen contacted the casting director to inquire if self-tapes were accepted.

After getting approval, Cohen sent her tape and later received a phone call offering the role.

“You have to follow your gut,” Cohen said. “What do you have to lose?”

Currently, Cohen attends daily nine-hour rehearsals, practicing scenes and opening numbers for the upcoming complete run through.

“Everyone should at least give their dreams a shot,” Cohen said. “I could survive [with another career], but I wouldn’t be as fulfilled.”

Follow Cohen on Instagram @evecohen to see her childhood dreams become reality when she begins sailing on Royal Caribbean’s Harmony of the Seas on June 1, where she aims to dazzle and wow audiences with every note.