Date: 6th June | Press release below
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NEW YORK – Daniel Radcliffe, star of the Tony-nominated How to Succeed in Business without Really Trying and the beloved Harry Potter films, will serve as master of ceremonies as hundreds of students from middle and intermediate New York City Public Schools in Brooklyn, Bronx, Queens and Manhattan get their Broadway debut at the Shubert Foundation/MTI Broadway JR. Student Celebration at the Majestic Theatre (245 West 44th Street) on Monday, June 6th from 10:30 AM to noon. Each school will perform a song from their production of a student version of a classic musical, including Annie JR., Once on this Island JR., Seussical JR., Disney’s Aladdin JR. and Guys and Dolls JR. A list of schools participating in the June 6th celebration follows. The special Broadway performance is the year-end culminating celebration of the Shubert Foundation/MTI Broadway JR. Program, a ground-breaking musical theatre mentorship program which builds self-sustaining theatre programs in public schools with limited arts programming, and is sponsored by The Shubert Foundation, The New York City Department of Education (NYCDOE) and Music Theatre International (MTI). The event is produced by New York City’s educational musical theatre consulting firm iTheatrics. Use of The Majestic Theatre has been provided by The Shubert Organization.
The program aims to engage as many students as possible in all aspects and areas of the arts. In the first year of the program teachers and students are guided step-by-step through the process of producing a first-ever musical in their schools. In the second year, teachers and students continue to receive support and encouragement on their second musical, but take ownership over their productions. In the third year schools present a musical independently, and now serve as inspiration for other schools involved in earlier cycles of the program.
The program was founded in the 2005-2006 school year. So far 29 schools have participated in the program, 21 schools are currently involved in the 2010-2011 cycle – including four new schools involved in the first year of the program, three schools involved in the second year of the program, and 14 “graduated” schools acting as inspiration for the schools involved in the previous cycles of the program. (15 schools will take part in the June 6 celebration, a full list of these schools follows.) Any New York City middle and intermediate public school without an existing musical theatre program may apply for this grant. Each selected school must have the agreement and support of its respective principal, assistant principal, custodian and a team of three teachers.
Last fall, four public schools with no existing musical theatre program were selected. Many of these students had not ever seen a musical, much less participated in one. What a difference a few months make. Now choruses of "tomorrow, tomorrow" from Annie JR. by Thomas Meehan, Charles Strouse, and Martin Charnin and "Why We Tell the Story" from Once on this Island JR. by Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty are soaring down public school halls as students rehearse. Each school will present a selection from its musical on Broadway and will also perform the full musical in its community.
Over this year, schoolteachers from the first and second year schools attended three Professional Development workshops which took them step-by-step through the process of putting on a show in their community and were led by teaching artists from iTheatrics. The teachers went back to their schools, selected their musical, held auditions and cast the show. Later in the year each first year school cast participated in an in-school musical workshop with iTheatrics teaching artists. They were guided through the entire process by a production advisor provided by a partnering organization, ArtsConnection, who supported them in their school throughout the production process.
New York City Public Schools Which Will Perform on Broadway
Schools in the First Year of Program
Edward Bleeker JHS 185 in Flushing, NY – students will perform "Why We Tell the Story" from Once on this Island JR.
Young Women's Leadership School in Brooklyn, NY – students will perform “Pray” from Once on this Island
JR. Renaissance School of the Arts in Manhattan, NY– students will perform "Hard-Knock Life" from Annie JR.
PS/IS 323 in Brooklyn, NY – students will perform “Waiting for Life” from Once on this Island JR.
Schools in the Second Year of Program
JHS 080 The Mosholu Parkway in Bronx, NY – students will perform "Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah" from Disney’s Alice in Wonderland JR.
PS 226 Alfred De B.Mason in Brooklyn, NY – students will perform "Prince Ali" from Disney’s Aladdin JR. Graduated Schools which will be participating in the Celebration as Inspiration for Fellow Schools
PS 241 Family Academy in Manhattan, NY– students will perform “What Time is It?” from Disney’s High School Musical 2
IS 068 Isaac Bildersee in Brooklyn, NY – students will perform “Hard-Knock Life" from Annie
JR. MS 072 Catherine and Count Basie in Jamaica, NY – students will perform "Prince Ali" from Disney’s Aladdin JR.
MS 442 New Horizons School in Brooklyn, NY – students will perform “Guys and Dolls” from Guys and Dolls
JR. PS/MS 004 Crotona Park West in Bronx, NY – students will perform "Friend Like Me" from Disney’s Aladdin
JR. PS 111 Adolph S. Ochs in Manhattan, NY – students will perform “Oh the Thinks You Can Think" from Seussical
JR. MS 322 The Renaissance Leadership Academy in Washington Heights, NY – students will perform the “Finale” from Into the Woods JR.
MS 057 Ron Brown Academy in Brooklyn, NY – students will perform “We Dance” from Once on this Island JR.
The Bronx School of Science Inquiry and Investigation in Bronx, NY – students will perform "Start of Something New" from Disney’s High School Musical JR.
The New York City Department of Education is the largest system of public schools in the United States, serving about 1.1 million students in more than 1,600 schools. The Department of Education supports universal access to arts education through the ArtsCount initiative, which tracks and reports student participation in arts education and holds schools accountable for meeting New York State Instructional Requirements for the Arts. For more information visit, www.schools.nyc.gov
Since 2005, The Shubert Foundation has provided nearly $1.5 million to the New York City Department of Education for Arts Education/Theatre programs. This year marks the Foundation's sixth year providing funds for The Shubert Foundation/MTI Broadway Junior program.
The Shubert Foundation is the nation's largest private foundation dedicated to unrestricted funding of not-for-profit theatres, with a secondary focus on dance, and is especially interested in professional resident theatres that develop and produce new and significant work that expands the American theatrical repertoire. The Foundation is also committed to making quality theatre accessible nationwide, by extending support to theatre companies and groups that work on behalf of the underserved populations. The Shubert Foundation, Inc. was established in 1945 by the legendary team of the brothers Lee and J.J. Shubert who produced more than 520 plays, musicals and revues as well as owned and operated a nationwide network of legitimate theatres.
Music Theatre International (MTI), www.mtishows.com
iTheatrics uses the transformative power of the arts to make the world a better place. The company adapts existing Broadway and West End musicals for students at all age levels—including elementary, middle, and high school—to perform. iTheatrics also creates a teacher’s tool chest of resources which provides educators with enhancements such as choreography DVDs, accompaniment CDs, director’s guides and curriculum connections. iTheatrics’ clients include Music Theatre International, Disney Theatrical Group and McMillan/McGraw-Hill. iTheatrics also develops new musicals for family audiences such as The Musical Adventures of Flat Stanley, The Phantom Tollbooth and Roald Dahl’s James and the Giant Peach. iTheatrics’ Junior Teaching Intensives provide professional development for teachers in the area of musical theater and its Junior Theater Academy provides young artists with an innovative outlet for developing their skills as performers and artists.