Broadway's ALLEGIANCE Announces Partnership with Educational Program 'Inspire Change'
Producers Lorenzo Thione and Andrew Treagus have announced a partnership with INSPIRE CHANGE, an innovative arts program that works alongside commercial theater productions to provide students across the tri-state area with no-and-low-cost tickets paired with unique and high-impact educational programming. INSPIRE CHANGE was piloted with the Tony-winning Best Musical Memphis in 2012 and will be back on Broadway this fall with Allegiance, a new American musical starring Tony Award winner Lea Salonga, George Takei and Telly Leung, which will open on Broadway at the Longacre Theatre (220 West 48th Street) on Sunday, November 8, 2015. Previews begin on Tuesday, October 6, 2015.
Under the direction of INSPIRE CHANGE Director of Education Matt Freeman and Allegiance Director of Education Matthew Schneider, INSPIRE CHANGE will offer fully sponsored educational workshops paired with tickets to attend a performance of Allegiance and round trip transportation, all supported by generous donations. The program was established for the Broadway production of Memphis and allowed more than 10,000 students to experience the thrill of a Broadway show while learning about an important part of American history. For more info, visit www.inspirechangebroadway.org.
Allegiance producer Lorenzo Thione said in a statement: "George Takei has always wanted this story to reach as many students in as many classrooms as possible and we have decided to commit to making that a reality. We are so thrilled to collaborate with INSPIRE CHANGE to bring this initiative back to Broadway with Allegiance, a musical inspired by George's true-life experience. Through this incredible partnership, we have the opportunity to make his dream a reality as we share this untold American story with new audiences."
Matt Freeman (Director of Education, INSPIRE CHANGE) currently serves as the first Education Director of Tectonic Theater Project (Artistic Director, Moisés Kaufman). Matt has worked with organizations such as the Brooklyn Academy of Music, The New Victory Theater, New York Cares, The New York City Arts-in-Education Roundtable, and The CUNY School of Professional Studies (CUNY SPS) where he served as the inaugural Assistant Director of the M.A. in Applied Theatre. Matt holds a B.A. in Theater and Arts Administration from Muhlenberg College, an M.A. in Arts Administration from Teachers College, Columbia University, and an M.A. in Applied Theatre from CUNY SPS.
Matthew Schneider (Director of Education, Allegiance) is a dramaturg and producer with an extensive creative background, including over twenty-five credits as a professional dramaturg/director. He is a retired tap dancer, an alumnus of NYU, founder of the Sacramento New Works Festival, member of the Lincoln Center Directors Lab, and a graduate of the Commercial Theatre Institute. He is currently developing new works for the stage. In addition to his professional theatrical work, he has a background in educational publishing (The Princeton Review, CORE K-12).
The cast of Allegiance includes: George Takei as Sam Kimura/Ojii San; Lea Salonga as Kei Kimura; Telly Leung as Sammy Kimura; Christopheren Nomura as Tatsuo Kimura; Michael K. Lee as Frankie Suzuki; Katie Rose Clarke as Hannah Campbell and Greg Watanabe as Mike Masaoka. The ensemble will feature Aaron J. Albano, Belinda Allyn, Marcus Choi, Janelle Dote, Dan Horn, Owen Johnston, Darren Lee, Kevin Munhall, Manna Nichols, Autumn Ogawa, Rumi Oyama, Momoko Sugai, Sam Tanabe, Elena Wang , Scott Watanabe and Scott Wise.
Andrew Palermo will serve as choreographer. Music supervision, arrangements and orchestrations are by Lynne Shankel, and musical direction by Laura Bergquist. Scenic design is by Tony winner Donyale Werle, costume design by Tony nominee Alejo Vietti, lighting design by Tony winner Howell Binkley, sound design by Tony nominee Kai Harada, and hair and wig design by Charles G. LaPointe. Projection design is by Darrel Maloney. Casting by Telsey + Company/Craig Burns, CSA
Inspired by the true-life experience of its star George Takei ("Star Trek," "Heroes"), Allegiance follows one family's extraordinary journey in this untold American story. A mysterious envelope leads Sam Kimura (Takei) back 60 years to a time when he (played as a young man by Telly Leung -- Godspell, "Glee") and his sister Kei (Tony winner Lea Salonga -- Miss Saigon, Mulan) strive to save their family from the wrongful imprisonment of Japanese Americans during World War II. Sam enlists in the army to prove the Kimura's loyalty, but Kei joins draft resisters fighting for the rights of their people. Their paths take them from the lush farmlands of California to the wastelands of Wyoming to the battlefields of Europe, and their divided loyalties threaten to tear them apart forever. But as long-lost memories are unlocked, Sam finds that it is never too late to forgive and to recognize the redemptive power of love.