Daniel Radcliffe to Host Broadway Jr. Student Celebration, 6/6
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.