Jeff Calhoun, Ken Billington, and More to Take Part in 2012 FREDDIE G BROADWAY EXPERIENCE
Eight exceptional educators from schools and performing arts centers around the country will work one-on-one with Broadway greats at the 3rd Annual FREDDIE G BROADWAY EXPERIENCE July 12th - 15th. Again this year, the event has been underwritten by Myrna and Freddie ("G") Gershon, Chairman and CEO of leading theatrical licensor Music Theatre International (MTI). The weekend honors instructors and teachers who are working to make a difference for their students and communities through the process of staging musical theatre productions in their schools and educational theatre groups. The teachers will attend special workshops led by director Jeff Calhoun, lighting designer Ken Billington, music director Kristen Blodgett, choreographer Lisa Stevens and scenic designer Tobin Ost.
"The weekend will fully immerse the teachers in the Broadway world and provide one-of-a-kind learning opportunities for the teachers to take back to their schools, students and communities," says Gershon. "These teachers do inspiring work with limited financial resources. We want to give them the opportunity to live the Broadway experience and interact with top professionals to reward them for all they do to introduce the next generations to Broadway and musical theatre."
Dozens of educators attending the 2012 Junior Theater Festival applied for the program, and eight total were selected (a full list follows). Six teachers were selected as Freddie G Experience recipients on the basis of what the professional development opportunity would mean for them as teachers, as well as for their students and greater community. Two additional educators were selected as winners of the Freddie G Broadway Junior Spirit Award and the 2012 Freddie G Broadway Junior Community Service award at the 2012 Junior Theater Festival.
The Junior Theater Festival is the world's largest musical theatre festival dedicated to educational musical theatre groups that work with elementary and middle school students. The 2012 festival was sponsored by MTI, Disney Musicals and NBC's "Smash" and was presented by the Junior Theater Project.
The eight educators will participate in dynamic, hands-on master classes with some of Broadway leading choreographers, directors, producers, actors and designers covering a wide range of topics including directing, choreography, music, design and marketing. They will attend the Broadway show Peter and the Starcatcher and watch a developmental performance of Legally Blonde JR., go on backstage tours and experience Broadway theatre behind-the-scenes.
"I feel strongly about personally investing in these teachers by immersing them in experiential skills they can take home and share with students and other teachers," added Gershon. "It's crucial we keep theatre alive in this country by working with both educators and children. Myrna and I feel that America's teachers should be honored and appreciated. Our future is in their hands."
Following are the eight teachers attending the 3rd Annual Freddie G Broadway Experience
· Dina Sarno Slawson - Academy of Theatre Arts and The ATA Theatre, Williamsville, NY – Freddie G Experience Award
· Kevin Quillinan – Riverside Children's Theater, Vero Beach, FL – Freddie G Experience Award
· Becky Morris – Casper Children's Theatre, Casper WY – Freddie G Experience Award
· Neeahtima Dowdy – Wood Acres School, Marietta, GA – Freddie G Experience Award
· Rhonda Cato – Magic Curtain Productions, Orlando, FL –Freddie G Experience Award
· Bakari King – University School of Nashville, Nashville, TN - Freddie G Broadway Junior Community Service Award
· Patsy Riley – Central Elementary School, Mayfield, KY – Freddie G Broadway Junior Spirit Award
Music Theatre International www.mtishows.com is one of the world's leading dramatic licensing agencies, protecting the rights and legacies of composers, lyricists and book writers. MTI's core business is issuing licenses, scripts, musical materials and dynamic theatrical resources to schools as well as amateur and professional theatres across the globe.
With over 300 classic and contemporary show titles from Broadway, Off-Broadway, and London's West End, MTI shows have been performed by 60,000 theatrical organizations in the US and in over 60 countries worldwide.
MTI is particularly dedicated to the idea of theatre as education and has created special collections for younger audiences. The Broadway Junior Collection® features 70-minute adaptations of major musicals designed for middle school children to perform; the KIDS Collection®, provides 30-minute musicals for performance by elementary school children; School Editions are musicals that have been annotated for performance by high school students; and the Theatre For Young Audiences Collection, 70-minute musicals designed for adults to perform for children.
Junior Theater Project juniortheaterproject.org was founded by New York's iTheatrics and Atlanta's Theater of the Stars (TOTS). The non-profit Junior Theater Project uses the transformative power of the arts to make the world a better place. The Junior Theater Project produces The Junior Theater Festival, the world's largest musical theater festival dedicated to groups working with elementary, middle and high school students. In partnership with NBC's "Smash" the Junior Theater Project's "Make a Musical" initiative is actively working to build 1,000 sustainable and cost-effective musical theater programs nationwide over the next five years. In 2012 The Junior Theater Project launched Musicals in Our Schools week, an annual grassroots program in which thousands of students, educators, artists, industry leaders and community members advocate for the importance of quality arts programs in schools locally and globally.