MEMPHIS Launches INSPIRE CHANGE Campaign to Bring Students to Broadway
The thrilling new musical MEMPHIS will fuel the imaginations of thousands of New York and New Jersey students through the new educational program INSPIRE CHANGE. Students from arts-poor schools will experience historical events in a new musical way, through tickets to the Broadway production, an in-school dynamic pre-show workshop led by a MEMPHIS cast member and teaching artists, as well as a post-show discussion with the MEMPHIS actors. Ticket to MEMPHIS, round-trip transportation and the workshop/post-show experience will be provided by the funders of INSPIRE CHANGE. The program is run by educational consultancy group iTheatrics (www.itheatrics.com).
To date donors have generously provided funding for more than 1,000 students to experience INSPIRE CHANGE at MEMPHIS, including KIPP: STAR School in Harlem, which was the impetus for this program.
After seeing the show on his own, middle school English teacher Trenton Price of KIPP: STAR School wrote to the MEMPHIS producers stating that "I know it's rare to see a show with which my student population in Harlem can identify (through music, racial identities, and civil rights history). While our school runs nicely, we are not, unfortunately, able to financially look at events like Broadway shows for our students. Nevertheless, given the subject matter and the amazingly talented cast and production I was wondering if there were any events you sponsor for New York City public schools".
Initial funds to for this program were provided by the authors of MEMPHIS and several of the lead producers of the show:
David Bryan and Joe DiPietro
The Kenneth and Marleen Alhadeff Charitable Foundation
Bill and Linda Potter
Jim and Susan Blair
Rick and Linda Linneweh
Donors are invited to join the students at the performance and take part in their post show discussion with the cast about their experiences with MEMPHIS.
Other schools participating in the launch of INSPIRE CHANGE include Gaynor McCown Expeditionary Learning School in Staten Island and Brooklyn Theatre Arts High School.
MEMPHIS features a brand new score with music by Bon Jovi's founding member/keyboardist David Bryan and lyrics by Bryan and Joe DiPietro (I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change), who also pens the musical's book. MEMPHIS is based on a concept by the late George W. George (producer of the Tony nominated Bedroom Farce and the film My Dinner With Andre), with direction by Tony nominee Christopher Ashley (Xanadu) and choreography by Sergio Trujillo (Jersey Boys).
MEMPHIS takes place in the smoky halls and underground clubs of the segregated 50's, a young white DJ named Huey Calhoun (Chad Kimball) fell in love with everything he shouldn't: rock and roll and an electrifying black singer (Montego Glover). MEMPHIS is an original story about the cultural revolution that erupted when his vision met her voice, and the music changed forever.
MEMPHIS stars Chad Kimball (Huey) and Montego Glover (Felicia) with Derrick Baskin (Gator), J. Bernard Calloway (Delray), James Monroe Iglehart (Bobby), Tony nominee Michael McGrath (Mr. Simmons), and Cass Morgan (Mama).
Tickets for MEMPHIS range from $41.50 to $126.50 (including a $1.50 facility fee). The performance schedule is as follows: Tuesday at 7pm, Wednesday - Saturday evenings at 8pm, Wednesdays and Saturdays at 2pm, and Sundays at 3pm. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit www.Telecharge.com, call 212.239.6200 or visit the Shubert Theatre Box Office (225 West 44th Street).
MEMPHIS is produced on Broadway by Junkyard Dog Productions, Barbara and Buddy Freitag and Kenny and Marleen Alhadeff with Latitude Link, Jim and Susan Blair, Demos Bizar Entertainment, Land Line Productions, Apples and Oranges Productions, Dave Copley, Dancap Productions, Inc., Alex and Katya Lukianov, Tony Ponturo, 2 Guys Productions, and Richard Winkler in association with Lauren Doll, Eric and Marci Gardiner, Linda and Bill Potter, Broadway Across America, Jocko Productions, Patty Baker, Dan Frishwasser, Bob Bartner/Scott and Kaylin Union, Loraine Boyle/Chase Mishkin, Remmel T. Dickinson/Memphis Orpheum Group and ShadowCatcher Entertainment/Vijay and Sita Vashee.