TUTS' HSMT Students Featured in Choreography DVDs
Students from the Humphreys School of Musical Theatre (HSMT) will perform in four nationally distributed choreography DVDs for the Music Theatre International (MTI) Broadway Junior collection of musicals. The news was announced today by Theatre Under The Stars (TUTS) and educational musical theatre consultancy firm iTheatrics. iTheatrics, which is based in New York City, is producing the DVDs, which will feature original choreography by its chief choreographer, Steven G. Kennedy.
All students participating in the filming are members of the audition-based Academy at HSMT, which offers a year-round curriculum in the professional techniques of acting, singing and dancing for the career-minded student. HSMT students are the most distinguished group of Houston's young budding theatre talent. For the full list of HSMT students participating in the filming, click here.
After an intensive week of rehearsals beginning on March 14, HSMT Academy students will be filmed in Zilkha Hall March 19 - 21 in "how-to" choreography DVDs for the musicals Seussical KIDS, Pirates of Penzance JR., Bugsy Malone JR. and Meredith Willson's The Music Man JR., which will be used by thousands of schools and educational musical theatre groups across the United States.
The choreography DVDs take directors step-by-step through choreography for each musical and will be part of the complimentary "ShowKIT" of educational resources given to any director or educator who is producing one of these shows. These accompanying resources are designed to make sure that any teacher anywhere - from the math teacher to the drama teacher - has the confidence and tools necessary to present a musical in his or her school.
Since the choreography DVDs have the same deadlines and responsibilities of a professional production, students are cast not only for their talent, but also for their character. The young performers must have commitment, focus, and be good team members. iTheatrics, which has worked with TUTS on numerous projects in the past, knew that the students at HSMT embodied all of these qualities.
HSMT students have attended the Junior Theater Festival many times. The iTheatrics event has become the world's largest festival exclusively dedicated to celebrating musical theatre. At the 2013 Junior Theater Festival, HSMT received national accolades, including the Freddie G Outstanding Achievement in Music, Freddie G Outstanding Production awards, Freddie G Outstanding Student Direction and Choreography awards. These awards are named in honor of Freddie Gershon, the MTI chairman and Broadway Junior founder. The HSMT students have also premiered three new musicals at the festival's New Works Showcase - each time performing for thousands of festival attendees.
Steven G. Kennedy, the chief choreographer of iTheatrics is providing original choreography for the DVDs. Through collaborations with Inspire Change (affiliated the Tony Award-winning musical Memphis), The Schubert Foundation/MTI Broadway Junior Project, The NYC Department of Education and NBC's Smash: Make a Musical, Kennedy has played a role in introducing educators and thousands of under-served young people to the arts. His distinguished list of credits on live musical theatre performances include the opening gala for the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts' Family Theater starring Kristin Chenoweth and Andrew Lippa, the U.K. premiere of Roald Dahl's Willy Wonka, the first National Tour of A Year With Frog and Toad, the National Tour of The Musical Adventures of Flat Stanley, and the smash-hit Off-Broadway production of Dear Edwina, produced by seven-time Pulitzer Prize-winning producer Daryl Roth.
Shay Rodgers, the Manager of Education at Theatre Under The Stars, will serve as the assistant choreographer. An alumna of the HSMT program, Rodgers has been a part of TUTS for many years. She began her life with TUTS at the age of 10 and still calls it home twenty-six years later. Choreography credits at TUTS include Disney's High School Musical, Legally Blonde The Musical, Disney's The Little Mermaid JR., VOTE! A New Musical, Little Shop of Horrors, The Sound Of Music, Disney's Camp Rock: The Musical, The Who's Tommy, Southwest Regional Premiere of 13, Southwest Regional Premiere of Geppetto & Son, Southwest Regional Premiere of The Stephen Schwartz Project, Disney's Aladdin Dual Language, Disney's When You Wish and The World Goes Round. Other choreography credits: Damn Yankees for Monomoy Theatre, Cabaret and You're A Good Man Charlie Brown for Ohio University; Forever Plaid for both Sam Houston State University and The Great Caruso.
Lindsay Weiner Lupi, the music supervisor at iTheatrics, will music direct. Lindsay has served in this role in the creation of many student versions of musicals - including Legally Blonde JR., Shrek JR., Getting to Know...The Sound of Music and Crazy For You Young Performers' Edition - which are released by the leading musical theatre licensing agencies R&H Theatricals, Tams-Witmark Music Library, Music Theatre International and Disney Theatrical Group. She received her BFA from the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University and her MA in Music and Music Education at Teachers College, Columbia University.
TUTS' Humphreys School of Musical Theatre (HSMT) is celebrating more than 40 years of offering the best musical theatre training to the Houston community. HSMT strives to build a musical theatre repertoire that helps students develop confidence, foster language arts, increase physical coordination, enhance a cooperative ensemble attitude and expand social skills through the rehearsal and performance process. Students at HSMT have gone on to achieve successful careers on Broadway, film and television. For more information about TUTS and HSMT, visit www.TUTS.com/HSMT.
iTheatrics was founded in 2006 by educator and author Timothy Allen McDonald. Headquartered in New York City, iTheatrics develops three separate collections of musicals for leading musical theatre licensing agencies including the Getting to Know Collection (R&H Theatricals); the Young Performers' Edition of musicals (Tams-Witmark Music Library); and MTI's Broadway Junior Collection and School Edition musicals (Music Theatre International and Disney Theatrical Group). Working with esteemed partners such as the President's Committee on Arts and the Humanities, New York City's Department of Education, The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, McGraw-Hill Education and NBC Universal, iTheatrics develops and implements dynamic programs to build cost-effective and sustainable musical theatre programs in under-served schools. Find out how you can make the world a better place - one musical at a time - at www.iTheatrics.com.
Music Theatre International (MTI) is one of the world's leading theatrical licensing agencies, granting schools as well as amateur and professional theatres from around the world the rights to perform the largest selection of great musicals from Broadway and beyond. MTI is particularly dedicated to the idea of theatre as education and has created special collections for younger performers. The MTI Broadway Junior Collection includes JR. titles, 60-minute musicals for performance by middle school children; and KIDS titles, 30-minute musicals for performance by elementary school children resulting in 80,000 productions consisting of more than 300,000 performances. For more information about Music Theatre International and the MTI Broadway Junior Collection visit www.broadwayjr.com.