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A RAISIN IN THE SUN Star Denzel Washington to Host 'Broadway Junior' Event, 5/19

A RAISIN IN THE SUN Star Denzel Washington to Host 'Broadway Junior' Event, 5/19

Denzel Washington, currently starring in the acclaimed Broadway production of A Raisin in the Sun, will serve as Host of the Shubert Foundation/MTI Broadway Junior Student Share celebration while hundreds of students from middle and intermediate New York City Public Schools make their Broadway debut on stage at the Broadhurst Theatre (235 W. 44 St.) on Monday, May 19th at 10:30 a.m.

This is the culminating event of the 9th annual Shubert Foundation/MTI.

Broadway Junior Student Program where students from Brooklyn, Bronx, Queens and Manhattan will perform a song from their school's production of a student version of a Broadway musical, including Annie JR., Once On This Island JR., Hairspray JR., Dear Edwina JR., Fame JR., Seussical JR., Guys and Dolls JR. and Fiddler On The Roof JR.

The Shubert Foundation/MTI Broadway Junior Program is a groundbreaking musical theatre mentorship program that builds self-sustaining theater programs in public schools that have limited arts programming. The program is sponsored by The Shubert Foundation, Music Theatre International (MTI) and The New York City Department of Education. This student celebration is produced by New York City's educational musical theatre consulting firm iTheatrics. Use of The Broadhurst Theatre has been provided by The Shubert Organization.

"The results achieved from Broadway Junior have been truly extraordinary. Schools with previously little or no access to the arts come to consider themselves "arts" schools and teachers who didn't realize they had talent as a theater director, musical director, choreographer or designer become arts leaders in their schools and communities. Quite a few schools have added full-time arts teachers, and Principals at many of the schools comment on the larger learning culture that this Broadway Junior program promotes and helps develop," according to Peter Avery, Director of Theater, NYC Department of Education.

Among those expected to be on hand will be Shubert Organization Chairman, Philip J. Smith and President, Robert E. Wankel; Carmen Fariña, Chancellor of the New York City Department of Education; and Freddie Gershon, Chairman and CEO of Music Theatre International, creator of the MTI Broadway Junior Program.

The Shubert Foundation/MTI Broadway Junior 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 and beyond, schools present a musical independently, and serve as inspiration for other schools involved in earlier cycles of the program.

The Shubert Foundation/MTI Broadway Junior Program was founded during the 2005-2006 school year. To date, nearly 50 schools have participated in the program. 33 schools are currently involved in the 2013-2014 program, including nine first-year schools, seven second-year schools, and 17 'graduated' schools that have worked to develop and build sustainable theater education programs.

During this academic year, teachers from participating schools attended three Professional Development workshops that took them step-by-step through the process of putting on a show in their communities. The teachers then returned to their schools, selected their musical, held auditions and cast the show. Later in the year, each first-year school's cast participated in an in-school musical workshop with master teachers from iTheatrics. Students were guided through the entire process by a production advisor provided by ArtsConnection, a partnering organization that supported schools throughout the process.

Participating New York City Public Schools:

Schools in the First Year of Program

  • Spring Creek Community School in Brooklyn, NY - Seussical JR.
  • PS23Q in Queens, NY - School House Rock Live! JR.
  • East New York Middle School of Excellence in Brooklyn, NY - Fame JR.
  • Lyons Community School in Brooklyn, NY - Once On This Island JR.
  • Global Technology Preparatory in Manhattan, NY - Seussical JR.
  • New Heights Middle School in Brooklyn, NY - Fame JR.
  • Thurgood Marshall Academy for Learning and Social Change in Manhattan, NY - Once On This Island JR.
  • IS 109, Jean Nuzzi Middle School in Queens, NY - Guys and Dolls JR.
  • PS 83, Donald Hertz in Bronx, NY - Guys and Dolls JR.

Schools in the Second Year of Program

  • MS 145X, The Academy for Creative Education & the Arts in Bronx, NY - Disney's Aladdin JR.
  • Collaborative Arts Middle School in Queens, NY - Hairspray JR.
  • MS 447 in Brooklyn, NY - Hairspray JR.
  • Village Academy in Queens, NY - Fame JR.
  • PEACE Academy in Brooklyn, NY - Annie JR.
  • MS 22 in Bronx, NY - School House Rock Live! JR.
  • IS 364, Gateway Intermediate School in Brooklyn, NY - Dear Edwina JR.

Schools in the Third Year of Program

  • Dr. Gladstone H. Atwell, MS 61 in Brooklyn, NY - Fiddler on the Roof JR.
  • Soundview Academy for Culture and Scholarship in Bronx, NY - Fame JR.
  • MS 584 in Brooklyn, NY - Hairspray JR.

Second annual Shubert Foundation MTI Musical Theater Ensemble:

Select students from six (6) "graduated" schools will perform "Freak Flag" from Shrek the Musical JR. as an ensemble:

  • Edward Bleeker JHS 185 in Queens, NY
  • MS 057 Ron Brown Academy in Brooklyn, NY
  • MS 072 Catherine and Count Basie in Jamaica, Queens, NY
  • Carroll Gardens School for Innovation in Brooklyn, NY
  • PS/MS 004 Crotona Park West in Bronx, NY

New York City Department of Education: The New York City Department of Education is the largest system of public schools in the United States, serving about 1.1 million students in more than 1,750 schools. The Department of Education supports universal access to arts education through the ArtsCount initiative, which tracks and reports student participation in arts education and holds schools accountable for meeting New York State Instructional Requirements for the Arts. For more information, visit www.nyc.gov/schools.

The Shubert Foundation: Since 2005, The Shubert Foundation has provided more than $2.6 million to the New York City Department of Education for Arts Education/Theatre programs. This year marks the Foundation's ninth year providing funds for The Shubert Foundation/MTI Broadway Junior program. The Shubert Foundation, Inc. is the nation's largest private foundation dedicated to unrestricted funding of not-for-profit theatres, with a secondary focus on dance, and is especially interested in professional resident theatres that develop and produce new and significant work that expands the American theatrical repertoire. The Foundation is also committed to making quality theatre accessible nationwide, by extending support to theatre companies and groups that work on behalf of the underserved populations. The Shubert Foundation, Inc. was established in 1945 by the legendary team of the brothers Lee and J.J. Shubert who produced more than 520 plays, musicals and revues as well as owned and operated a nationwide network of legitimate theatres. For more information, visit www.shubertfoundation.org.

Music Theatre International: 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 works directly with the composers, lyricists and book writers of these musicals to provide official scripts, materials and resources to over 60,000 theatrical organizations in the US and in over 60 countries worldwide. MTI is strongly committed to educational theatre and raising the next generation of artists and audience members. The MTI Broadway Junior Collection features 30 and 60 minute musicals for performance by elementary and middle school aged students. Since 1997, over 100,000 productions of musicals from the collection have taught kids and entertained audiences around the world. For more information, visit www.mtishows.com.

Photo Credit: Walter McBride

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