BWW Exclusive: Kristin Chenoweth's Broadway Bootcamp will Welcome Kathy Najimy, Faith Prince, Baayork Lee & More This Summer!
In its third year, Kristin Chenoweth's Broadway Bootcamp is bringing energetic and exciting changes, starting with the namesake Emmy and Tony winner bringing a lot of her friends from across the country to help mold 45 young Broadway hopefuls during her annual camp June 12-16.
"In year's past, the students have learned a lot during the week-long camps. It's been wonderful," said Mark Frie, camp coordinator and president of the ARTSOK Regional Arts Alliance of Broken Arrow. "But the program is growing and changing drastically with the direct input of Ms. Chenoweth, with more immersive and interactive classes and training sessions conducted by the industry's best and brightest.
No stranger to her home state, Chenoweth has been very active in the past few years not only performing in her namesake theatre in Broken Arrow, but also establishing the Kristin Chenoweth Arts & Education Fund, which provides support and monetary gifts to help advance fine arts in public schools.
During the camp, students will participate in a variety of hands-on activities including acting, dance, staging, singing and experiencing incredible team-building opportunities led by Chenoweth and her hand-picked team, which will culminate with an end-of-week performance on June 16 where students and star faculty will perform together in the first ever "Kristi" Awards. Showtime is at 7:30 pm at the Broken Arrow Performing Arts Center. The public is encouraged to attend free of charge.
"We aimed for the stars with this camp and campers will be singing the national anthem at a Tulsa Drillers game with Ms. Chenoweth. There will also be a Tony Awards party on Sunday night, prior to camp's first day, a Broadway dance, where campers will come dressed as their favorite Broadway characters, public performances and more," said Frie.
Chenoweth and Frie worked tirelessly to bring along "friends" to work with the students, many of them high-profile names from Broadway and beyond. Richard Jay-Alexander is a 42-year veteran of the business and has worked with the likes of Chenoweth, Lea Michele, Norm Lewis, Barbra Streisand, Bette Midler and Ricky Martin. He was also involved with the Original Broadway Productions of "Les Miserables," "The Phantom of the Opera," and "Miss Saigon."
The stellar list of faculty include Kathy Najimy, known for roles in "Sister Act" and "Hocus Pocus," as well as HBO's "VEEP" and having worked with Chenoweth in Disney's "The Descendants". Musical Directors in residence are Michael Orland, and Mary-Mitchell Campbell, spanning skill sets from American Idol to Broadway. Orland also works with Kristen Bell, Keith Urban, Dolly Parton and Burt Bacharach. Also on board is Tony Award winner Faith Prince has been dazzling Broadway audiences for years with roles in "Guys and Dolls," "Annie" and "Noises Off," as well as TV roles in "Modern Family," "Grey's Anatomy" and "Drop Dead Diva."
Also, coming directly from this year's Tony Awards, where she is being presented with the Isabelle Stevenson Award, is the legendary Baayork Lee from the Original Broadway Cast of "A Chorus Line." Another Broadway song and dance man that will be taking these lucky students through their paces is Lara Teeter.
Other notables include technical wiz Matt Berman, NY photographer Bruce Glikas, Team Chenoweth's Angelique O'Neil and Seph Stanek, Nellie Beavers, Francine Espiritu, and well-known locals John Sawyer, Jack Wallace. There will also be participation from professional casting directors and industry managers.
You'll be able to follow everything that's happening at Chenoweth's Summer Bootcamp on their social media handles and, of course, BroadwayWorld will be there.
"Watching these veterans of stage and screen interact with the young people will be so rewarding," said Frie. "Coaching and inspiring the next generation of performers certainly takes a village - and we've built the most unique village around."