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Camp Broadway Teams Up With Kermit the Frog For Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade Finale

Camp Broadway, the award-winning theater arts education and audience development company and American icon, Kermit the Frog, will lead 300 performance-loving kids, ages 10-17, in an original Closing number "I Believe in Santa Claus," live in the 82nd Annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade®, which will be televised on NBC-TV on November 27, 2008 beginning at 9am.

Camp Broadway, under the direction of Artistic Director Tony Parise, has been selected to perform the parade's closing number, "I Believe in Santa Claus" with music written by Wesley Whatley and lyrics by Bill Schermerhorn, Macy's Creative Director. The performance celebrates kids being in the Parade and the fantasy world of the 82nd Anniversary of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade®. This closing number will be choreographed by Tony Parise. Camp Broadway has created a special one-week program leading up to the parade performance, including a series of Broadway workshops, classes and rehearsals to prepare the kids for the nationally televised performance.

Camp Broadway (founded in 1995) offers unique opportunities to participate in exciting, hands-on, live musical theatre experiences. We give people access to the world of Broadway by connecting them to professional Broadway performers, choreographers and directors. Each summer, Camp Broadway provides week-long, theatre intensives in New York City and in various cities across the country to theatre-loving kids. During the course of the year, the organization also provides interactive, customized performing arts workshops for visitors to New York City, both children and adults.

As the publisher of StageNOTES Study Guides, Camp Broadway serves as an informational resource for educators. All guides meet the criteria of the State's educational curriculum standards, and provides educationally-rich classroom training on various Broadway shows.

Camp Broadway designs and oversees the Adventure Theatre, the theatre component to the onboard children's activity programming for the Royal Caribbean cruise line.

The Educational Theatre Association (EdTA) and Camp Broadway are in partnership to give Broadway producers a way to provide underprivileged children access to their shows. EdTA is an international non-profit organization with a mission to promote and strengthen theatre education as a means of life-long learning.

Since 2003, Camp Broadway has given over 2,000 children the opportunity to become a part of a thrilling American tradition, the Annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade®.  Each November, hundreds of children come to New York from all across the country to work with Broadway professionals. These workshops and rehearsals culminate in an exciting, nationally-televised, live performance in the parade.

Kermit the Frog began his climb to the top of the amphibian elite from humble beginnings.  Born one of several thousand in a southern swamp, Kermit's life began swimmingly.  Kermit's resume reads like a "who's who" in show business.  On November 14, 2002, he was honored with his own star on The Hollywood Walk of Fame, this event marked the first time an amphibian had been honored with this stellar award!

In his more than 45-year career, he has guest-hosted The Tonight Show, met the Queen of England, appeared with Ted Koppel on Nightline and donned suspenders to guest-host CNN's international talk show, Larry King Live.  He has had his likeness created in giant balloon form for the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade and served as the 1996 Grand Marshall in the Tournament of Roses Parade.

Kermit's latest endeavor is The Muppets Christmas:  Letters to Santa  a holiday special airing December 17th on NBC with an all-star cast including Uma Thurman, Nathan Lane and Whoopi Goldberg to name a few.    In this all new one-hour special the Muppets mistakenly avert three letters from making their way to Santa Claus in the North Pole – leaving three Christmas wishes at stake.

 Bill Schermerhorn, VP / Creative Director of Macy's Entertainment Group, is no stranger to large-scale, theatrical events on a national level.  From concept development to the final "curtain," Bill is the leader of the creative team responsible for such major events as Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, Macy's 4th of July Fireworks, and all other holiday extravaganzas at The World's Largest Store.

As part of his job description, Bill has written the book and lyrics for numerous projects, working with performers as diverse as Bob Hope, Idina Menzel, Deborah Voigt, and Harvey Fierstein to beloved characters such as Paddington BearTM and Clifford the Big Red DogTM.  Recent projects include Macy's Puppet Theatre's current holiday musical Moose Crossing, featuring Julie Andrews, Mario Cantone, John Tartaglia and legendary news anchor Walter Cronkite; Bill wrote the song In Our Children's Eyes with Tony Award winning composer Stephen Flaherty for the 2007 Macy's 4th of July Fireworks, featuring Anika Noni Rose and the New York Pops.  He recently produced the show Free to Dream for recording legend Darlene Love and the US Air Force Band of Liberty at Boston's City Hall Plaza.

Bill served as Artistic Director & Script Writer for the outdoor Times Square concerts Broadway on Broadway '95 and Stars in the Alley '96.  In his spare time, he is writing book and lyrics for the new musicals, The Night They Saved the Macy's Parade with music by Wesley Whatley and The Music Boys with music by Mary Ehlinger and songwriter ("Orange Colored Sky") and former Tonight Show and The Gong Show band leader Milton DeLugg.  Bill is a member of The Dramatists Guild, Inc.

Bill was born on the 4th of July, and is a proud graduate of the College of William & Mary.

Wesley Whatley is currently in his sixth year as a member of the creative team for Macy's Entertainment where he develops music performance programs for the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade as well as other national events for the company.  Drawing on his diverse background in the arts, Wesley produces music in the recording studio with celebrity artists and orchestras as well as on the street with the country's most talented marching bands and performance groups. Other responsibilities include casting, staging music direction and composition for a variety of projects.

Prior to his tenure at Macy's, Wesley graduated with a Bachelor of Music from Stetson University in Deland, Florida and was employed by Walt Disney World Entertainment and Universal Studios Orlando.

Visit www.campbroadway.com for additional information or email info@campbroadway.com or call 213-575-2929.

For more information on the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade®, please visit or call the Macy's Parade Hotline at 213-494-4495.

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