Donna McKechnie and Jerry Mitchell to Co-Chair Broadway Dance Lab's 2015 Fundraiser
BroadwayWorld has learned that luminaries of the Great White Way Donna McKechnie and Jerry Mitchell will serve as the co-chairs for Broadway Dance Lab (BDL)'s major fall fundraiser, to be held at the historic Judson Church, downtown Manhattan on Nov. 17 at 7pm. BDL is a choreography incubator founded by choreographer Josh Prince (BEAUTIFUL, SHREK).
The intimate evening will serve as the culmination of an eight-week residency program and feature new works-in-progress by choreographers Andy Blankenbuehler, Camille A. Brown, Geoffrey Goldberg, Marcelo Gomes, Karen Sieber and Josh Prince. A diverse company of 10 dancers will perform the works and each choreographer will speak about his or her artistic process.
Additionally, the company will be featured as part of the prestigious Works & Process series at the Guggenheim Museum, Nov. 14 at 7pm. The event will feature performances by the company, along with a discussion of creative process between Prince and Gomes moderated by former New York City Ballet principal dancer and Tony nominee Robert LaFosse.
The mission of BDL is to support the development of new, dance-driven theatre works by providing choreographers and their collaborators with dancers, space and the time needed to practice their craft and test their ideas. The non-profit company works under the guidance of a distinguished advisory board, whose members include McKechnie, Chita Rivera and Ben Vereen.
"In order for our art form to progress, our investment in the future is critical," Prince said. "In a field that is always demanding new, innovative work, we need a safe place where artistic growth can be encouraged away from the pressure of commercial productions. BDL is that place."
Tickets to Broadway Dance Lab's 2015 Fundraiser are on sale now and may be purchased through the company's website at www.broadwaydancelab.org/fundraiser. For more information, contact Nick Kepley, Director of Development, email@example.com. Note: Doors will open at 6:30pm for wine and light bites.
Broadway Dance Lab is a 501(c)(3) organization founded by Broadway choreographer, Josh Prince ("Shrek, The Musical," and "Beautiful: The Carole King Musical"), and serves as a choreography incubator designed to promote the use of dance in musical theater. The company provides space, dancers and private creative time to choreographers of all technical backgrounds so that they may grow their ideas and collaborate more effectively with colleagues in the field.
Born and raised in Indianapolis, Indiana, Josh received his BFA in Musical Theater from the Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music (CCM), and appeared on Broadway in Little Me, starring Martin Short and Faith Prince, as well as Saturday Night Fever, where he understudied the role of "Bobby C". Off-Broadway credits include Forbidden Broadway and the play, In The Wings. Josh has toured nationally as "Skimbleshanks" in Cats and played "Carmen Ghia" in The Producers (opposite Jason Alexander and Martin Short) at the Pantages Theater in Los Angeles. Television and Film credits include Law and Order: SVU and A Cinderella Story with Hillary Duff and Jennifer Coolidge.
In 2006, Josh decided to turn his attention toward Direction and Choreography and presented his work at a prestigious industry showcase, Dance Break. Three weeks later, he was asked to join the creative team of the Tony nominated Shrek, The Musical, which opened on Broadway at the Broadway Theater in 2009 and went on to tour the US and play in London's West End at the Theater Royal Drury Lane. For his choreography in Shrek, The Musical he received an Outer Critics Circle Nomination. Since then, he has had the pleasure of working at City Center (A New Brain, directed by James Lapine), Carnegie Hall (The Jerry Springer Opera, starring Harvey Keitel), Lincoln Center (Camelot, starring Gabriel Byrne - PBS), The Kennedy Center (Spring Gala, hosted by Liza Minelli; Latino Inaugural Celebration in 2013 with Chita Rivera and Rita Moreno), Town Hall (All Singing All Dancing, co-director), The Brooklyn Academy of Music (The Bridge Project 2009/10, directed by Sam Mendes), and The New Group (The Kid; Bunty Berman Presents). In London, he has worked at The Old Vic (The Bridge Project), The Royal Festival Hall (Singin' In The Rain) and The Royal Albert Hall (My Fair Lady, Chor.; BBC Prom 59 starring Family Guy creator, Seth MacFarlane. Dir./chor.).
Josh most recently choreographed Beautiful - The Carole King Musical, which was nominated for a Tony in 2013. For his work on Beautiful, he was nominated for the Fred and Adele Astaire Award. Beautiful opened in London's West End in February 2015 and will launch a US tour later this fall.
Josh has enjoyed teaching at such universities as Yale, NYU, CCM, OU, FSU as well as Steps, On Broadway and Broadway Dance Center.