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Get to Know the Students of Next on Stage: Maxwell Silverman Loves the Empathy of Musical Theatre


This week, Maxwell is dancing to Hold Me in Your Heart from Kinky Boots!

We're announcing our winners of season 2 of Next on Stage: Dance Edition this week! But before we do, we're chatting with the contestants in the finale.

Contestant Maxwell Silverman shares more about their charity, a fond memory from a dance class, and gives a shoutout to their friends and family!

Check out Maxwell's latest performance HERE.

Tune in on August 27 at 8pm ET for our season 2 finale, streaming on BroadwayWorld!

Why did you apply for Next on Stage?

I saw glimpses of the first round and thought "Darn! I wish I had known about that earlier." I always am looking for new opportunities to grow and challenge myself, so when they announced the second season I jumped at the opportunity!

What does musical theatre mean to you?

Musical theatre, to me, isn't just putting on a show. It is telling stories that can change peoples' minds. It allows for untold stories to be projected out into the world in new and creative ways that create such deep meaning through notes, lines, and steps. Every moment in theatre is a moment that can gift a sense of empathy to a member of the audience, and that empathy might just change the world.

What is a fond memory you have from a past theater class?

I remember my theatre dance teacher from The Ailey School Summer Intensive, Judine Somerville, telling us about all of the stuff that she always carried with her in her bag. She told us that you never know when an opportunity will arise, so you have to be prepared for anything. Ever since then, I keep all of my dance shoes for any style and extra supplies/clothes in my one dance bag, and it has definitely come in handy a few different times both in classes and auditions!

What charity did you pick and why?

I chose Brave Space Alliance because one of the most marginalized and targeted groups of people in today's world are queer People of Color. Brave Space Alliance is an organization that helps that exact group. They are the first Black-led, trans-led LGBTQ+ Center located on the South Side of Chicago and they provide a plethora of resources for the queer POC community. Being queer I understand a part of the struggles that BSA deals with, but being white, I can only imagine the additional burden that queer POC face on a daily basis. I want to help to ease the pain that my Queer community members in Chicago feel and help them to feel empowered.

Share a memory from seeing a stage production!

I was so fortunate to see Come From Away on Broadway, and I just remember sitting in the audience absolutely sobbing at one moment and then literally 2 minutes later, I was laughing so hard my stomach hurt. I really realized the power of theatre and how emotional it is capable of making people. The sense of togetherness that story portrayed really stuck with me and it still makes me emotional to this day just thinking about it.

Who is your dream choreographer to one day work with?

Sonya Tayeh

Who is a theater educator that has had an impact on you?

My theatre dance teacher Morgan DiFonzo! She is my teacher, my friend, and my inspiration! She allowed me to be truly myself in her class every single week and I would not be the dancer or performer I am today without her.

Give a shoutout!

I just want to thank all of my friends and family who so graciously kept voting and sharing my link every single week! The outpour of love and support for me and my passion for theatre/dance has been overwhelming, and I am so excited to have that push and support as I move into the next chapter of my life!

After three successful seasons of our virtual singing competition and last summer's first season of our virtual dancing competition, we're back again by popular demand with the second season of our online musical theatre dancing competition for student performers sponsored by LaDuca Shoes.

Inspired by your favorite network TV dancing contests, BroadwayWorld is inviting high school and college aged students to submit videos of themselves performing to a song from the musical theatre canon to enter the competition.

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