Photo Flash: Broadway Kids Sing for Peace in Times Square
On Saturday, December 19, 2015 a group of over 70 children including Broadway performers and friends joined together in NYC to raise their voices for peace in hopes to help end gun violence. They created a flash mob sing-in demonstration first at Schnipper's restaurant in the heart of Broadway on 8th Avenue and 41st and then once again in Times Square.
The children sang John Lennon's Imagine and carried signs saying phrases such as "We deserve a better future", Imagine a Better World, #EndGunViolence,
#ImagineSingforPeace. The ad hoc group of children was assembled via social media posts, emails and word of mouth, and they used their time and talent simply to be heard. With the power of social media, their hope is that this message will spread and be heard across the world.
The idea for the demonstration was sparked by a facebook post written by a fourteen year old Broadway performer, Sam Poon ( The King and I, Macbeth, Billy Elliot, Les Miserables). In his post, he expressed anger and frustration over the gun violence in our society. After reading his post, Jody Prusan, of Connecting Talent Company reached out to Sam, urging him to use his voice and be heard. Together, Sam and Jody planned a flash mob/sing-in. Industry kids came in from as far as Texas, Washington D.C., Pennsylvania, Missouri, Connecticut, Mississippi and New Jersey.
This demonstration was particularly moving and important to not just the passersby and audience, but also to the children and parents who were actively raising their voices. One of New York City's finest, a male police officer, even joined in the singing as he was watching the demonstration. Saoirse Dempsey, a freshman at Laguardia High School, when asked how this experience affected her said, " It's much different from just saying stuff online about ending gun violence, to see this and know that it's real and not just read it online. We got to see people's reactions and know we were affecting them."
Over 70 kids participated, past and current performers of Broadway shows and tours such as: A Christmas Story, Annie, The King and I, Billy Elliot, Les Miserables, Macbeth, Mary Poppins, Motown the Musical, Fly, Matilda, Finding Neverland, The Grinch Who Stole Christmas, Act One, A Little Princess, Miracle on 34th Street, Oliver, Miss Saigon, Evergreen, South Pacific, Assembled Parties, The Landing, and Elf.
Participants Included: Sam Poon, Ellie Poon, William Poon, Alex Dreier, Kara Oates, Amaya Braganza, Adriana Braganza, Josiah Jacoby, Timothy Yang, James Ignacio, Daniela Ignacio, Sofia Bryant, Agape Priester, Miles Preister, Carter Eiseman, Caroline Eiseman, Lynn Masako, Gordon Masako, Joy Kate Lawson, David Anderson, Saoirse Dempsey, Alexa Valentino, Maddox Elliot, Zach Brod, Dylan Brod, Meghan Jenkins, Jake Bennett Siegfried, Madison Zaymor, Isabela Burke, Noah Marlowe, Samantha Blaire Cutler, Annie Baltic, Lauren Santana, Jibreel Mawry, Brooklyn Shuck, Raleigh Shuck, Jenna Iacono, Larry Saperstein, Luka Kain, Katie Breckenridge, Matthew Quirk, Ellie Kim, Kolette Tetlow, Keaton Tetlow, Leah Rose, Kayla Tori, Tahlia Bernstein, Angeli Negron, Gabby Beredo, Giada Blume, Faith King, Niada Blume, Mehret Barlowe, Gabriella Green, Nisha Borrelli, Isabella Burke, Olivia Hardy, Nikki Wildy, Grace Riddle, Antonio Psoncak, Julia Marshall, Lily Peterson, Amelia Bryant, Sasha Paris-Carter, Alexandra Powell, Monika Herrera and Ezequiel Pujols.
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