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TUCK EVERLASTING's Andrew Keenan-Bolger Hosts 2016 BROADWAY JUNIOR STUDENT FINALE Today

Broadway's Tuck Everlasting welcomes Andrew Keenan-Bolger, who currently stars as "Jesse Tuck" in the new musical, as host for The Shubert Foundation and Music Theatre International's 11th Annual Broadway Junior Student Finale, which will take place at the Imperial Theatre (249 W. 45th St.) today, May 17, 2016 at 10:30 AM.

The Shubert Foundation / MTI Broadway Junior partnership is a groundbreaking musical theatre mentorship program that builds self-sustaining theatre programs in public schools that have limited arts programming. The program is sponsored by The Shubert Foundation, Music Theatre International (MTI) and the New York City Department of Education (NYCDOE). Broadway Junior Student Finale will showcase students from Brooklyn, Bronx, Queens and Manhattan performing song and dance numbers from their school versions of Broadway musicals, including Disney's The Lion King JR, Fame JR, Guys and Dolls JR., Annie JR, Hairspray JR, and Shrek the Musical JR.

New York City Department of Education Senior Deputy Chancellor Dorita Gibson and Music Theatre International's Chairman and CEO Freddie Gershon will begin the event by welcoming students and their families before turning the stage over to Shubert Organization President Robert E. Wankel and Shubert Foundation President Michael I. Sovern to introduce host Andrew Keenan-Bolger.

In attendance at the Broadway Junior Student Finale will be Philip J. Smith, Chairman of the Shubert Organization, members of NYC Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña's cabinet from the Department of Education, prominent NYC arts educators, and leading members of New York's professional theater community.

If you could live forever, would you? Take a journey you'll never forget in this powerful new musical about love, family and living life to the fullest.

TUCK EVERLASTING, the new musical based on Natalie Babbitt's beloved best-selling novel of the same name, opened at the Broadhurst Theatre (235 W. 44th St.) on April 26, 2016, and features direction and choreography by Tony Award winner Casey Nicholaw (Something Rotten!, Aladdin, The Book of Mormon).

The cast is led by three-time Tony Nominee Carolee Carmello as "Mae Tuck" (Finding Neverland), Outer Critics Circle nominee Andrew Keenan-Bolger as "Jesse Tuck" (Newsies), two-time Emmy Award winner Michael Park as "Angus Tuck" (How To Succeed...), three-time Tony Nominee Terrence Mann as "The Man in the Yellow Suit" (Pippin), Fred Applegate as "Constable Joe" (The Last Ship), Robert Lenzi as "Miles Tuck" (South Pacific), Michael Wartella as "Hugo" (Wicked), Valerie Wright as "Mother" (Elf The Musical), Pippa Pearthree as "Nana" (Noises Off), and introduces 11-year-old Sarah Charles Lewis as "Winnie Foster."

Rounding out the cast is an ensemble of Timothy J. Alex, Chloë Campbell, Callie Carter, Ben Cook, Elizabeth Margaret Crawford, Deanna Doyle, Brandon Espinoza, Lisa Gajda, Jessica Lee Goldyn, Christopher Gurr, Neil Haskell, Matt Meigs, Heather Parcells, Justin Patterson, Marco Schittone, Brooklyn Shuck, Jennifer Smith, Kathy Voytko, and Sharrod Williams.

TUCK EVERLASTING, which debuted in 2015 at Atlanta's Alliance Theatre, is brought to life in a sweeping production which features a book by Tony Award nominee Claudia Shear (Dirty Blonde) and award-winning author Tim Federle (Better Nate Than Ever), music by Chris Miller (The Burnt Part Boys), lyrics by Nathan Tysen (The Burnt Part Boys), and direction and choreography by Tony Award winner Casey Nicholaw (Something Rotten!, Aladdin, The Book of Mormon).

Natalie Babbitt's best-selling and award-winning novel, Tuck Everlasting, was first published in 1975, and has remained in print ever since. Considered a modern classic, the beloved novel has been translated into 27 languages and has sold over four million copies in the United States since it was first published 40 years ago. Tuck Everlasting was named an American Library Association's Notable Book, and the winner of the Christopher Award, which honors media that "affirm the highest values of the human spirit."

TUCK EVERLASTING features scenic design by Walt Spangler (A Christmas Story The Musical, Desire Under The Elms), costume design by Tony Award winner Gregg Barnes (Something Rotten!, Aladdin, Kinky Boots), lighting design by Tony Award winner Kenneth Posner (Finding Neverland, Kinky Boots, Wicked), sound design by Tony Award winner Brian Ronan (Beautiful The Carole King Musical, The Book of Mormon), orchestrations by John Clancy (Fun Home, Shrek), musical supervision by Rob Berman (The Pajama Game, eight seasons as music director of Encores!) and Mary-Mitchell Campbell (Finding Neverland, Big Fish), and casting by Telsey + Company (Bethany Berg Knox, CSA).

Since 2005, The Shubert Foundation has provided more than $3.2 million to the New York City Department of Education for Arts Education/Theatre programs. This year marks the Foundation's eleventh year providing funds for The Shubert Foundation/MTI Broadway Junior program which was founded during the 2005-2006 school year. To date, 60 schools and more than 10,000 students have participated in the program. Currently 58 schools are involved in the program. In 2015, The Shubert Foundation introduced a new program in partnership with the NYC Department of Education, The Shubert Foundation High School Theatre Festival for NYC Public Schools. The annual event features highlights from NYC public high school productions of plays and musicals, performed on a Broadway stage. The Shubert Foundation, Inc. is the nation's largest private foundation dedicated to unrestricted funding of not-for-profit theatres, with a secondary focus on dance. In 2015, The Shubert Foundation annual grants program awarded a record total of $24 million to 488 not-for-profit performing arts organizations across the United States. The 2015 grants marked the 33rd year in a row that the Foundation's giving has increased. For more, visit www.shubertfoundation.org.

Music Theatre International (MTI) is one of the world's leading theatrical licensing agencies, granting schools as well as amateur and professional theatres from around the world the rights to perform the largest selection of great musicals from Broadway and beyond. MTI works directly with the composers, lyricists and book writers of these shows to provide official scripts, musical and dynamic theatrical resources to over 70,000 theatrical organizations in the US and in over 60 countries worldwide. MTI's Broadway Junior collection of musicals, are developmentally appropriate 30 and 60-minute shows for elementary and middle school-aged performers. Since 1996, over 100,000 Broadway Junior productions have taken place around the world involving over 500,000 educators and over 5 million student performers. For more information, go to www.mtishows.com.

The New York City Department of Education is the largest system of public schools in the United States, serving about 1.1 million students in more than 1,750 schools. The Department of Education supports universal access to arts education through the ArtsCount initiative, which tracks and reports student participation in arts education and holds schools accountable for meeting New York State Instructional Requirements for the Arts. For more information, go to www.nyc.gov/schools.

Photo Credit: Joan Marcus


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