TexARTS Teens to Present Original Musical Revue of Broadway Favorites

The TexARTS Musical Theatre Academy is known throughout the Lake Travis region for producing memorable youth productions like "Beauty and the Beast Jr.," "Bring It On the Musical" and "Legally Blonde the Musical," but this fall, the students have taken on a whole new challenge. A collaboration of TexARTS artistic director Darren Gibson and show director Russel Taylor, these 23 teenage artists have put into production an original revue of Broadway favorites called "Project Broadway: Working Title."

Imagine 23 aspiring Broadway stars trapped in a theatre, and their only way out is to perform a musical on the spot. In this reality show-style production, the directors have taken some of Broadway's best numbers and created a show around 23 different artists singing and dancing "for their lives."

"It's really different because we are playing ourselves instead of a character," Alanna Anderson, a cast member a junior at Vandegrift High School, said. "Usually we get a script and learn lines, but working with the directors to create our own story has been challenging and fun."

Anderson mentioned that it is every musical theatre kid's dream to just break out into musical numbers in daily life.

"We do it all the time anyway, so it's been really fun making a show about it." Anderson said.

TexARTS artistic director and show choreographer Darren Gibson says that he is always building productions and numbers around the strengths of his students, but this time they are working together to create an entire world.

"A script provides you with a road map for what a show is supposed to be," Gibson said. "This time we are creating a whole new world from scratch."

"What we are trying to do is push the kids to look inside themselves and bear a little piece of themselves that they would otherwise keep hidden. Asking them to play themselves on stage and be compelling pushes them to be artists and not just technicians."

"Project Broadway: Working Title" features songs from "Chicago," "Spring Awakening," "Hairspray," "Thoroughly Modern Millie" and more. Each song and dance number has been selected to showcase each performer's individual talents and strengths, culminating in a spectacular display of the exceptional young talent fostered at TexARTS.

"The nature of this project makes this show a once in a lifetime experience," Gibson said.

Only four performances of "Project Broadway: Working Title" are scheduled for November 14-15 at the Kam and James Morris Theatre, located at 2300 Lohmans Spur, Ste 160, in Lakeway. Show times are at 2pm and 6pm both days. Tickets are only $15 and the show is perfect for the whole family to enjoy. Tickets are available online at www.tex-arts.org or by calling the box office at 512-852-9079 ext 101.

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