Broadway Welcome's Teachers at THE FREDDIE G THEATRE EXPERIENCE, 7/15-17

Eight exceptional educators from schools and performing arts centers around the country will work one-on-one with Broadway greats including Kimberly Grigsby, Warren Carlyle, Benj Pasek and Justin Paul at the 2nd Annual BROADWAY WELCOMES AMERICA'S TEACHERS AT THE FREDDIE G THEATRE EXPERIENCE July 15th-17th in New York. Again this year's event has been underwritten by Freddie ("G") Gershon, Chairman and CEO of leading theatrical licensor Music Theatre International (MTI) and his wife Myrna Gershon. The weekend honors instructors and teachers who are working to make a difference for their students and communities through the process of staging musical theatre productions in their schools and educational theatre groups.

"The weekend will fully immerse the teachers in the Broadway world and provide one-of-a-kind learning opportunities for the teachers to take back to their schools, students and communities," says Gershon. "These teachers do inspiring work with limited financial resources. We want to give them the opportunity to live the Broadway experience and interact with top professionals to reward them for all they do to introduce the next generations to Broadway and musical theatre."

Dozens of educators attending the 2011 Junior Theater Festival applied for the program, and eight total were selected (a full list follows). Six teachers were selected as Freddie G Experience recipients on the basis of what the professional development opportunity would mean for them as teachers, as well as for their students and greater community. Two additional educators were selected as winners of the Freddie G Broadway Junior Spirit Award and the 2011 Freddie G Broadway Junior Community Service award at the 2011 Junior Theater Festival.

The Junior Theater Festival is the world's largest musical theatre festival dedicated to educational musical theatre groups that work with elementary and middle school students. The 2011 festival was sponsored by MTI and Disney Musicals and was presented by New York's iTheatrics and Atlanta's Theater of the Stars.

The eight educators will participate in dynamic, hands-on master classes with some of Broadway leading choreographers, directors, producers, actors and designers covering a wide range of topics including directing, choreography, music, design and marketing. They will attend Broadway shows Rent and Sister Act: The Musical and go on backstage tours. Special guest Broadway teachers include Warren Carlyle and Kimberly Grigsby. Ms. Grigsby is the music director for Spiderman and previously music directed Spring Awakening, You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown, and Twelfth Night (Jeanine Tesori) on Broadway. Mr. Carlyle received Drama Desk nominations for his direction of a musical and choreography for Finian's Rainbow. He most recently choreographed the Kennedy Center production of Follies which is opening on Broadway.

"I feel strongly about personally investing in these teachers by immersing them in experiential skills they can take home and share with students and other teachers," added Gershon. "It's crucial we keep theatre alive in this country by working with both educators and children. Myrna and I feel that America's teachers should be honored and appreciated. Our future is in their hands."

Following are the eight teachers attending the Broadway Welcomes America's Teachers at the 2nd Annual Freddie G Theatre Experience
· John Jung: music teacher, Our Lady of Victory Grade School Players, North Bend, OH - Freddie G Experience Award

· Lynne Bordelon: director of children's programming, artistic administrative assistant, and resident choreographer, JPAS Theatre Kids!, Ponchatoula, LA - Freddie G Experience Award

· Rozalynn Taylor Fulton: education director, Community Theatre of Greensboro Greensboro, NC - Freddie G Experience Award

· Tiffany Dunagan: fifth grade teacher and mother who saw an opportunity to create arts opportunities for students, Queen's Grant Community Charter School Mint Hill, NC - Freddie G Experience Award

· Paula Chanda: co-founder and executive director, Hub Performing Arts School Lubbock, TX - Freddie G Experience Award

· Steven Spicher: instructor, technical director and show director, Casper Children's Theater, Casper, WY - Freddie G Experience Award

· Nicole McGann: choreographer, Youth Theatre Company Walnut Creek, CA - Freddie G Broadway Junior Community Service Award

· Shell Ramirez: teacher, International Community School, Avondale Estates, GA - Freddie G Broadway Junior Spirit Award

Music Theatre International www.mtishows.com is one of the world's leading dramatic licensing agencies, protecting the rights and legacies of composers, lyricists and book writers. MTI's core business is issuing licenses, scripts, musical materials and dynamic theatrical resources to schools as well as amateur and professional theatres across the globe.

With over 300 classic and contemporary show titles from Broadway, Off-Broadway, and London's West End, MTI shows have been performed by 60,000 theatrical organizations in the US and in over 60 countries worldwide.

MTI is particularly dedicated to the idea of theatre as education and has created special collections for younger audiences. The Broadway Junior Collection® features 70-minute adaptations of major musicals designed for middle school children to perform; the KIDS Collection®, provides 30-minute musicals for performance by elementary school children; School Editions are musicals that have been annotated for performance by high school students; and the Theatre For Young Audiences Collection, 70-minute musicals designed for adults to perform for children.

 

Photo Credit: Walter McBride/WM Photos



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