The day-long event commences at 9:30 AM as producer Russell Simmons welcomes the students. The program will continue with movement warm-ups and interactive sessions with the current Broadway cast. Eleven talented high schoolers selected from the eleven schools participating will get to perform on the Broadway stage. After the workshop, the children will enjoy the 2 PM matinee performance of the production.
The event is the culmination of a three-month curriculum designed by Amy Weinstein of StudentsLive! Students participating in the event attend local New York and New Jersey schools including: Rubin Wishkin Academy (Egg Harbor Township, NJ), CIS 313 (Bronx, NY), George Wingate HS (Brooklyn, NY), Leap Academy (Camden, NJ), Ossining HS (Ossining, NY), Park West HS (NYC, NY), St. Catherine's (Bronx, NY), Lincoln HS (Jersey City, NJ) South Hampton HS (Southampton, NY), Union Dale HS (Union Dale, NY) and William Maxwell HS (Brooklyn, NY).
The theatrical Def Poetry Jam debuted at San Francisco's Theatre on the Square, although the same-named HBO specials were popular for some time prior. The Broadway run opened Nov. 14, 2002, at the Longacre Theatre, where it currently runs. The diverse cast of modern-day troubadours includes Black Ice, Staceyann Chin, Steve Colman, Mayda Del Valle, Suheir Hammad, Tamika (AKA Georgia Me) Harper, Lemon, Poetri and Beau Sia.
Presented by Russell Simmons and Stan Lathan, in association with Kimora Lee Simmons, Island Def Jam Music Group, Brett Ratner and David Rosenberg, Def Poetry Jam is conceived by Lathan and Simmons. Lathan directs.
For tickets to Def Poetry Jam at the Longacre Theatre, 220 West 48th Street, call (212) 239-6200. For more information, visit www.defpoetryjamnyc.com.