A one-year-old student program run by Camp Broadway, The Front Row, continued its effort to expose student audiences to the Broadway experience by sponsoring a special question and answer period with director James Naughton on Feb. 1.
The one-hour, mid-afternoon session took place at the Dramatists Guild offices where Naughton spoke with students about the production itself and his career in theatre. Students with tickets to The Price were able to participate in the discussion.
The Front Row program grew from an effort initiated by actor Kevin Spacey when he was starring in The Iceman Cometh last season. Spacey's desire to provide affordable ($20) tickets to students was successful, leading some 8,700 college and university students to see the production.
Camp Broadway's Julie Rowe said that the students attending Iceman last season were able to use their ticket stubs to participate in any one of the eight seminars conducted by Spacey and his fellow cast members. The response was so good that similar programs have been initiated at such shows as Wrong Mountain, Amadeus, The Bomb-itty of Errors and The Donkey Show. Interestingly, some of the participating shows are Broadway, some Off-Broadway, a few have posted closing notices, and others have open runs.
"We make Broadway accessible to educators and students," Rowe told Playbill On-Line. "The idea is to make Broadway part of their curriculum." Camp Broadway does study guides for shows, educational outreach, interactive workshops, as well as "teaching artists" in schools which revolve around a given production. One noteworthy program, which was done with Walt Disney, was the "Pride Rock" program. Rowe estimated that 3,000 students visited Broadway through that one effort. Rowe explained that groups as small as 10 could be accommodated in the Front Row program.
Students with ID should call Julie Rowe at (212) 575-2953 for further information.