By Adam Hetrick
30 May 2013
Now in its eighth year, the special event invites middle school students from across New York City to perform on a Broadway stage. Twenty different schools will offer selections from musicals they have been working on the past year.
The 10:30 AM event will include performances from Brooklyn, Bronx, Queens and Manhattan students who will offer selections from Annie JR, Once On This Island JR., The Pirates of Penzance JR., Disney's The Little Mermaid JR, Bugsy Malone JR, Disney's High School Musical JR, Dear Edwina JR, Fame JR, Roald Dahl's Willy Wonka JR and Fiddler on the Roof JR.
The program is a partnership with the New York City Department of Education and the Shubert Foundation/Music Theatre International Broadway JR Program that helps build self-sustaining musical theatre programs in city schools that have little arts programming.
Over the course of three years, underserved schools are provided with funding, professional guidance and the materials necessary for a theatre program to take root. Many schools graduate from the Shubert Foundation/MTI Broadway JR. Program with thriving theatre programs in place.
The event will also welcome Shubert Organization President and co-CEO Robert E. Wankel, Tony Award-honored Broadway JR creator and MTI CEO Freddie Gershon, Deputy Chancellor of the New York City Department of Education Dorita Gibson.
The Shubert Foundation/MTI Broadway JR Student Celebration will also feature students from six different schools that have graduated from the program, who will perform "To Life" from Fiddler on the Roof JR. The students' respective schools have participated in Shubert Foundation/MTI Broadway Junior Program for at least four years—highlighting the success of the program in supporting sustainable arts education programs.
Federle made his Broadway debut in the 2003 Broadway revival of Gypsy with Bernadette Peters. He went on to perform in the Broadway casts of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, The Little Mermaid and Billy Elliot. "Better Nate Than Ever" marks his debut as a novelist.
This student celebration is produced by New York City's educational musical theatre consulting firm iTheatrics. Use of The Broadhurst Theatre has been provided by The Shubert Organization.