Jeff Calhoun, Ken Billington, Tobin Ost Set for Freddie G Experience Master Classes
By Adam Hetrick
Tony Award-nominated Newsies director Jeff Calhoun and Tony Award-winning lighting designer Ken Billington will work with teachers from across the U.S. as part of the third annual Freddie G Broadway Experience.
Created by Music Theatre International CEO and 2012 Tony Honors for Excellence recipient Freddie Gershon, the 2012 event allows eight theatre educators the opportunity to immerse themselves in the New York theatre scene, working one-on-one with industry professionals in a fully funded weekend of seminars, master classes and Broadway shows.
Gershon and his wife Myrna, both of whom created the Stephen Sondheim Inspirational Teacher Awards, underwrite the July 12-15 event. The educators were selected during the Junior Theatre Festival in Atlanta, GA, last January.
"These teachers do inspiring work with limited financial resources," Gershon said in a statement. "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."
Among the professionals offering master classes and workshops are Calhoun (Newsies, Jekyll & Hyde), Billington (Chicago, The Scottsboro Boys), music director Kristen Blodgett (Evita, Mary Poppins), choreographer Lisa Stevens (9 to 5, First Wives Club) and Tony-nominated scenic designer Tobin Ost (Newsies, Bonnie & Clyde).
The weekend will also include a performance of Peter and the Starcatcher, backstage tours and a developmental presentation of Legally Blonde JR.
The selected teachers include Dina Sarno Slawson, Kevin Quillinan, Becky Morris, Neeahtima Dowdy, Albert Carter, Rhonda Cato, Bakari King and Patsy Riley.
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