Music Theatre International (MTI) has revealed the six outstanding theatre educators selected for this year's Freddie G Fellowship, which will see the educators flown to New York July 14-17 for one-on-one development sessions with Broadway professionals. Honorees are chosen from educators attending the Junior Theater Festivals, a pair of weekend-long events in Atlanta, Georgia, and Sacramento, California, that sees educational theatre groups from around the country bring performance excerpts from shows in MTI's Broadway Junior catalog for adjudicating and a general celebration of all things youth theatre.
The educators chosen this year are Dana Alvarez of Cape Coral, Florida; Terry Hale of Elgin, Oregon; Megan Kelly Bates of Dallas, Texas; Krissy Brown of Springfield, Ohio; Michelle Campbell of Elk Grove, California; and Chad Haney of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
"Without teachers there is no Broadway Junior," says Freddie Gershon, MTI Co-Chairman and, with wife Myrna, underwriter of the Fellowship. "Myrna and I feel strongly about teachers and their significant role. This week gives us an opportunity to immerse them in experiential skills they can take home, integrate with their students, and pass on to other teachers."
"Live theatre and the arts are thriving with the private sector supporting both educators and children, and teachers deserve to be appreciated," adds Myrna Gershon.
This year's cohort will attend a special master class with Tony-nominated director and choreographer Jeff Calhoun, currently represented with Off-Broadway's Between the Lines. The teachers will also see performances of Between the Lines, Beetlejuice, and a developmental workshop of the forthcoming Beetlejuice JR. The week's programs have been coordinated by iTheatrics, producers of the Junior Theater Festivals and leading authority on musical theatre for young people.
"The four days will fully engage the winning teachers in the Broadway musical theatre world and provide one-of-a-kind learning opportunities for them to take back to their schools, students and communities," says Freddie Gershon. "These teachers perform inspiring work with limited financial resources. We want to give them the opportunity to live the Broadway experience and interact with qualified professionals to reward them for all they do to introduce the next generations to live theatre and simultaneously enhance their knowledge, skills, and experience. The teaching Fellows act as peer to peer guiding lights, viz: teachers helping teachers in their quest to mount the best Junior shows. With 80 plus teachers as Fellows, they pass on tips and skills learned in New York during the week to others."
For more information on the Junior Theater Festivals, visit JuniorTheaterFestival.com.