Daniel Radcliffe, star of the Tony-nominated How to Succeed in Business without Really Trying and the beloved Harry Potter films, served as master of ceremonies as hundreds of students from middle and intermediate New York City Public Schools in Brooklyn, Bronx, Queens and Manhattan had their Broadway debut at the Shubert Foundation/MTI Broadway JR. Student Celebration at the Majestic Theatre (245 West 44th Street) today, Monday, June 6th from 10:30 AM to noon. Each school performed a song from their production of a student version of a classic musical, including Annie JR., Once on this Island JR., Seussical JR., Disney's Aladdin JR. and Guys and Dolls JR. A list of schools which participated in the June 6th celebration follows.
Check out highlights from the event by clicking below!
The special Broadway performance was the year-end culminating celebration of the Shubert Foundation/MTI Broadway JR. Program, a ground-breaking musical theatre mentorship program which builds self-sustaining theatre programs in public schools with limited arts programming, and is sponsored by The Shubert Foundation, The New York City Department of Education (NYCDOE) and Music Theatre International (MTI). The event was produced by New York City's educational musical theatre consulting firm iTheatrics. Use of The Majestic Theatre was provided by The Shubert Organization.
Radcliffe served as master of ceremonies and leaders from the theatre and education joining in the thunderous applause for the students included: Dennis Walcott, Schools Chancellor, New York City Department of Education; Paul King, Executive Director of New York City Department of Education's Office of Arts and Special Projects; Robert E. Wankel, Co-CEO, President of The Shubert Organization; Philip J. Smith, Chairman of The Shubert Foundation; Freddie Gershon, Chairman and CEO of Music Theatre International; Drew Cohen, President of Music Theatre International; musical theatre author and iTheatrics founding chairman Timothy Allen McDonald, and Steve Tennen, Executive Director of ArtsConnection.
The program aims to engage as many students as possible in all aspects and areas of the arts. In the first year of the program teachers and students are guided step-by-step through the process of producing a first-ever musical in their schools. In the second year, teachers and students continue to receive support and encouragement on their second musical, but take ownership over their productions. In the third year schools present a musical independently, and now serve as inspiration for other schools involved in earlier cycles of the program.