Danelle Cauley of Faith Christian School was one of eight outstanding educators from schools and performing arts centers around the country selected to work one-on-one with Broadway greats at the fifth annual Freddie G Broadway Experience in New York City.
The event was underwritten by Myrna and Freddie “G” Gershon, chairman and CEO of leading theatrical licensor Music Theatre International. The weekend honored instructors and teachers who are working to make a difference for their students and communities through the process of staging musical theatre productions in their schools and educational theatre groups. In addition to the New York experience, each of the teachers’ schools received $5,000 from Freddie and Myrna to enhance their arts program.
The teachers attended a private dinner with Stephen Sondheim and special workshops led by Tony Award-nominated composer and musical arranger Jeanine Tesori, Tony Award-winning director and choreographer Warren Carlyle, four-time Tony Award-nominated playwright Chad Beguelin, Tony Award-winning lighting designer Ken Billington and Broadway sound designer Matt Kraus.
“The experience fully immersed the teachers in the Broadway world and provided one-of-a-kind learning opportunities for the teachers to take back to their schools, students and communities,” Gershon said. “These teachers do inspiring work with limited financial resources. We wanted 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.”
Dozens of educators attending the 2014 Junior Theater Festival in Atlanta, Ga., applied for the program, and eight were selected. They participated in dynamic, hands-on master classes with some of Broadway’s leading choreographers, directors, producers, actors and designers. hey also attended the Broadway show “Aladdin,” complete with a backstage tour, watched a developmental performance of Peter Pan JR.,one of the newest potential Broadway Junior titles , and experienced Broadway like true theatre insiders.
“I feel strongly about personally investing in these teachers by immersing them in experiential skills they can take home and share with students and other teachers,” Gershon said. “It’s crucial we keep theatre alive in this country by working with both educators and children. Myrna and I feel that America’s teachers should be honored and appreciated. Our future is in their hands.”