NYC Public School Students
Get a Taste of Broadway Through Streaming
The Largest Theatre Education Partnership
In The History of New York City
With the ongoing Broadway shutdown due to COVID-19 and cancellation of all school field trips, The Broadway League, with the support of the New York City Department of Education (DOE) and the United Federation of Teachers (UFT), will be offering all NYC Public School 10th graders free streaming to three previously recorded Broadway and West End shows – Memphis, Newsies: The Broadway Musical, and Kinky Boots – through school participation and sign up with Broadway Bridges® this spring. Broadway Bridges is The Broadway League’s initiative that seeks to give every New York City public high school student the chance to experience a Broadway show before graduation.
Broadway Bridges has also developed additional new original online content focused on how shows are made. Video programs available to students feature Kenny Seymour (Memphis musical director), Jerry Mitchell (Kinky Boots director & choreographer), Linda Cho (Tony Award®-winning costume designer), Beverly Jenkins (Hadestown stage manager), and Kendra Moore (The Lion King associate company manager). Additionally, students can explore resources about the wide spectrum of non-performance career opportunities available throughout the Broadway industry at Careers.Broadway.
The streaming schedule is as follows:
- Memphis: March 15 – April 2
- Newsies: The Broadway Musical: April 12 – April 30
- Kinky Boots: May 10 – May 28
“Broadway Bridges provides access to Broadway across the largest and most diverse school district in the country by aiming to give every NYC Public School student a chance to experience one of our city’s most vital hometown industries before graduation,” said Charlotte St. Martin, President of the Broadway League. “We’ve had to be creative during the pandemic with new offerings, and we’re delighted that we can share the excitement of Broadway, even during the hiatus in performances and pause in extracurricular activities.”
“Our students need to feel engaged and connected. Free access to Broadway and West End productions is a way to broaden our students’ experiences even in a pandemic, and to foster a love of theater and the arts. Plus, it’s fun, something our kids need just as much as instruction,” said Michael Mulgrew, President of the United Federation of Teachers.
Broadway Bridges receives support from the New York City Council, the NYC Department of Education, the United Federation of Teachers, and generous individual donors. The screening of Newsies: the Broadway Musical is donated by Disney as part of their national Virtual Field Trip initiative.
During the 2019-2020 season Broadway Bridges brought over 21,000 tenth grade students and chaperones to a show. The cumulative total of participants is over 46,000 and the program has experienced 388% growth in three seasons since it started.
Launched in 2017, the Broadway Bridges program is offered to public high schools in the five boroughs. It was developed by a group of leading commercial and non-profit industry professionals to build on the significant work the Broadway community already does in bringing New York City students to Broadway. Independently, Broadway-based commercial producers and not-for-profit institutions such as Lincoln Center Theater, Manhattan Theatre Club, Roundabout Theatre Company, Disney Theatrical Productions, and TDF already bring nearly 30,000 students to live theatre each year. In complementing the long-standing work of these programs, Broadway Bridges has the ability to reach students who may not otherwise have the chance to attend a Broadway show.
Regularly, Broadway Bridges offers high schools $10 Broadway tickets to live performances of participating shows (less than a movie ticket) for their tenth grade students. The tickets are purchased based on availability and are timed to coincide with the demands of the school calendar.
Visit the Broadway League YouTube channel for a video with more about the program’s impact on students. Other League efforts that support education in the arts include The Jimmy Awards®, Careers.Broadway, The Broadway League Internship Program, The Rising Stars Professional Development Program, The League/ATPAM Diversity Initiative and The Broadway League’s Diversity & Inclusion Fellowship Program. For more information please visit www.broadwayleague.com.
Set in the turbulent south and underground clubs of the segregated 1950s, Memphis is the story of Huey Calhoun, a young white radio DJ (loosely based on real-life disc jockey Dewey Phillips of the same era) who fell in love with everything he shouldn’t: rock ‘n’ roll and an electrifying black singer named Felicia Farrell. Memphis is an original story about the cultural revolution that erupted when his vision met her voice, and the music changed forever. Bursting off the stage with explosive dancing, irresistible songs and a thrilling tale of fame and forbidden love, this incredible journey is filled with laughter, soaring emotion, and roof-raising rock ‘n’ roll. The 2010 Tony Award–winner for Best Musical, Memphis features a Tony-winning book by Joe DiPietro and a Tony-winning original score with music by Bon Jovi founding member David Bryan. Directed by Christopher Ashley (Come From Away) and choreographed by Sergio Trujillo (Ain’t Too Proud, On Your Feet!), this musical stars some of Broadway’s biggest names.
NEWSIES: THE BROADWAY MUSICAL
Newsies, the new American musical, features a Tony Award-winning score with music by eight-time Academy Award®-winner Alan Menken and lyrics by Jack Feldman, a book by four-time Tony Award-winner Harvey Fierstein and is produced by Disney Theatrical Productions. Newsies is directed by Tony nominee Jeff Calhoun and choreographed by Christopher Gattelli, who won a 2012 Tony Award for his work on the show. Since opening on Broadway in 2011, Newsies has played 1,711 performances between Broadway and the North American tour, to more than 2.5 million audience members in 65 cities across the country.
Kinky Boots is the winner of every major Best Musical award, including the Tony, the Grammy and London’s Olivier Award. Featuring 16 original songs by Cyndi Lauper, a book by Harvey Fierstein, and direction by Jerry Mitchell, this musical is the dazzling, uplifting story of friendship and acceptance. Charlie Price has suddenly inherited his father’s shoe factory, which is on the verge of bankruptcy. Trying to live up to his father’s legacy and save his family business, Charlie finds inspiration in the form of Lola. A fabulous entertainer in need of some sturdy stilettos, Lola turns out to be the one person who can help Charlie become the man he’s meant to be. As they work to turn the factory around, this unlikely pair finds that they have more in common than they ever dreamed possible… and discover that when you change your mind about someone, you can change your whole world.
THE BROADWAY LEAGUE (Charlotte St. Martin, President), founded in 1930, is the national trade association for the Broadway industry. The League’s 700-plus members include theatre owners and operators, producers, presenters, and general managers who present in nearly 200 markets in North America. Each year, League members bring Broadway to nearly 30 million people in New York and on tour across the U.S. and Canada. The Broadway League has recently added a new category for International membership to collaborate with professionals from around the world who produce and present Broadway quality theatre. The Broadway League annually co-presents the Antoinette Perry “Tony” Awards®, one of the most coveted awards in the entertainment industry.
Key League programs and resources include: Kids’ Night on Broadway®, The Jimmy Awards®, Stars in the Alley®, Internet Broadway Database® (ibdb.com), Broadway.org, SpotlightonBroadway.com, Commercial Theater Institute (with Theatre Development Fund), as well as numerous conferences and forums for our members. Broadway Bridges®, with the support of the New York City Department of Education, is aimed at giving every New York City public high school student the opportunity to see a Broadway show before graduation. Careers.Broadway is a one-stop resource for anyone who wants to know what to do, where to look, and how to build a career on Broadway. TheatreAccess.NYC (co-produced with TDF) is the one-stop website of accessible Broadway performances for theatregoers with disabilities. Broadway.org is the League’s official on-line headquarters for Broadway in NYC, on tour, and internationally.
For more information visit BroadwayLeague.com or follow @BroadwayLeague on Twitter and visit us at Facebook.com/BroadwayLeague. Follow @Broadway on Instagram for more Broadway content.