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Broadway and Off-Broadway Meet the Teachers


   Monday, October 19th. The setting was Broadway's Minskoff Theatre lobby overlooking Times Square: red carpeting, floor-to-ceiling windows, and a handful of masks and other memorabilia that remind attendees that, when not serving as a backdrop to area teachers and their theatrical counterparts, this is home to Disney's The Lion King. 

   However, this particular afternoon, from 4:00 to 7:30 pm, the expansive two-level venue was not set up with the show's customary souvenir kiosks and snack bars, but rather a collection of tables piled with informational brochures, CDs, study guides and giveaways dedicated to promoting the alliance of area educators and the Broadway (and Off-Broadway community). This, in fact, promised to be one of New York City's most innovative events: Partners In Education Expo '09.

   Hosted by Nederlander Sales and Patron Services and Camp Broadway®, this first-ever event of its kind was established to "provide attending educators with strategies and techniques for using performing arts to enrich learning." 

   Noted Sarah Hutton, communications director of Camp Broadway: "Ideally we wanted this event to convey the educational value of our shows - and to give a sense of how each individual show offers a unique learning experience to a variety of age groups."

   She went on to stress the importance of giving children - especially those lucky enough to live in an area that attracts audiences from around the globe - the opportunity to experience, and to be inspired by, the most celebrated productions in the world.

   The Expo, which actually came together in a matter of months, offered meet and greets with Broadway performers (including the young actor Noah Robbins who plays Eugene Jerome in the revival of the Neil Simon's Brighton Beach Memoirs currently in previews at the Nederlander Theatre), book signings, and comprehensive data regarding NYC educational attractions and Broadway-area restaurants (to help customize fieldtrips). 

   Adding to the Expo's impressive scope were booths from licensing houses, complimentary refreshments from Mars 2112 and prize drawings that ranged from signature tote bags and memorabilia from Broadway shows to actual tickets to a number of hit productions, including Wicked and Billy Elliot.



   Two-hundred and fifty educators - many with invited guests - signed up for the event and, while the prizes were a big hit, even more so were the one-on-ones with exhibitors and talks by Sean McCourt (creator of Wicked's ingenious educational experience "Behind the Emerald Curtain"); Bo Metzler (author of the book What We Do - Working In The Theatre); and Janet Susin (President of NAMI, National Alliance on Mental Illness Queens/Nassau, and co-author of the lesson plans "Breaking The Silence"), who spoke on issues brought out in the Broadway musical Next To Normal.

 

Exhibitors, Partners in Education Expo '09

Audience Rewards

The Broadway League

Broadway World.com

Camp Broadway

Drama Book Shop

Educational Theatre Association (EdTA)

Ghostlight Records

Givenik.com

Lights on Broadway with Brian Stokes Mitchell

Madame Tussauds New York

Mars 2112

Music Theatre International (MTI)

Nederlander Salesand Patron Services

New World Stages

NYC Metro Parent

Ripley's Believe it of NOT!

SH-K-Boom

Theatrical Rights Worldwide

 

THE SHOWS:

Billy Elliot

Chicago

Finian's Rainbow

In The Heights

Memphis

The Neil Simon Plays

Next To Normal

Phantom of the Opera

Ragtime

Rock of Ages

West Side Story

Wicked

 

For more information: PartnersInEdExpo@campbroadway.com; Camp Broadway, 212-575-2929

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Griffin Miller, Theatre Editor

Author: City Guide Theatre Editor Griffin Miller moved to New York to pursue an acting/writing career in the 1980s after graduating magna cum laude from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. Since then, she has written for The New York Times, For the Bride, Hotels, and a number of other publications, mostly in the areas of travel and performance arts. She currently is the theatre editor for all NYMetroParents publications. An active member of The New York Travel Writers Association, she is also a playwright and award-winning collage artist. In addition, she sits on the board of The Lewis Carroll Society of North America. Griffin is married to Richard Sandomir, a reporter for The New York Times. See More

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