Inside Broadway and ‘Mamma Mia!’ ‘Creates Magic’ With NY Students

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Inside Broadway and ‘Mamma Mia!’ ‘Creates Magic’ With NY Students

By Laura Meltzer

June 15, 2012


Photo by Elena Olivo
Michael Presser with the Cast of Mamma Mia!
The Winter Garden Theatre was filled with 1300 students who participated in Inside Broadway’s annual “Creating the Magic” workshop on Thursday. The cast of  “Mamma Mia!” entertained students with lavish musical numbers from the production, including “Dancing Queen,” “Chiquitia,” “SOS,” and others.


The Audience at Creating the Magic (Elena Olivo)

Inside Broadway is a nonprofit organization that brings Broadway theater to New York City public school students. This year, the organization will be celebrating 30 years of introducing kids to the Great White Way. Production Stage Manager Andy Fenton showed students the technical aspects that go into putting on a Broadway production. Students gasped in awe when the set piece of a house transformed into a courtyard.


Mamma Mia! Production Stage Manager Andy Fenton at Creating the Magic (Elena Olivo)

Performers also explained to the students what it means to work in the theater.
 
“Being a performer is taking a risk, being patient and making a choice,” said Felicity Claire, who understudies Sophie Sheridan. “That’s what we do as actors everyday.”
 
Not only did the students enjoy the performances, the cast enjoyed entertaining the students.

“I was taken by their excitement over just seeing live theater,” said ensemble member, Stacia Fernandez.  “As simple as we think it can be, they were so into what we were doing and screaming yelling like we were rock stars.”

Special guests Queens counsel member, Mark Weprin, and Inside Broadway sponsor Jack Brucculeri addressed the audience with a few words about the special event.

“What a beautiful setting for all of these young children from all parts of the five boroughs can come here and enjoy a wonderful experience,” said Brucculeri. “Hopefully they’re inspired for their future and inspire themselves as young adults to go see more Broadway shows.”


Mamma Mia! Cast Members Stacia Fernandez, Jennifer Noth & Lauren Cohn (Elena Olivo)
 
Students were inspired by the performances. Mainuna Dialao, a third grader who attends PS 304 hopes to perform on stage in the future.  “I always like to dance and act,” she said. 

Children had the opportunity to ask cast and crew questions about the process of putting on a show.

“How do you keep control of the actors backstage?” one student asked.

“I gave up on that 10 years ago,” Fenton said, causing the audience to erupt in laughter.

The festivities ended with a traditional show-stopping Broadway number. Bright pink, blue, and purple lights filled the stage while the cast sang “Waterloo.” Students danced and clapped to the beat of the song, concluding with a standing ovation from students, teachers, sponsors and Inside Broadway employees, who made this event come to life.


Inside Broadway and ‘Mamma Mia!’ ‘Creates Magic’ With NY Students

By Laura Meltzer

June 15, 2012


Michael Presser with the Cast of Mamma Mia!
PHOTO CREDIT
Elena Olivo
The Winter Garden Theatre was filled with 1300 students who participated in Inside Broadway’s annual “Creating the Magic” workshop on Thursday. The cast of  “Mamma Mia!” entertained students with lavish musical numbers from the production, including “Dancing Queen,” “Chiquitia,” “SOS,” and others.


The Audience at Creating the Magic (Elena Olivo)

Inside Broadway is a nonprofit organization that brings Broadway theater to New York City public school students. This year, the organization will be celebrating 30 years of introducing kids to the Great White Way. Production Stage Manager Andy Fenton showed students the technical aspects that go into putting on a Broadway production. Students gasped in awe when the set piece of a house transformed into a courtyard.


Mamma Mia! Production Stage Manager Andy Fenton at Creating the Magic (Elena Olivo)

Performers also explained to the students what it means to work in the theater.
 
“Being a performer is taking a risk, being patient and making a choice,” said Felicity Claire, who understudies Sophie Sheridan. “That’s what we do as actors everyday.”
 
Not only did the students enjoy the performances, the cast enjoyed entertaining the students.

“I was taken by their excitement over just seeing live theater,” said ensemble member, Stacia Fernandez.  “As simple as we think it can be, they were so into what we were doing and screaming yelling like we were rock stars.”

Special guests Queens counsel member, Mark Weprin, and Inside Broadway sponsor Jack Brucculeri addressed the audience with a few words about the special event.

“What a beautiful setting for all of these young children from all parts of the five boroughs can come here and enjoy a wonderful experience,” said Brucculeri. “Hopefully they’re inspired for their future and inspire themselves as young adults to go see more Broadway shows.”


Mamma Mia! Cast Members Stacia Fernandez, Jennifer Noth & Lauren Cohn (Elena Olivo)
 
Students were inspired by the performances. Mainuna Dialao, a third grader who attends PS 304 hopes to perform on stage in the future.  “I always like to dance and act,” she said. 

Children had the opportunity to ask cast and crew questions about the process of putting on a show.

“How do you keep control of the actors backstage?” one student asked.

“I gave up on that 10 years ago,” Fenton said, causing the audience to erupt in laughter.

The festivities ended with a traditional show-stopping Broadway number. Bright pink, blue, and purple lights filled the stage while the cast sang “Waterloo.” Students danced and clapped to the beat of the song, concluding with a standing ovation from students, teachers, sponsors and Inside Broadway employees, who made this event come to life.
 
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