150 talented NYC public school students made their Broadway debuts at the 5th annual Shubert Foundation High School Theatre Festival at the Music Box Theatre, last night. Presented by The Shubert Foundation and NYC Department of Education. This year’s festival featured selections from five outstanding high school student productions from the 2018-2019 school year, selected from over 30 productions across the city: Curtis High School (The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee), Lexington School for the Deaf (A Christmas Carol), Professional Performing Arts High School (Caroline, or Change), Repertory Company High School for Theater Arts (Runaways), and LaGuardia High School for Music, Art, and Performing Arts (The Sound of Music).
Tony Award® nominee Christopher Sieber will be hosting the evening and is currently appearing in the new hit Broadway musical The Prom.Joe Iconis (Be More Chill), Lisa Brescia (Dear Evan Hansen), Isabelle McCalla (The Prom), Tony Award winner Tonya Pinkins (original star of Caroline, Or Change), Tony nominee Lauren Ridloff (Children of a Lesser God), and Christina Soujous (Jesus Christ Superstar Live!) will be the onstage presenters.
Tonya Pinkins had every right to be bursting with pride when she talked about Professional Performing Arts High School production of Caroline, or Change. This phenomenal cast of Savannah-Lee Henry as Caroline, Myer Patterson, Madalynn Mathews, Anya Jimenez, Erica Simone Barnett, Dwany Guzman, Oliver Stern, Noah Gellman, Elizabeth Kenny, Andre Gulick, Oona Higgins, Christian Dell’Edera, Kimiko Jackson, Eden Rolle, Mark Aguirre, Leonay Shepherd, Hayes Philip, Manuel Hodgson and Julien Tornelli was each better than the next. Kudos to director Kyle Pleasant and musical director Brett Kristofferson. Well done!!!!
This was such a special events, full of heart and what theatre really means.