NEW YORK WELCOMES AMERICA’S TEACHERS TO THE FIFTH ANNUAL ‘FREDDIE G BROADWAY EXPERIENCE’; Jeanine Tesori, Warren Carlyle, Chad Beguelin, Ken Billington and Matt Kraus to work with the teachers

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David Beckwith


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Jeanine Tesori, Warren Carlyle, Chad Beguelin, Ken Billington and Matt Kraus to work with the teachers.


New York, N.Y. – July 8, 2014 — Eight outstanding educators from schools and performing arts centers around the country will work one-on-one with Broadway greats at the 5th Annual FREDDIE G BROADWAY EXPERIENCE July 9th – 12th.  The event has once again been underwritten by Myrna and Freddie (“G”) Gershon, Chairman and CEO of leading theatrical licensor Music Theatre International (MTI).  The weekend honors 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 receives $5,000 from Freddie and Myrna to enhance their arts program.


The teachers will attend 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 weekend will fully immerse the teachers in the Broadway world and provide one-of-a-kind learning opportunities for the teachers to take back to their schools, students and communities,” says Gershon.  “These teachers do inspiring work with limited financial resources.  We want 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, Georgia applied for the program, and eight total were selected (a full list follows).  The eight educators will participate in dynamic, hands-on master classes with some of Broadway’s leading choreographers, directors, producers, actors and designers.  They will attend the Broadway show Aladdin (complete with a backstage tour), watch a developmental performance of Peter Pan JR. (one of the newest potential Broadway Junior titles), and experience 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,” added Gershon.  “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.”




The Junior Theater Festival is the world’s largest musical theatre festival dedicated to educational musical theatre groups that work with elementary and middle school students. This year’s title sponsors were Music Theatre International, Disney Theatrical Group, and Playbill®.


Following are the eight teachers attending the 5th Annual Freddie G Broadway Experience


  • Danelle Cauley:  Faith Christian School – Rocky Mount, North Carolina
  • Miriam Reynold:  Riverwatch Middle School – Suwanee, Georgia
  • Carli Roye:  Thomson Middle School – Houston County, Georgia
  • Tessa Derfner:  P94M – New York, New York
  • Brian Seagraves:  Garden City Recreation Commission – Garden City, Kansas
  • Kelleybrooke Brown:  The Whole Backstage Children’s Theater – Guntersville, Alabama
  • Mary Katherine Smith-Gall:  Parkway Playhouse – Burnsville, North Carolina
  • Sue Booton:  The Rose Theater – Omaha, Nebraska


Music Theatre International is one of the world’s leading theatrical licensing agencies, protecting the rights and legacies of composers, lyricists and book writers.  MTI’s core business is issuing licenses, scripts, musical materials and dynamic theatrical resources to schools as well as amateur and professional theatres across the globe.


With over 300 classic and contemporary show titles from Broadway, Off-Broadway, and London’s West End, MTI shows have been performed by over 60,000 theatrical organizations in the US and in over 60 countries worldwide.


MTI is particularly dedicated to the idea of theatre as education and in 1994, created Broadway Junior – 30 and 60-minute musicals for younger performers.  Broadway Junior musicals have resulted in over 100,000 productions and more than 400,000 performances in grade schools across the United States.

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