Introducing: The Freddie G Fellowship Class of 2018!

Introducing: The Freddie G Fellowship Class of 2018!

Eight outstanding educators from schools and performing arts centers around the U.S. will work one-on-one with Broadway greats at the 9th Annual FREDDIE G FELLOWSHIP July 11th - 14th. The event has once again been underwritten by Myrna and Freddie ("G") Gershon, Co-Chairman of the global theatrical licensor Music Theatre International (MTI). The four days of classes and activities honor 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 all-expense paid visit to New York, each of the teachers' schools receives $5,000 from Freddie and Myrna. The teachers are empowered to identify and select how their respective school's theatre program can best utilize the funds.

This year teachers will attend special master classes led by Tony Honor® winning director and choreographerJeff Calhoun, Tony Award® winning lighting designer Ken Billington, Tony Award winner composer and musical arranger Jeanine Tesori, and Broadway sound designer Matt Kraus. They join the tradition of Broadway professionals who have given workshops and joined the Freddie G winners in prior years (including Stephen Schwartz, Warren Carlyle, Baayork Lee, Chad Beguelin, Nell Benjamin and Laurence O'Keefe, among others). Additionally, there will be surprise appearances by Broadway greats. Past Freddie G surprise guests have included Stephen Sondheim,Bobby and Kristen Lopez, Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty, Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, and Bernadette Peters.

"The four days will fully engage the winning teachers in the Broadway musical theatre world and provide one-of-a-kind learning opportunities for them to take back to their schools, students and communities," says Gershon. "These teachers perform inspiring work with limited financial resources. We want to give them the opportunity to live the Broadway experience and interact with qualified professionals to reward them for all they do to introduce the next generations to live theatre and simultaneously enhance their knowledge, skills and experience. The teaching Fellows act as peer to peer guiding lights, viz: teachers helping teachers in their quest to mount the best Junior shows. With 70 plus teachers as Fellows, they pass on tips and skills learned in New York during the week to others."

Dozens of educators attending the 2018 annual Junior Theater Festival in Atlanta and the Junior Theater West Festival in Sacramento with thousands of attendees, applied for the program, and eight in total were selected (a full list follows). The educators will participate in dynamic, hands-on master classes with some of Broadway's leading choreographers, directors, producers, actors and designers. They will be immersed in Broadway, will attend a current hit show and then take a backstage tour, observe a developmental workshop performance of The Drowsy Chaperone JR., and experience Broadway as theatre insiders…giving their feedback to the developmental process from their p.o.v.

"Without teachers there is no Broadway Junior. Myrna and I feel strongly about teachers and their significant role. This week gives us an opportunity to immerse them in experiential skills they can take home and integrate with their students and pass on to other teachers," added Gershon." Live theatre and the arts are thriving with the private sector supporting both educators and children," said Myrna, "and teachers deserve to be appreciated."

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. Over 7,300 attendees were in Atlanta and Sacramento in 2018. This year's title sponsors were Music Theatre International, Disney Theatrical Group, and Playbill®.

Following are the eight teachers attending the 8th Annual Freddie G Fellowship

Marianne Adams, Grandstreet Theatre School (Helena, MT)

Dr. Lamar Bagley, The SEED Public Charter School (Washington, DC)

Tina Barrus, Plaza Academy (Cleburne, TX)

Melissa Charles, DMR Adventures (Charlottesville, VA)

Jenise Coon, Chico High School (Chico, CA)

Kate McElliot, Mill Springs Academy (Alpharetta, GA)

Anne-Marie Pringle, Musical Mayhem Productions (Elk Grove, CA)

Cliff Thompson, Triple Threat Academy (Biloxi, MS)