Broadway Welcomes Six Outstanding Teachers To The Eleventh Annual ‘Freddie G Fellowship’

Broadway Welcomes Six Outstanding Teachers To The Eleventh Annual ‘Freddie G Fellowship’

Six outstanding educators from schools and performing arts centers around the U.S. will work one-on-one with Broadway professionals at the 11th Annual FREDDIE G FELLOWSHIP July 14th - 17th. The teachers were selected in 2020, but due to the pandemic the New York experience was delayed. The event is underwritten by Freddie (“G”) Gershon, Co-Chairman of MTI, and his wife Myrna. Dozens of educators attending the 2020 annual Junior Theater Festival in Atlanta and the Junior Theater Festival West in Sacramento with thousands of attendees, applied for the program, and six in total were selected (a full list follows). The Junior Theater Festival is the world's largest musical theatre festival dedicated to educational musical theatre groups that work with elementary, middle, and high school students.

The 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. To date the Gershon’s have donated one million dollars to the program.

“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 80 plus teachers as Fellows, they pass on tips and skills learned in New York during the week to others.”

This year teachers will attend a special master class led by Tony Honor® winning director and choreographer Jeff Calhoun and will participate in dynamic classes covering many aspects of musical theatre. They will be immersed in Broadway, will attend productions of Between The Lines, Beetlejuice and observe a developmental workshop performance of Beetlejuice JR. During the workshop, the teachers will experience Broadway as theatre insiders…giving their feedback to the developmental process from their p.o.v. The week’s programs are coordinated by iTheatrics, the world’s leading authority on musical theater for young people. Timothy Allen McDonald, who wrote the book for the musical Between The Lines, is also the Founder & CEO of iTheatrics. In coordination with MTI and Disney Musicals, iTheatrics produces the Junior Theater Festivals and adapts Broadway musicals for performance by elementary, middle, and high school students, with intuitive teaching resources.

“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, 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."

Following are the six teachers attending the 11th Annual Freddie G Fellowship

  • Dana Alvarez                 Cape Coral, Florida
  • Terry Hale                      Elgin, Oregon
  • Megan Kelly Bates         Dallas, Texas
  • Krissy Brown                 Springfield, Ohio
  • Michelle Campbell        Elk Grove, California
  • Chad Haney                  Oklahoma City, Oklahoma