The 18th Annual Shubert Foundation/Music Theatre International Broadway JR. Student Celebration

The 18th Annual Shubert Foundation/Music Theatre International Broadway JR. Student Celebration

The 18th annual Shubert Foundation/Music Theatre International Broadway Junior® Student Finale will take place on Thursday, June 22, 2023 at 11:15 a.m. at Broadway’s Ambassador Theatre (219 West 49th Street). Broadway performers Jeanna de Waal (Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street) and Uma Paranjpe (Life of Pi) will host the event.

The Shubert Foundation / MTI Broadway Junior® partnership is a groundbreaking musical theatre mentorship program that helps public schools affect school culture change through building sustainable theatre education programs. Hundreds of participating students will share musical numbers from their fully produced school shows at the Finale. For many, their first musical theatre experience performing will be on Broadway.

New York City Public School students from Brooklyn, the Bronx, Manhattan, Queens and Staten Island will perform numbers from their full school productions of Broadway musicals. The shows include Roald Dahl’s Matilda The Musical JR., Disney's Aladdin JR., Into the Woods JR., Dear Edwina JR., Disney's High School Musical JR., Legally Blonde The Musical JR., Disney’s The Lion King JR., Once on This Island JR., Shrek The Musical JR. and Roald Dahl’s Willy Wonka JR.

The program is sponsored by The Shubert Foundation, Music Theatre International (MTI) and New York City Public Schools (NYCPS). In attendance at the Broadway Junior® Student Finale will be Diana Phillips, President of The Shubert Foundation, President and CEO of Music Theatre International Drew Cohen, representatives from the NYC Schools Arts Office, prominent NYC arts educators, and leading members of New York’s professional theatre community.

“Our students are surrounded by some of the greatest arts and cultural institutions in the world, and programs like this allow our students to engage with the arts communities on an incredible scale, learning lessons and making memories they will never forget,” said Schools Chancellor David C. Banks. “I am grateful to our partners at the Shubert Foundation and Music Theatre International for their commitment to the arts and to our young people.”

"It has been four long years since the students in the Shubert/ MTI Broadway Junior program performed live on Broadway, so we are especially pleased to welcome them to our Ambassador Theatre,” said Diana Phillips, President of The Shubert Foundation. "We are proud to support a program that ignites a passion for the arts while also equipping them with many important life skills. We applaud their dedication and the unwavering support of their principals and teachers.”

“The Shubert Foundation-MTI-DOE program continues to be a highlight of the educational outreach that is so important to all of us at Music Theatre International. The success of the program since 2005 has demonstrated that theater enhances young performers’ ability to collaborate, follow directions, practice self-discipline and work ethics, and use their imaginations while honing their verbal communication skills and developing social skills which will serve them well in navigating life, said Drew Cohen, President and CEO of Music Theatre International. “We are grateful to the students, of course, and also to the teachers, teaching artists, and parents who make this opportunity a reality for the students.”

“What an incredible opportunity for our NYC public middle school students to share the theatre they have produced in school – now on a Shubert Broadway stage. A wonderful reminder of the power of theatre education and inclusivity on stage, in the classroom and beyond,” said Peter Avery, the Celebration’s producer and the Director of Theater for NYC Public Schools.

The Shubert Foundation / MTI Broadway Junior® program engages students in all aspects and areas of the arts, utilizing master teachers and expert production advisers from the educational theatre organizations, iTheatrics, Broadway Bound Kids and ArtsConnection.

In the first year of the program, teachers and students are guided step-by-step through the process of producing a first-ever musical in their schools. In the second year, teachers and students continue to receive support and encouragement on their second musical, but take ownership over their productions. In the third year and beyond, schools present a musical independently, and serve as inspiration for other schools involved in earlier cycles of the program.

The 2023 Broadway Junior® Student Finale will present performances from middle school groups participating in the second year of the program:

● Brooklyn Environmental Exploration School
● The Emerson School (Queens)
● I.S. 136 Charles O. Dewey (Brooklyn)
● Isaac Newton Middle School for Math and Science (Manhattan)
● Manhattan School for Career Development
● Marsh Avenue Expeditionary Learning School (Staten Island)
● M.S. 935 (Brooklyn)
● M.S. 158Q Marie Curie Middle School (Queens)
● Pelham Gardens Middle School (Bronx)
● P.S. 177Q The Robin Sue Ward School of Excellence (Queens)
● Pugsley Preparatory Academy (Bronx)
● Stephen Decatur Middle School 35 (Brooklyn)
● The William W. Niles School - JHS 118 (Bronx)

Year Three and Graduated Schools participating in the Shubert/ MTI Musical Ensembles:

● Accion Academy (Bronx)
● Collaborative Arts Middle School (Queens)
● Corona Arts and Sciences Academy (Queens)
● Evergreen Middle School (Brooklyn)
● I.S. 96 Seth Low (Brooklyn)
● I.S. 131 The Albert Einstein Intermediate School (Bronx)
● I.S. 217 School of Performing Arts (Bronx)
● I.S. 392 (Brooklyn)
● JHS 185 Edward Bleeker (Queens)
● Lafayette Academy (Manhattan)
● M. S. 101 The Edward R. Byrne School (Bronx)
● M.S. 129 Academy for Independent Learning & Leadership (Bronx)
● M.S. 331 Bronx School of Young Leaders (Bronx)
● M.S. 915 (Brooklyn)
● New Preparatory Middle School (Queens)
● P.S./M.S. 4 Crotona Park West (Bronx)
● P.S./I.S. 30 Mary White Ovington School (Brooklyn)

This year marks the Foundation's 18th year providing funds for The Shubert Foundation/MTI Broadway Junior® program which was founded during the 2005-2006 school year. To date, 167 schools and more than 24,500 students have participated in the program. Currently over 100 schools are involved in the program.

Since 2005, The Shubert Foundation has provided nearly $8 million to New York City Public Schools for Theatre/Arts programs.

The Shubert Foundation, Inc. is the largest institutional funder of theatre education programs throughout NYC public schools and the nation's largest private foundation dedicated to unrestricted funding of not-for-profit theatres, with a secondary focus on dance. In 2023, the Foundation provided $38 million to 636 not-for-profit performing arts organizations across the United States. The Shubert Foundation, Inc. was established in 1945 by the legendary team of brothers, Lee and J.J. Shubert, producers of more than 520 plays, musicals and revues, as well as owners and operators of a nationwide network of legitimate theatres. For more information, visit 

New York City Public Schools is the largest system of public schools in the United States. New York City Public Schools supports universal access to arts education through school support programs, student initiatives and the ArtsCount initiative, which tracks and reports student participation in arts education according to city and NY Standards. The Shubert/MTI Broadway Junior Outreach Program highlights the positive impact of theater on school culture and showcasing student voice. For more information, visit