Students across Queens recently got the chance to go behind the scenes at one of Broadway’s most famous musicals, “Cats,” and will soon get to put on their very own rendition of feline-themed musical thanks to the city’s leading arts-education nonprofit organization, Inside Broadway.
In celebration of its 35th anniversary, Inside Broadway rekindled their partnership with “Cats” to bring the magic of Broadway to a new generation of youngsters. On Dec. 12, the organization brought over 2,500 New York City public school students to visit the Neil Simon Theatre to take part in their “Creating the Magic” program.
The kids were able to be see exciting set, lighting and sound demonstrations, musical performances from the cast and a Q&A session with members of the “Cats” cast and production crew.
“It is a great pleasure to begin our 35th anniversary season with one of our original partners, the Broadway musical ‘Cats,’” said Michael Presser, executive director at Inside Broadway. “When I started Inside Broadway in 1982 with Bernie Jacobs and The Shubert Organization I certainly had no expectation that a weekly student ticket program with a new musical would develop over 35 years into an organization that would introduce hundreds of thousands of children to their first experience of live theater. It is a great honor and pleasure to renew our relationship with ‘Cats,’ one of Broadway’s legendary musicals, as we begin to celebrate this important year in our organization’s history.”
Inside Broadway is also partnering with “Cats” to bring the popular “Create a Musical” program, to students in over 30 public schools in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx.
The “Create a Musical” program will allow students to work with an Inside Broadway teaching artist and musical director to present their own version of “Cats.” Students will also get the chance to work with a professional scenic designer, as well as a makeup artist to create a backdrop and learn about theatrical makeup.
After the 25-week program, the students will perform their version of “Cats” for parents, teachers and fellow students.
There will be three schools from Queens participating in the “Create a Musical” program.
P.S. 113 Isaac Chauncey, located at 87-21 79th Ave. in Glendale, which will have their final show date on Jan. 26, 2017, at 9 a.m.; P.S. 69, located at 77-02 37th Ave. in Jackson Heights, and they will have their final performance on March 9, 2017, at 9 a.m.; and P.S. 7 the Louis F. Simeone School, located at 80-55 Cornish Ave. in Elmhurst, where they final performance will take place on either March 10, or March 13, 2107.
The program is funded by the New York City Council through the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs under the Council’s C.A.S.A (Cultural After-School Adventures) Initiative.