The recent 2020 Shubert Foundation High School Theatre Festival was hosted by Frozen and Hercules star Jelani Alladin and featured special appearances from Adam Chanler-Berat, James Harkness, Carly Hughes, George Salazar, and Sherie Rene Scott. Watch highlights from the June 15 live stream celebrating the best of New York City's public high school theatre above. Catch the complete broadcast on YouTube.
A digital program for the event, made with Playbill's custom, Broadway-quality program creation tool, is available at PLAYBILLder.com.
The streamed event included excerpted scenes and musical numbers from Brooklyn High School of the Arts' production of Fame, Curtis High School's Lucky Stiff, Frank Sinatra School of the Arts' Hairspray, Repertory Company High School for Theatre Arts' Aida, and Talent Unlimited High School's The Wolves.
Now in its sixth year, the High School Theatre Festival spotlights outstanding high school productions from the 2019–2020 school year, selected from more than 30 productions citywide by a panel of industry professionals and theatre educators. Originally scheduled to be held at Broadway's Broadhurst Theatre in March, this year's festival moved online in response to the current health crisis.
"You can’t stop the beat, and the beat of our youth is powerful," says festival producer and NYC DOE Director of Theatre Peter Avery. "These impressive and engaged teen artists—from varied diverse cultural backgrounds, neighborhoods and creative points of view—are using their theatre artistry to spread empathy and shrink the world. The Festival serves as a platform to showcase the impact of a dedicated theatre education for all students and a reminder of the impact of inclusivity on stage, in the classroom and beyond."
"Since the beginning of this festival six years ago, our New York City Public High School students have delighted us with their commitment, skill, and creativity. But this year they have outdone themselves,” adds Shubert Foundation President Diana Phillips. "Under the most trying of circumstances they have come together to present magical performances where their talent, spirit, and ingenuity are nothing short of an inspiration. Bravo to them and to their teachers for creating such a memorable event."
"Our 1.1 million students are incredibly creative, and through our investment in high quality arts education, we can cultivate and inspire the next generation of dancers, musicians, actors, and visual artists,” says Schools Chancellor Richard A. Carranza.
The High School Theatre Festival is sponsored by The Shubert Foundation, and is presented in partnership with the New York City Department of Education.