There are many small signs the country is returning to normal as the pandemic eases. But there was a little event that happened that signaled not only that things were getting back to normal, but New York City is very much alive, Broadway is back and the kids are resilient after a year of isolation and limited fun.
On July 23, a group of two dozen children of diverse ethnic and economic backgrounds and abilities, ages 9 to 15, from New York City’s five boroughs put on a performance.
Under normal circumstances, this may not seem like a big event. Right now he’s telegraphing the dawn of a theater renaissance in New York City, while maintaining a very keen eye on health and safety, and a commitment to showing deserving and eager budding comedians that the show really can. Continue. That show turned out to be Disney’s Descendants: The Musical, a two-week culmination of AhHa! Broadway musical theater summer camp. It was the first large-scale in-person program for AhHa! Broadway since the pandemic began, when they, like so many other arts programming organizations, had to switch out of necessity to digital programming.
This unique program, in the Theater District of Times Square, offers kids who would not normally have easy access to a Broadway-style show, or meaningful performing arts program in the past 18 months, to perform in a licensed production with the help of instructor artists, experienced Broadway industry professionals, drama exercises, improvisation, makeup lessons and vocal coaching. In just ten days, the young performers learned their parts and over 25 musical numbers, concluding with a fully costumed performance. After leaving the Theater Row stage, the cast representing both good and bad characters wasted no time in asking what the next show would be.
“The children in this program experience inclusive teamwork, resulting in a shared experience of performances that typically include songs and choreography tailored to the abilities of this group,” explained the co-founder of AhHa! Broadway Heather edwards. “Considering that a number of participants came from all walks of life and cultural backgrounds, it is inspiring to see a sense of community and acceptance being built in such a short time when so many children have worked towards a common goal. Edwards explained that parents viewed the program as “the experience of a lifetime.”
AhHa! Broadway is a 501 (c) (3) led by women that inspires core values of the arts and education to children, seniors, veterans and communities of diverse backgrounds through their theater programming. musical and specially designed workshops. Info about www.ahhabroadway.org. The artistic team was led by director Braddon Mehrten, choreographer Christopher Noffke and musical director Heather Edwards. Disney’s Descendants was presented through a special arrangement with Music Theater International (MTI).