The Broadway Classroom
Broadway Theatre as a Learning Experience
by Peter Royston
Broadway Classroom is a new program based on the idea that Broadway Theatre is the best theatre in the world, and a class trip to a Broadway show can be an unforgettable experience for students and educators. But beyond the fun and the spectacle, Broadway can be profoundly educational. Broadway is theatre, of course, but it's literature, too. It's music, storytelling and dance. It's history and communications. It's collaboration, idealism and hard business.
Broadway Classroom was designed to make it easy for educators to bring student groups to Broadway, and to fit the Broadway experience into their lesson plans. Created by Theatre Direct, Broadway's premiere ticketing agency, Broadway Classroom is your "one-stop-shopping" for the best of Broadway theatre.
Broadway Classroom's main thrust has always been information: getting the word out to educators and group leaders about what Broadway can offer them. Our Broadway Classroom newsletter goes out to nearly 80,000 educators and group leaders nation-wide, and the response has been just great. Meanwhile, on the cyber-waves of the Internet, the Broadway Classroom web site was launched last semester. Designed to give up-to-the-moment updates and deals, the web site also features "@Broadway," a way for your students to email their favorite Broadway stars!
Let's face it: even with programs like Broadway Classroom, the logistics and strategies of setting up a class trip can be enough to make the most hardened General throw up the white flag of surrender! That's why we created the Educator Survival Kit, with a packet of supporting materials intended to make your preparations as easy as possible. Survival kits include: Study guides from the show you're going to see, Plot summaries, Parent endorsement forms and Parent/Child discussion ideas, Broadway Restaurant information, Bloomingdales Coupons and Post-Theatre student critique forms. Every group arranging tickets through Broadway Classroom receives the Survival Kit, whether or not they arrange for a workshop.
Every semester we bring Broadway right to the teachers with a special show held in a specific region within the New York/New Jersey/Connecticut area. Each Broadway Local program feature performances from Broadway Classroom shows, and information on our various programs. We know it's not always possible to get in to the city and see what we have to offer; The Broadway Local helps you decide on your class trip by bringing Broadway to your front door.
Want to get even more out of your Broadway Experience? Try one of our Broadway Classroom workshops! During our first semester, our group of twelve teaching artists worked with a number of student groups on topics as varied as Broadway dance, design and the effects of the French Revolution! Held before the show for a nominal per-person fee, workshops are held in a studio in the Broadway area. Workshops deal with different aspects of the Broadway experience, always exploring topics mandated by National Standards for the Arts. The Broadway Classroom workshop is topped off with a Q & A with a real Broadway performer!
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