The most well known professional theater in the U.S., Broadway Theater District in New York City, is considered to represent the highest level of commercial theater in the world. For student group travelers interested in theater and performance, Broadway represents a world of exciting learning opportunities.Shows that reach Broadway and thrive there historically have been considered more mainstream than those produced Off-Broadway and Off-Off-Broadway. So it’s not surprising that most Broadway shows are commercial productions intended to make a profit for producers and investors. Musicals typically make longer runs than do non-musical productions. In fact, The Phantom of the Opera at the Majestic Theatre became the longest-running Broadway musical in 2006, surpassing Cats. To date, musical productions including Wicked, Hairspray, Chicago, The Lion King, and Rent are just a few of the Broadway musical which have captured the imaginations of its audiences.The area near Times Square in midtown Manhattan is home to many Broadway theaters. The dizzying neon lights of stardom could make any aspiring performer giddy. And it’s here that student group travelers interested in performing can take advantage of the theatrical education programs. Two excellent options are Broadway Student Lab and Hands-On Broadway, both offered by student tour supplier, Travel Adventures, designed to introduce students to what it takes to be a star on stage.
Developed for acting, singing and dancing students, Broadway Student Lab presents an exciting week of theater projects, performances and workshops with talented singers, dancers, casting directors and writers. This program is an excellent value for theater teachers who want to strengthen the core performers in their high school theater programs. In the midst of taking master classes in acting and voice techniques, student group travelers also attend Broadway and Off-Broadway shows and meet with cast members.After arrival and check-in a New York City hotel, students engage in theater games and an improv exercise, designed to dramatize events currently in the news. On day two, student performers attend “The Business of Show Business,” led by an experienced theater professional who shares about the long road it takes from study to stage and how student can also achieve success. Later, a question-and-answer session with a working Broadway actor highlights theater career opportunities. Students also meet “Fresh Talent,” a group of aspiring performers who are pursuing stage careers. This group shares interesting tales on what it’s like on the road to stardom. In the evening, students enter the magic of “the Great White Way” with attendance at a live performance.Day three kicks off with a guided sightseeing tour of New York City. The tour highlights the cultural icons of the city, such as Lincoln Center, Central Park and Greenwich Village. From 86 floors above the heart of Manhattan, student tours take in the views from the Empire State Building. The attraction’s observatory offers panoramic views from within a glass-enclosed pavilion – the same where Cary Grant once waited for Deborah Kerr in an Affair to Remember.The week rounds out with three additional Broadway performances, more workshops taught by Broadway professionals, and a visit with a casting director who provides an inside perspective on the audition process.An exclusive, one-of-a-kind workshop for theater students, Hands-On Broadway features thematic 90-minute sessions that are both fun and educational. During this program, student participants go behind the scenes with Broadway professional who strives to expand and enhance their skills.
For example, student performers can explore the techniques of how a theatrical text comes to life by partnering with an instructor to better understand the creation of inventive, honest, and detailed scene work. They can also gain a better understanding of what it means to pursue a career in the arts with a workshop designed to arm students with an arsenal of information, including headshots, resumes, auditions, and college admissions. Choral students can perform alongside a Broadway professional while learning about vocal technique. With the help of a musical director, groups perfect a piece of prepared music and then sing along with a professional. A question-and-answer session concludes the workshop.Sightseeing may also be included in this program with visits to New York favorites, such as the Theater District, Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building, Lincoln Center, and Radio City Music Hall, enhancing the student group travel experience.