Beaver Falls Area Middle School: Pittsburgh, PA

by Cindy Ripley on December 3, 2012

in NBC's 'SMASH' Make a Musical

“NBC’s ‘Smash’: Make A Musical”

Beaver Falls Area Middle School

Pittsburgh, PA

Reported by: Cynthia Ripley, iTheatrics Senior Education Associate, Resident Master Teacher

September 28, 2012

It’s a given. Football is big in western PA, and Beaver Falls is no exception.  With Joe Namath as their hometown hero, the folks in Beaver Falls can lay claim to their own NFL legend.

My initial meeting with this enthusiastic team from Beaver Falls Area Middle School, composed of Yvonne Sterrett, Len Cersosimo and Terri Hunkler, overlooked a new, state-of-the-art athletic field. This dedicated team hopes for the “NBC’s ‘Smash’: Make a Musical” opportunity to change the lives of their students. Arts programs have been drastically cut with no musical theater performance opportunities until high school. I immediately thought of the discussion Freddie Gershon had with his friend Stephen Sondheim when they first formulated the concept of Broadway Junior in the mid-1990s. If quality musical theater as an American art form is to survive in this country, it has to be accessible to school-age children. These teachers are dedicating their lives to make it happen in Beaver Falls; they are dedicated to helping the community and administration understand that ALL teams can win in the arts.

As part of their audition, students were asked to write why being part of the musical was important to them. One student wrote, “I want to be in the musical to let people know who I am. Not by my brothers, my dad or my mom. I want people to know me as ‘Chris’ the actor in the musical.”

There is no doubt that these Middle School students are on the road to victory. With quality leadership, enthusiastic and talented kids, and tried and true materials, this “NBC’s ‘Smash’: Make a Musical” school has already scored a touchdown. Joe Namath should be proud.
“NBC’s ‘Smash’: Make A Musical” program is administered by iTheatrics under the supervision of Timothy Allen McDonald.  For more information, or to apply to become a part of the program, logon to www.MAKEAMUSICAL.ORG.

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