Welcome to Camp Broadway's Next Step program at Shea's! We are really looking forward to the week and we hope everyone has a great time. We have a lot of work ahead of us so be sure to rehearse at night, keep yourself healthy, and most importantly get tons of sleep!
At the beginning of the day the campers signed in and got their headshots taken. They also received their camp t-shirts and water bottles. Right after sign-in, the campers had a brief meet & greet with the camp staff and also got to meet their fellow campers that they will be working with all week.
After the meet & greet the campers had a physical warm-up led by Rehearsal Assistants Carver Duncan and Alexandra Schwartz. After the physical warm-up, Director/Choreographer Brian Feehan taught the campers the audition combination.
Following the physical warm-up, Music Director Nissa Kahle led a vocal warm-up by the piano. After the warm-up, Nissa also taught the campers the audition numbers.
Next, the campers had an improv workshop led by Rehearsal Assistants Alexandra and Carver.
After the improv workshop, the campers had an acting workshop featuring different acting games/activities with Brian.
After the camper's auditions, they had a 15 minute snack. For the rest of the day the campers worked on the shows vocals with Music Director Nissa Kahle.
We had a great first day at Camp Broadway's Next Step Program at Shea's! Today we had workshops, auditions, and vocal rehearsals for the show. It was a very busy and productive day, with a lot of material thrown at the campers, and the promise of even more throughout the week ahead. We can't wait for tomorrow!
At camp this year we have two very special people joining us. Camp Broadway 8-year veterans Sarah Polvino and Nicole Sember. Their very first show with Camp Broadway here at Shea's was Guys and Dolls.
Sarah is going to be a senior at Amherst High school and wants to go to the Steps On Broadway two-year conservatory program after high school. Her favorite show at Camp Broadway was Hairspray and she said she was "lucky to have found camp when I did." Her dream role on Broadway is to be a Newsie.
Nicole is going to be attending the Tisch School of the Arts at NYU for a BFA in theater this fall as a freshman. Nicole's favorite show at Camp was Once On This Island and she "loves the staff" at Camp. Her dream role on Broadway is Kathryn Pulitzer in Newsies.
We wish these two talented girls luck in their future theater endeavors and thank them for a wonderful 8 years!
Today is the last day for Camp Broadway's Mainstage Program at Shea's Buffalo! We have had such an amazing week with all of the campers. They have done amazing work and show a lot of potential. Every single one of the campers have contributed in a major way to the performance tonight and we cannot be more happy. They have come a long way since Monday and have put a lot of effort and hard work towards this performance and it has really paid off! We are so excited for the show tonight!
The day started with brief warm-ups led by Family Finale Director Jonathan Stahl and Music Director Alan Schmuckler.
Immediately following warm-ups the campers had run-throughs of their shows.
After the run-throughs the campers had lunch. After lunch however, we went straight into tech rehearsals for the rest of the day until the show!
We had such a phenomenal week here at Camp Broadway and it is all thanks to the amazing campers. They all worked extremely hard to put on a performance in only a short 5-day rehearsal period! We hope everyone had a fantastic week and we hope to see everyone again next year!
Ballet company and a Principle Dancer with the New York City Ballet company, saw her and invited her to join select members of The NJB to tour along side New York City Ballet's tours to Taiwan and the USSR.
After her short ballet career, Kristine went to perform at Disney as a World dancer at Epcot Center. After Disney, she performed on a cruise ship and traveled the world for eight and a half months. Her first Broadway show was a revival of The King and I. Other Broadway credits include: On The Town, Swing (which she did with Jonathan Stahl), Man Of La Mancha, Movin' Out, Come Fly Away, and Cinderella in which she was the assistant choreographer and partnering consultant. She has performed at the Lincoln Center in Camelot, which was televised live, and she appeared on the Tony Awards twice and the Academy Awards. Kristine performed on stage at Shea's Buffalo theatre in 2006 with Movin' Out and is excited to be back in Buffalo.
We can't believe it is already day four here at Camp Broadway at Shea's Buffalo! We have had a very fun and productive week so far, and cannot wait for the remainder of the week! Today will be filled with rehearsals of show material and we will have another Character Development Workshop.
The day started like every other with a Physical warm-up led by Jonathan Stahl and a vocal warm-up led by Alan Schmuckler.
After warm-ups, the campers went right into a Camp Broadway Medley rehearsal led by Jonathan.
Following the Camp Broadway Medley rehearsal, the campers went to rehearse their shows in the main lobby or the Shea's stage.
After rehearsals the campers had a hot dog lunch and a Character Development Workshop with their Featured Players.
Half-way through the day, the campers had more special guests! Camp Broadway Alumni!
The campers then had rehearsals for their shows with Choreographer Kristine Bendul and Choreographer Tony Spinosa, with a brief 15-minute snack half-way through.
To wrap up the day the campers had a full show talk-through led by Jonathan Stahl.
Today was an extremely productive day full of rehearsals and run-throughs. Be sure to get as much rest as possible tonight because tomorrow will be full of rehearsals as well and the big performance! We are so excited and we cannot wait for tomorrow!
The story of the Gypsy Robe started in 1950 when the actor, Bill Bradley from the Chorus of Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, persuaded one of his fellow cast mates to give him her dressing gown on opening night. From there, Bill passed it on to one of his friends in the chorus of Call Me Madam on his opening night. The gown kept getting passed around from show to show on opening nights, and every show added an artifact, souvenir, or sketch. This has become a very famous Broadway tradition and takes place on the stage of every Broadway show on opening night, a half hour before the show starts.
THE RULES OF THE GYPSY ROBE
The Gypsy Robe blesses every Broadway musical! Please keep the tradition and stick to the rules.
1. The Gypsy Robe goes only to Broadway musicals with a chorus.
2. Robe goes to a chorus member only, with most number of Broadway Chorus credits.
3. It must be delivered by 1/2 hour on Opening Night to member selected.
4. New recipient must put on Robe and circle the stage 3 times, while cast members reach out and touch Robe for good luck; new recipient visits each dressing room while wearing the Robe.
5. New recipient supervises addition of application from show to Robe. Important rules for adding mementos: For wearability, durability, and longevity, add-ons must be lightweight, sturdy, and reasonably sized so each Robe can represent a full season.
6. Opening night date and recipients name is written on or near memento and cast members only sign that section of Robe.
7. Recipient will attend next Broadway musical opening and will present the Robe to the next "Gypsy" in that show.
Welcome to day three of Camp Broadway at Shea's Buffalo! We are half-way through the week and are very pleased with what we have accomplished so far! Today we will learn even more and we have a very special workshop planned!
The day started like every other with sign-in and then warm-ups. Jonathan stahl led the physical warm-up, while Alan Schmuckler led the vocal warm-up.
Right after warm-ups however, we went straight into rehearsing the finales of the two shows. Choreographer Kristine Bendul and Music Director Steven Purdy led the Shuberts and Jujamcyns for their rehearsal of Peter Pan. Choreographer Tony Spinosa and Music Director Alan Schmuckler led the Nederlanders and Dodgers for their rehearsal of Shrek.
After the tour the campers had a lunch break where they had pizza, donated by Mister Pizza, and a Q/A with the camp staff about their careers.
Following lunch, we had a very special workshop with the campers. The campers learned all about the Gypsy Robe and its iconic backstory. Then, the campers made their own Gypsy Swatches which will be added to the Camp Broadway Gypsy Robe.
After the fun midday activities, the campers went right back into rehearsals for their shows. They had dance/blocking rehearsals with their Choreographers and Featured Players, and vocal rehearsals with their Music Directors. In between rehearsals, they had a brief 15 minute snack.
Top: Shrek rehearsals with Dodgers, Nederlanders
Bottom: Peter Pan rehearsals with Jujamcyns, Shuberts
A Camp Broadway Medley rehearsal with Family Finale Director Jonathan Stahl on the main stage wrapped up our day.
It was another fantastic day today at camp and we cannot believe we are halfway done already! The time is flying by and we are getting some great work done! So far our campers made swatches for the Gypsy Robe, learned some history behind Shea's, and finished their show's blocking/vocals. Be sure that they know their songs and dances for tomorrow because we have a full day of rehearsals! Also, make sure they get lots of rest!
Throughout the day, the groups of campers participated in a Character Development Workshop with their Featured Players. In this workshop, the campers developed communication, leadership, listening, awareness, acting, and stage presence skills. They did numerous exercises, such as a mirroring game, an emotion game, and a store window exercise.
For the Store Window Exercise, the campers broke off into groups of 4 or 5 and had to come up with an idea for a store window. The campers had to position themselves in a way that represented a holiday or store of their choosing. The other groups had to then guess what holiday or store they were personifying.
Featured Player Vanessa Spica led one of the Character Development Workshops. Vanessa is a graduate of Queens College with a major in Vocal Performance and Theater. She believes that this workshop is essential to all new actors because it shows how well characters can be developed through our bodies. Vanessa likes to do an activity called the "Character Walk" which allows the campers to experience their characters going through certain circumstances. First, the campers walk around in a "neutral" state, but as they walk, Vanessa shouts out different circumstances that the campers have to act out. The choreography doesn't change, but the way they perform it does. Certain circumstances include seeing a friend, walking through the rain, or even seeing something scary. She thinks this activity is great for the campers because it allows them to practice physical characterization.
We are all excited to start our second day at Camp Broadway! The first thing campers did after sign in was go straight into a physical warm-up with Family Finale Director Jonathan Stahl and a vocal warm-up with Music Director Alan Schmuckler.
After warm-ups, the campers broke off into their groups. The Jujamcyns and The Dodgers had a chorus call with the Music Directors, while The Shuberts and The Nederlanders had a character development workshop with their Featured Players.
After the first set up workshops, the campers moved on to more chorus calls with Music Directors Alan Schmuckler and Steven Purdy, and dance calls with Choreographers Kristine Bendul and Tony Spinosa. During the dance calls, the campers learned some choreography and blocking from their shows. During the chorus calls, the campers learned the melodies and harmonies of their songs.
Next, the campers had a staggered lunch and line assignments/scene study where they were cast as certain parts/given certain lines.
The campers then had a 15 minute intermission with pretzels and juice boxes, and then afterwards they had another dance call, or a character development workshop.
Finally, to wrap up the day, the campers had a big Camp Broadway Medley rehearsal led by Family Finale Director Jonathan Stahl.
Today was another great day at Camp Broadway at Shea's Buffalo! We learned a lot of vocals and choreography today, and we will learn even more tomorrow! Remember to go over your songs and dances! See you tomorrow!
Jonathan Stahl is Camp Broadway's Family Finale Director. For those of you, like me, who are curious as to what that actually is, the Family Finale Director essentially puts the whole Camp Broadway show together. He also teaches the warm-ups every morning, supports the creative team, teaches the staging for the medley, and is the M.C. of the show.
Jonathan went to Shenandoah University for Musical Theater for two years before leaving to study ballet privately. After college he danced in ballet companies for 5 years, and then performed in musicals around the country and internationally. His Broadway credits include Cats and Swing and he performed in the Radio City Christmas Spectacular for 6 years. He also performed in many regional theater productions, some of which he was the dance captain, and others he was the associate director/choreographer. Jonathan has taught many workshops across the country as well. His favorite show he performed in was the National Tour of Ragtime and his favorite aspect of Camp Broadway is that "Kids learn skills that are inherent to theater, but are not exclusive to theater.