Hello BAC Friends!

As our first production for The Wiz Jr. (produced by the Broadway Artists Connection & International Children’s Network) approaches, we want to introduce the children behind all of the lead characters.  Today we will be starting with none other than our lead role, Dorothy: the orphaned girl transported far away from home.

Benita with Sunnie Selling DonutsFrom Donuts to Dorothy

Benitta Wilbert is known around ICN Liberia for her smiles and positive attitude and the BAC artists fell in love with her personality & smile.  Benitta made her introduction to the ICN Center in Liberia selling donuts.  Benitta’s mother died when she was very young.  Her father abandoned her and her older brother several years back, leaving them not only heartbroken, but vulnerable to going hungry and homeless.  Her aunt and uncle took her in, but they were abusive towards her.

As a means of helping the family provide for their basic needs, Benitta began to sell donuts in her neighborhood.  When Benitta first came to the ICN Center, she was not sponsored and not consistently going to school.  Once she was enrolled in ICN’s sponsorship program, she got a sponsor through the Matsiko tour and began school.  She moved in with another family where she is happy and treated well. Benitta has big dreams of becoming a doctor and helping people around the world.

Now because of International Children’s Network, she has not only gained the opportunity to go to school, but also to participate in the early days of the Matsiko Liberian National Theater.  From the very beginning of the audition process, Benitta captured the hearts of the Broadway Artists Connection.  Her heart of gold and bravery through adversity showed right through her vulnerable and strong stage presence.  Much like Dorothy, Benitta is no stranger to longing, or perseverance through the unknown.

We are overjoyed that through sponsorship and after-school programs, our beloved Dorothy no longer needs to sell donuts just to get by.  Instead, she can bring the light of imagination to the community in Monrovia, Liberia.  By sharing the journey of Dorothy, Benitta will inspire the notion that reality is what one makes it to be, no matter the challenges.

The Countdown is ON! 

And we need your help to finalize the production.  The Broadway Artist’s Connection [hyperlink] is getting costumes ready, preparing roles for stage hands and ushers, and finalizing final rehearsal schedules before they make their way to Monrovia, Liberia.

DONATE HERE

Here are some ways you can help the theater come to life:

  • $10 Donation: pays for a local radio ad to broadcast to the community about the free event
  • $25 Donation: will cover entire costume of one child
  • $50 Donation: will cover one day’s stay for one of our Broadway Professionals
  • $100 Donation: helps finalize the construction of the theater for its very first actors and audience. All donations of $100 or more will ensure your name on the Hope for Humanity banner, which will hang forever in the Matsiko Liberian National Theater
  • $250 Donation: helps one of our Broadway Professionals fly to Liberia. For all donations of $250 or more, we will hang your photo in the Founder’s Tribute Hall in the Matsiko Liberian National Theater (please email photo after donation to lindsey@icnchildren.net)

Broadway 2-2The Broadway Artists Connection announces that we are partnering with the International Children’s Network to send a team of Broadway & NYC volunteer professionals to mount the first musical ever in Liberia, West Africa with children from the Matsiko World Orphan Choir.  The WIZ will open on September 8th, 2018.  The International Children’s Network has has been committed to providing as many of our world’s 600 million orphaned and at-risk children sponsorship for a complete education and now has a dream to open the first national theater. And we need your help.

Help us bring our team (listed below) and supplies to Liberia.  We are a third of the way through our fundraising and need a little more help so these beautiful youth can experience the magic and joy of theater (see them rehearsing below).  We are all volunteers working around the clock to fulfill this dream and any amount gets us a little closer.  DONATE HERE.

The volunteers include Broadway Artists Connection Founder, Tamlyn Brooke Shusterman (Producing Director/Choreographer): Broadway Performer, Rockette, Choreographer with a BFA from University of Michigan in Musical Theatre and an MA in Arts Administration from Columbia University; Amy Dolan-Fletcher (Production Coordinator): Broadway performer; Director/Choreographer; Theater Director at Venue Theatre in Colorado with a MFA in Interdisciplinary Arts & Community Outreach; Malini Singh McDonald (Co-Director): NYC based Director/Producer; Actress; Host of Theatre Beyond Broadway: The Podcast with an MFA in Directing from The Actors Studio Drama School/New School University; Aaron Sanko (Musical Director): Performing Arts Executive, Producer, Musical Director with a degree in Music Education from Eastman School of Music and Entertainment Business at Full Sail University; James Cooper (Documentarian): Documentary Filmmaker & Producer; Performer with a BFA in Musical Theatre from University of Michigan.

The International Children’s Network (ICN) began it’s choir program in 2008 with the first US tour of the Matsiko Children’s Choir.  Matsiko is a Ugandan word for “hope”. This word embodies both the children and the songs that they sing. Through the Matsiko World Orphan Choir, thousands of children will be reached with the hope of a brighter future.

The Broadway Artists Connection is a nonprofit that brings together Broadway and aspiring artists to perform, make industry connections and give back to those in need of the performing arts.  The next Broadway Artists Connection event will be on Monday Oct. 29th 7pm at the Laurie Beechman Theatre in NYC to share this journey and will be a benefit for this new Liberian Theater Arts Program.

We have two openings in the “Broadway Artists & Friends Open Mic & Mingle” on April 17th.  If you would like to sing with this amazing line up below, please email info@broadwayconnects.org asap!  Seeking two talented artists and one Broadway artist….

TICKETS ON SALE NOW.

Broadway artists performing include:
Beth Johnson Nicely (SOMETHING ROTTEN, BULLETS OVER BROADWAY, WHITE CHRISTMAS, SPAMALOT); David Perlman (BABY IT’S YOU); Hollie Howard (HAIRSPRAY, MAMMA MIA!, ANNIE GET YOUR GUN); Lawrence Merritt (PIPPIN, ON THE TOWN, APPLAUSE, DEAR WORLD, GOLDEN RAINBOW, NO WHERE TO GO BUT UP, NO STRINGS); Sarah McLellan (42nd STREET); Erin Kernion (Radio City Rockette). Charles West (SCARLETT PIMPERNEL, CYRANO); D’Vorah Bailey (CANDIDE & Cabaret artist); Abbie Cooper (42nd STREET ALL SHOOK UP, WHITE CHRISTMAS Nat’ Tour) Kate Wesler (PIPPIN Nat’ Tour); Heather Parcells-HOST (TUCK EVERLASTING, FINDING NEVERLAND, SOUL DOCTOR, WONDERLAND, A CHORUS LINE, CHITTY, CHITTY BANG, BANG); Musical Direction by Brad Ross.

Producer: Tamlyn Brooke Shusterman (42nd STREET, DAME EDNA)
Associate Producers: Malini Singh McDonald, Will Branner & Ashley Gramins

The fun continues as selected artists & friends take the mic to sing for NYC Casting Director Jason Styres, who will be crowning two participants the “future of Broadway.”

Selected performers include: Shelby Andersen, Austin Archer, Max Bartos, Bradley Behrmann, Will Branner, Jazley Genovese, Grace Gramins, Lindsay Grant, Jarrad Green, Jessica Humphrey, Megan Jenkins, Molly Jevans, Kelsey Ryan, Sean Seymour, Rayme Sciaroni, Samantha Tullie.

To find out how you can sing in a BAC event, email info@broadwayconnects.org.

TICKETS on sale now. $20 cover (plus $20 food & beverage minimum per person) For more information visit www.broadwayconnects.org.

The Broadway Artists Connection is a charitable nonprofit that nurtures artists of all levels (Broadway, aspiring, re-entering & under-served) by providing opportunities for them to perform, make industry connections and participate in mentoring programs.  TICKETS ON SALE NOW.

Announcing 2017 BAC season

Posted: March 1, 2017 in Uncategorized

bac-2017-flyerThe Broadway Artists Connection (BAC) is accepting submissions for our 2017 season.  If you would like to perform among our Broadway Pros and join our community of artists, please do submit a video.  All BAC shows are hosted by a Broadway Veteran, feature several Broadway artists and then our selected friends (from those aspiring to long time pros) also get a chance to sing. Everyone in attendance is a valuable part of our community of artists & celebrating our love for musical theater.

Dates: Mondays (6:30pm): April 17th, May 22nd, June 19th, Sept. 18th, Oct. 23rd and Nov. 20th.  If you would like to be considered, send a brief video of yourself with the requested date to info@broadwayconnects.org. (All ages are welcome to submit – those under 18 please include your age in your submission)
*Please note that there is a $20 participation fee which is simply your ticket to the event (no food & drink minimum applies to performers*

Selected artists get to try out a song (or dance) and also make meaningful industry connections.  Artists at our events find mentors, learn theatre tips, often learn of gigs and are encouraged in their artistic journeys.  We also have a New York Casting Director attend who is available for some feedback and will crown one singer the “future of Broadway.”

Broadway Artists, this is your time to shine and try out that new song or number in a supportive environment.  You will also inspire the next generation and be a part of our mentoring program.  It all happens at the events.  To participate email info@broadwayconnects.org (no submission required for Broadway artists).

The Broadway Artists Connection is a charitable nonprofit that nurtures artists of all levels (Broadway, aspiring, re-entering & under-served) by providing opportunities for them to perform, make industry connections and participate in mentoring programs.

For more information visit www.broadwayconnects.org.

Get your tickets now to be apart of BAC’s biggest night.  TICKETS CLICK HERE

bacnovposter-headshots1

bac-posteroct102You’re invited to the Broadway Artists & Friend Open Mic & Mingle hosted by 8 time Broadway Vetaran & comedian, J. Elaine Marcos on Monday, Oct. 10th at the Laurie Beechman Theatre. Join us!  TICKETS HERE

This exclusive event provides you an up close view of our Broadway Pros (listed below) & selected up and comers newest works. You will make invaluable industry connections (doors open at 6pm come mingle), and give “BAC.”  The evening will raise funds for CAT Youth Theatre.

Broadway artists performing include:
Travis Ward-Osborne (HOLIDAY INN, ALLADIN)
Joanna Young (DROWSY CHAPERONE, GREASE)
Denise Pence (PIPPIN, FOLLIES, ROTHSCHILDS)
Heather Parcells (TUCK EVERLASTING, FINDING NEVERLAND, SOUL DOCTOR, WONDERLAND, A CHORUS LINE, CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG)
Larry Merritt (PIPPIN, ON THE TOWN, APPLAUSE, DEAR WORLD, GOLDEN RAINBOW, NO WHERE TO GO BUT UP, NO STRINGS)
Hettie Barnhill (LEAP OF FAITH, SPIDER-MAN, TURN OFF THE DARK, FELA!)
Jack Doyle (YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN, MUSIC MAN, WILL ROGERS FOLLIES)
J. Elaine Marcos, host (ANNIE, PRISCILLA QUEEN OF THE DESSERT, A CHORUS LINE, WEDDING SINGER, SWEET CHARITY, WONDERFUL TOWN, FLOWER DRUM SONG, MISS SAIGON).  Accompaniment by Brad Ross.

Tamlyn Brooke Shusterman (42ND STREET, DAME EDNA), Producer; Malini Sighn McDonald (Associate Producer); Will Maitland Weiss (Stage Manager); Randall Eames Exec. Programs Coordinator.

The fun continues as selected fans & friends take the mic to sing for a NYC Casting Director who will be crowning two participants the “future of Broadway.” To find out how you can sing in a BAC event, email info@broadwayconnects.org.

Selected singers include: Kelsey Moore, Meghan Jenkins, Brooke Ferris, Haley Murphy, Kellan Harrod, Mary Malaney, Jazley Genovese,  Melinda Ore, Catalina Gaglioti, Grace Gramins, Rachel Pierce, Eugene Steficek, Christopher Michaels, Nina Cabera.

TICKETS on sale now. $20 cover (plus $20 food & beverage minimum per person) For more information visit www.broadwayconnects.org.

The Broadway Artists Connection is a nonprofit that brings together Broadway & aspiring artists to perform, connect and share their talents for the greater good.  BAC events have featured over 90 Broadway Artists, over 75 aspiring artists and have raised thousands of dollars for charities improving our communities through the arts.

1Don’t miss the Broadway Artists & Friends Open Mic & Mingle hosted by 6 time Broadway Veteran Heather Parcells (TUCK EVERLASTING). The evening, on Monday, June 13th (7pm), will be kicked off by a stellar line up of Broadway pros followed by selected “aspiring artists & talented friends” at the legendary Laurie Beechman Theatre, 407 W 42nd Street.  TICKETS ON SALE NOW.

Performers and audience will be treated to an up close view of artists newest works, make invaluable connections and support our local communities. Signed show posters will be raffled and a donation will be made for CAT Youth Theatre who provide FREE theatre programming to inner city teens.

Broadway artists performing include:
T. Oliver Reid  (AFTER MIDNIGHT, SISTER ACT, MARY POPPINS, WEDDING SINGER, LA CAGE AUX FOLLES, NEVER GONNA DANCE, THOROUGHLY MODERN MILLIE, FOLLIES, KISS ME KATE), Jenn Hemphill (MAMMA MIA!), Adam Roberts (PIPPIN, SPIDER-MAN: TURN OFF THE DARK), Eric Millegan (JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR), Jordana Grolnick (ROGERS + HAMMERSTEIN’S CINDERELLA), Erika Henningsen (LES MISERABLES), Travis Ward-Osborne (ALADDIN) and Heather Parcells – Host (TUCK EVERLASTING, FINDING NEVERLAND, SOUL DOCTOR, WONDERLAND, A CHORUS LINE, CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG).

Producer: Tamlyn Brooke Orlando (42nd STREET, DAME EDNA)
Associate Producer: Malini Singh McDonald
Stage Manager: Will Maitland Weiss
BAC Partnerships: Ashley Gramins
Accompaniment by Brad Ross

The fun continues as selected fans & friends take the mic to sing for  NYC Casting Director, Jason Styres, who will be crowning two participants the “future of Broadway.” To find out how you can sing in a BAC event, email info@broadwayconnects.org.

Selected BAC Friends performing include: Noah Wolter, Chloe Ava Bryan, Tina Smothers, Sabrina Chevlin, Nathaneal Taylor, Samara Elrich, Nicholas Sattinger, Laura Chetti,  Nicolette Palombo, Angelica Gorga, Megan Miles, Carissa Gaughran, Amanda Lee Sedor, Kelsey Moore, Chloe Macon, Kristin Talley.

TICKETS on sale now. $20 cover (plus $20 food & beverage minimum per person) For more information visit www.broadwayconnects.org.