My name is Amy Weinstein and I am the CEO and Founder of StudentsLive, A Global Broadway Education Company for the past 20 years and more recently Founder and Artistic Director of our Sister Company, Passport to Broadway International.
StudentsLive (www.studentslive.net) began in 1998. The company has attracted over 350,000 participants from the widest range of cultural, ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds. We continue to support alternative learning, cross cultural and interdisciplinary opportunities for a wide range of new audiences and creating, developing, managing and implementing National Standards theater curriculum and interactive Broadway Educational Workshops and Materials for support in classrooms worldwide by training, hiring, and organizing teams of Broadway Artists and Professionals to serve each organization’s needs. By doing so, these programs enable a new generation of students to make the arts a permanent part of their lives in ways in which they can deeply explore its value, not just fill up a seat.
Starting literally with just an idea, StudentsLive grew into one of the world’s most significant theater education programs engaging groups from Brazil, Guatemala, South Korea, Italy, China and Japan and more. After 19 years of growth, it now boasts partnerships with virtually every single hit Broadway show, endorsements from America’s political, cultural, and artistic leaders, alliances with foreign governments and arts education programs, along with a proven track record of financial sustainability. Most importantly, tens of thousands of young people across the globe have been touched by StudentsLive programs – and that, to us, is the ultimate measure of success.
In 2008, StudentsLive began to develop audiences outside the United States with Passport to Broadway – An International and Domestic Musical Theater Program, a customizable and ultimate Broadway Education experience presented by our company for students of all ages. This is being developed to bring international and domestic young people and students to New York City as well as StudentsLive traveling to their specific locales and countries for the educational opportunity of a lifetime. The students are challenged to expand their perspectives and horizons beyond any real professional’s demanding regime, and walk away new and changed young people for life. Some of the details about the program are below, as well as YouTube clips and testimonials about the experience both from Broadway, social/ cultural leaders, professionals and the students. I think they speak for themselves. I would welcome the opportunity to share in a potentially mutual and beneficial partnership with your fine organization for this important and unique international global theater arts exchange.
The StudentsLive Passport to Broadway Program (www.passporttobroadway.com) allows students the opportunity to experience, first hand, the best live, Broadway interactive theater education programs, taught by the best, highly trained Broadway specialists, our country has to offer. The program allows students to experience the intensive training of a professional, successful and highly disciplined Broadway Artist and the myriad skills required in collaboration, interrelation, communication and human exploration. The goals are to expand and deepen students understanding and familiarity with all areas of Broadway Theater and to enhance their studies in human behavior, culture, intention and expression. Through challenging music, dance, acting and, most importantly, the unique art form of “putting it all together”, taught by the best professionals on Broadway, StudentsLive prepares students to be highly competitive in whatever career they choose to pursue as well as prepare for the best universities and career opportunities possible.
What happens as a result is a “full-immersion,” comprehensive Broadway experience – which starts with simulated Broadway auditions with real casting directors, continues with daily rehearsals that include vocal, acting, and dance coaching, includes meetings and discussions with working Broadway professionals, supplemented by theoretical studies of Broadway musical theater history, and ends with the students finally performing the production that they have been working on for in the rehearsal process.
Through StudentsLive’s Passport to Broadway Program, StudentsLive provides international and domestic high school and college students with the invaluable resources and insights to either becoming a serious actor/performer in New York and worldwide or to pursue whatever careers they may choose with more confidence and awareness. During the course of StudentsLive’s time with the students, they broaden their knowledge of the importance of performance studies combining choreography, voice, and acting to achieve the skills of a “triple threat” and increase their competitive ability and skills in the Broadway Industry. At the end of the course the students perform a live, original “Broadway Show” for a select and invited audience of top-tier Broadway Professionals. In this intensive, students will also be exposed to the invaluable and often inaccessible resources New York Broadway Theater has to offer.
As part of the Program, participants experience Broadway like never before – by working with top Broadway Professionals as they rehearse and perform a customized composed medley of 40 quintessential Broadway songs that span the entire history of musical theater in the United States. For one, two or three weeks (there are 3, 5, 10 and 18-day programs), participants work every day with a various Choreographers, Directors and Musical Directors, and meet with specially invited Broadway Guest Professionals who can illuminate students’ understanding of their particular field of expertise in musical theater.
The performance takes place in an Off-Broadway Theater or Broadway Rehearsal Studio before a specially invited audience including Broadway Professionals. The program can be conducted in New York City, around the United States and worldwide (in which case the Broadway Artists and the Production Crew would travel to that city and the performance would take place at a professional (local) theater with an invited VIP local audience).
Meanwhile, we can tell you that we have personally witnessed the impact of this program on young people, and there is nothing like seeing these participant’s faces light up with joy, pride and inspiration as they perform. It literally brings tears to their eyes and the eyes of people in the audience, who see how their lives have been transformed by the thrill of performing and coming in contact with that special magic of musical theater. It not only helps them better understand and appreciate Broadway Musical Theater, but also boosts their confidence, encourages their ability to express themselves personally and artistically, and inspires them to become better artists and better people. It is an incredible, life-changing experience.
We have partnerships with mutually synergistic business professionals and various acting schools and universities in the new and potential partners in Singapore, Kuwait, Malaysia, Hong Kong and Thailand, performance schools and students from Brazil, Beijing, China and Italy, Theatre Arts Organizations in Australia and India, Girl Scout/Guide Councils in Delaware, California, and Canada as well as International/Public/Private Schools here in New York & across the country.
Highlights and History
In July 2018, Passport to Broadway was excited to welcome a professional Pageant Program, IANTA Ikatan Abang None Jakarta, from Indonesia for their first program with StudentsLive sponsored by the Indonesian Ministries of Culture and Education during the first two weeks in July. This was an opportunity for Performing Arts Professionals and Students from Indonesia to gain greater knowledge and skills in musical theater from our team of Broadway professionals. We are going to Indonesia in Winter 2019 in order to expand our reach in that area and work with a wide range of students and aspiring artists all across Indonesia.
In January/February 2018, our Passport to Broadway Creative Team travelled to Guangzhou, China for our “third” program with the Clifford International School. You can view all five blogs that have been posted on Broadway World from the perspective of our Musical Director, a local Teaching Artist and a Student at: https://www.broadwayworld.com/author/Guest-Blogger:-Passport-to-Broadway
In June 2017, our Passport to Broadway Creative Team journeyed to Guangzhou, China to work with another acclaimed International School (the American International School of Guangzhou). The team worked with thirty students on an original musical created especially for them with over 35 Broadway musical numbers. The five Broadway World blogs describing that experience from the perspective of our Musical Director, Faculty Coordinator and a Student are below.
Passport to Broadway China June 2017 Broadway World Blogs
Blog One: June 18, 2017: Audition Day: http://www.broadwayworld.com/china/article/Guest-Blog-Passport-to-China-Days-1-2-20170621
Blog Two: June 20, 2017: Rehearsal Day: http://www.broadwayworld.com/china/article/Guest-Blog-Passport-to-China-Days-1-2-20170621
Blog Three: June 22, 2017: First Rehearsal in the Theater: http://www.broadwayworld.com/china/article/Guest-Blog-Passport-to-China-Day-3-20170706
Blog Four: June 24, 2017: Dress Rehearsal: http://www.broadwayworld.com/china/article/Guest-Blog-Passport-to-China-Day-4-20170706
Blog Five: June 25, 2017: Final Performance: http://www.broadwayworld.com/china/article/Guest-Blog-Passport-to-China-Day-5-20170706
In July 2016, our Passport to Broadway Creative Team traveled to Los Angeles, California for a 4 day Musical Theater Intensive to meet 30 students also from a highly respected International School in Guangzhou, China, who had come to the United States for the first time to immerse themselves in Musical Theater.
In January/February 2016, Passport to Broadway was also privileged to travel to Guangzhou, China and work with students for the first time from Clifford International School in Guangzhou, China for a 10 day Musical Theater Intensive with 50 students. Broadway World hosted a series of blogs from the perspective of our Musical Director Seth Weinstein and CEO/Director Amy Weinstein. Please see the links below to the blogs and our StudentsLive Facebook page for more updated information.
Passport to Broadway China Links
Blog One: http://china.broadwayworld.com/archives/484
Blog Two: http://china.broadwayworld.com/archives/499
Blog Three: http://china.broadwayworld.com/archives/509
Blog Four: http://china.broadwayworld.com/archives/518
Blog Five: http://china.broadwayworld.com/archives/533
Final Performance Photo Montage: http://eqxiu.com/s/GNRvdrIt?from=singlemessage&isappinstalled=0
StudentsLive Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/StudentsLive-Broadway-Education-Programs-401328182264/timeline/
In June 2015, our Passport to Broadway creative team worked with the BFA and MFA students at Brooklyn College on a Summer Intensive program. We worked with the staff at Brooklyn College and our creative team for three months to prepare a challenging curriculum enhancement that gave the students an opportunity to explore various styles and types of Broadway music, choreography and acting. The students learned a customized script and score for a Final Presentation.
In December 2013, we hosted a group of Girl Guides from Edmonton, Canada who did a two day Passport to Broadway Program with Choreographer Stephen Brotebeck (Associate Professor San Diego State University) and Musical Director Matthew Russell (Carnegie Hall Musical Director). They also did two Broadway Guest Artist sessions with Pippin’s Bethany Moore and Annie’s Justin Greer. The final performance was attended by Broadway Professionals and StudentsLive Staff and Colleagues. The Area Commissioner for Edmonton Girl Guides was simply overwhelmed by the change and growth in the students and plans to bring her girls back again with this original Passport to Broadway program we have created just for their Council.
In December 2013, we completed our ten day whirlwind trip with our Passport to Broadway program in Guatemala City. Passport to Broadway Guatemala was an amazing creative experience in a breathtakingly beautiful country with some of the most dedicated students, a wide range of ages, socio-economic backgrounds and performance levels, we have ever met and worked with. Our Creative Team of Producer/Director Amy Weinstein, Choreographer Gabriela Garcia-Castro (Swing/Dance Captain Chicago on Broadway), Musical Director Elizabeth Nestlerode (Forbidden Broadway Off Broadway) and Associate Producer Jessica James were all profoundly inspired by the nine days we spent with the students.
From August 2013 back to January 2009, ten programs were produced for students from South Korea took place in New York City on August 20, 2013 for an audience of Top-Broadway Professionals. (See links below.) Ben Vereen (Cast Member from Glory), Jeff Calhoun (Director of Newsies), William Ivey Long (Tony Award Winning Costume Designer for Chicago), and Constantine Maroulis (American Idol) both the President and Vice President of the Shubert Theatre Organization were in the audience.
In November 2012, StudentsLive was honored to work with AKB48, the top-Japanese pop sensation, on Passport to Broadway: “From Tokyo to Broadway”- the premiere of a new customized program and show. The program and final showcase was filmed for a top television station, Family Theater and worldwide DVD release in Japan for a holiday special documenting the group’s journey here to the United States. The group studied and performed alongside Broadway Guest Artists Tyrick Wiltez Jones (Hairspray), Carla Hargrove (Rock of Ages), Patricia Durante (The Secret Garden) Cornelius Bethea (CHICAGO, The Scottsboro Boys) and 10 American Musical Theatre Students performing a customized Musical Showcase that included a medley of Broadway-style classical and contemporary show numbers, including “I Won’t Have to Anymore” by Jonathan Reid Gealt and “Ready” by Joey Contreras. The invited audience of Broadway Professionals included: Frank Wildhorn, Broadway and Contemporary Music Composer (Jekyll & Hyde, Wonderland, Civil War) and Sean Fellowes (Casting Director from Jay Binder’s office).
In July 2012, StudentsLive hosted a Performing Arts School from Shanghai, China in New York City for their first-time in New York City.
In Summer 2011, we concluded our Premiere Program for students from Brazil. The Final Performance featured twenty 17 to 30 year old Brazilian performers from 4ACT Performing Arts School from Sao Paulo, Brazil performing a Musical that included a Medley of 30 Classic and Contemporary Broadway Show Numbers with an Original Book entitled: “Avenia Vieria Souto Meets Broadway”.
In December 2010, StudentsLive Broadway Education Programs and Passport to Broadway made its debut at The United Nations and performed at The Human Rights and Discrimination Conference in partnership with the Brooklyn International High School. The students who presented our program were from:
Thailand – Tibet – Dominican Republic – Senegal
Morocco – Bangladesh – Togo – Guinea – Malaysia – Ecuador
They asked StudentsLive to present a section of this unparalleled program for their Human Rights Conference that was televised to students worldwide. Countries that participated in the televised conference include: Spain, Mexico, France and Canada and select cities throughout the United States. (Please see webcast link below).
For additional history going back to 2008, please see our website at www.passporttobroadway.com or we can send you those materials upon request.
This workshop is a truly unique experience that not only illustrates the importance of arts education, but also exemplifies the significance of a global cultural exchange.
As some of our Broadway VIP audience members have stated:
“Wow! I cried though the first 5 numbers and three more times throughout the course of the show. What you put together is incredible. It reminded me of the magic of Broadway and how lucky we all are to be a part of this. More importantly what it can do for these children, how it can bring them out of their shells. You did a wonderful job. I was honored to be a guest.” – Stephanie Klemons, Assistant Choreographer/Broadway Cast Member, Hamilton
“The students performed the piece seamlessly. This program should become an integral part of all students United Nations Conference.” -Yvonne Acosta, Chief Education Outreach, The United Nations
“StudentsLive has facilitated a unique, living program that embodies commitment and passion to sharing of theater to students, of the international community, that’s both priceless and bold. They’re a shining tower for all to look upon and admire.” -Gelan Lambert, Broadway Actor, Fela!
“I ran into Passport to Broadway when I was preparing for the launch of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert the Musical in New York – for a time I shared an office with Amy Weinstein, Chief Visionary. As someone with a long-term interest in the education of aspiring theatre practitioners I was impressed by the commitment of the entire StudentsLive team, and the energy and enthusiasm of the young people they inspired. It was obvious to me that the intensive, interactive and immersive nature of this programme was unique; young people work through the actual processes of rehearsing and presenting a production, guided and mentored by experienced professionals. They are encouraged to find their own voice, to express themselves both personally and creatively and, through their individual and collective experiences over two weeks to build confidence and self-esteem. The international opportunities for this innovative programme are obvious and I’ve often thought that an alliance with international teachers and arts educators was an inevitable step. Amy and Passport to Broadway are a natural fit for any international school. I applaud and celebrate their collaboration and I know they will jointly provide an invaluable resource for young international students – whether students of theatre, or those seeking skills that will fit them for any profession.” -Garry McQuinn, Producer, Priscilla Queen of the Desert the Musical