Letter from Amy Weinstein, Artistic Director, StudentsLive/Passport to Broadway
It is very nice to meet you and thank you for taking a moment to read about the very unique mission and purpose of this program.
Bringing our successful track record in producing, teaching, programming, curricula and professional development, developing domestic and international theater contacts, planning and implementing special projects and initiatives and conceiving, creating, and directing theater productions, through helping provide this unique international theater platform for aspiring students and artists in China is a proud commitment. Our professional background, long held respect and contacts in the theater community on Broadway, across the country and world, and our expertise in theater history, methods and philosophies of theater education, will ultimately help you and the students further their interest to seek global, competitive learning and professional, practical education career opportunities, enhancing your already innovative and competitive edge in this arena. I support the values and philosophies of curiosity, responsibility, rigor, generosity, spirit of collaboration and social engagement with diversity and inclusiveness. I believe that the best theater studies should prepare students for careers that will enrich and transform the human experience in a rich, incandescent, diverse and highly multi-disciplinary environment.
These last seventeen years have been a powerful experience for myself and my creative and production team travelling to 7 countries and hosting seven more here direct on Broadway in New York City with our Passport to Broadway Program. The thousands of serious aspiring students involved in this rigorous process grew beyond our wildest imagination with a passion and dedication for learning and performing this very challenging art form in almost impossible short window of time; What would normally require a Broadway professional at least 6 to 8 weeks of rehearsals is taught and learned eloquently in 10 short days with our exceptional Broadway Artists faculty and students. They made the virtually impossible, possible. And that is a testament to both their talents and hard work, as well as the collaboration and individual expression great Musical Theater evokes.
While you have stellar Music Arts and Theater programs led by very talented directors in their own right, what StudentsLive is planning to bring is a uniquely customized “Broadway” show designed exclusively for Shanghai students, with the widest range of Broadway material put together in a unique story that reflects the lives, wishes hopes and dreams of the combined Chinese and American cultures. 30 to 40 Broadway classical and contemporary musicals are chosen and arranged to incorporate original Broadway staging, choreography and lyrics but adapted into this singular story. Our stories usually incorporate love triangles with rich and deep conflicts for all the characters involved, and are also a reflection of the hopes and dreams of characters who wish to travel to faraway places (like New York) and those with the opposite desire to stay close to home and cherish what is in their own backyards. The stories take us into the future, past and present incorporating the same or similar styles of a wide range of classical to contemporary Broadway shows.
The stories usually takes us back and forth between past present and future, told only through music, dance and acting, from the points of view of various characters perspectives, the universal sacrifices we make for love and/or career, and the everyday lives of young people living in China. They typically end up with a celebration of both perspectives, and a resolution that tells the story of why we are all are ready for what the future holds and why we are more alike than not, despite the differences in or life’s journeys and choices.
In our own preparation for this exciting journey, we will be selecting some of the widest and most challenging range of Broadway material, in order for you to have access to and be exposed to an opportunity for growth and a true sense of confidence and accomplishment in this short time for all of us. Our greatest wish is that this experience will inspire you to continue taking risks, growing in this challenging art form that requires mastery of all three disciplines simultaneously, learn form the best, meet and network with all kinds of important colleagues we have the pleasure of knowing and introducing out students to, meeting challenges and pursuing your own unique dreams and goals.
With that said, it is my pleasure to be part of your very special community for even a short time, and to help share some of the joy and love that we have for Broadway musical theater Thank you for allowing us the opportunity to be a part of your very special artistic community and thank you to those who chose and are selected to participate for lending us the hearts, talent and courage it takes for this exceptional experience. We hope to see you on Broadway someday, and to hopefully see you in Shanghai in the very near future to help inspire more lives through the power of theater.
Artistic Director StudentsLive/Passport to Broadway
Letter from Passport to Broadway Musical Director Seth Weinstein
I’m very excited to make music with you this Spring! We will immerse ourselves in a story that contains some of my favorite songs from Broadway and musical theatre. Each of these songs arouses deep passion within me, and I am confident that you will come to love them, too. I have been a musician for more than 35 years, and my most fulfilling experiences have come from sharing my world with people of all ages and giving them a passion for the arts.
I have traveled extensively around the world and have come to adore the people, the beautiful landscapes, the cities’ energy, and the sights, smells, and sounds of other beautiful countries and cultures. What could be better than to spend the day making music, and finish by sharing a dinner with my fellow artists? I will enjoy teaching you, and I will learn from you. The process will nourish us all as humans. We will each bring our individual energy and personality to contribute to the creation of a unique and unified work of art.
Be prepared to work hard! This program is very demanding, but it is also very rewarding. We will rehearse and perform a show in under two weeks—much less time than on Broadway! To succeed, we must respect and listen to each other. Your country contains some of the world’s finest artists, and I am inspired to create with you.
I can’t wait to take this journey with you.
Seth Weinstein Passport to Broadway Musical Director