For the third year in a row, Curtis Players selected for the coveted high school musical theater festival
STATEN ISLAND, NY – In an unprecedented treble, the Curtis Players were selected as one of the top five New York-area high school theater programs to perform in the 7th Annual Shubert Foundation High School Drama Festival for New York City Public Schools. The virtual event was broadcast on May 26 on Playbill.com.
For the third year in a row, musical theater students at Curtis High School in St. George received the coveted honor, one of five musical theater programs from a group of 30 applicants in New York City. . Led by longtime Curtis drama teacher Bronwyn Fugate, the Curtis Players performed “Beautiful City” by “Godspell”.
The Shubert High School Festival is typically held on a Broadway stage, but with Broadway closed since March 2020 due to COVID-19 health guidelines restricting large indoor gatherings, the event was broadcast virtually on May 26. This is the second festival played virtually.
In January 2019, the Curtis players were selected for the first time in the history of the school. In March 2019, they performed “25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” live at the Music Box Theater, directed by former theater teacher Curtis Laura Fries, under the musical direction of Tina Kenny Jones. The show was sold out.
Watch the Shubert Festival 2019 here.
In January 2020, Curtis Players was once again shortlisted for his production of “Lucky Stiff”, directed by drama teacher Curtis Frank Barranca. Originally planned for the Broadhurst Theater, the festival was broadcast virtually, when Broadway went dark in March due to the pandemic.
“I’m very proud of the Curtis Players for winning the Shubert Festival for the third year in a row and I’m very honored to have led these kids virtually to keep them engaged and develop their talents,” said Fugate. “Special thanks to Jennifer Armitage Lawson and Tina Kenny Jones without whom I could not have done anything.”
Broadway star James Monroe Iglehart (ALADDIN, HAMILTON) hosted this year’s seventh annual event, with special appearances from Broadway artists including Linda Cho, Brandon Victor Dixon, Treshelle Edmond, Amelia Hensley, Nikki M. James, Zachary Noah Piser and Stephen Schwartz.
Watch the Playbill video here.
CURTIS 2021 PLAYERS ‘CAST
The cast of the 2021 Curtis Players who performed at the Music Festival included: Emma Bresowsky, David Francois, Dominick Francois, Emilee Jospey, Sarah Laureno, Audrey Lawson, Ellis Mitchell, Esme Mitchell, Tatiana Mroczek, Enoch Parmar, Jaria Rantanen and Leidy Rodriguez.
The creative team consisted of director Fugate, music director Christina Kenny-Jones and video editor Jennifer Lawson.
The full list of selected secondary schools is as follows: “BELLE VILLE” (from Godspell) – Curtis High School; JUST ANOTHER DAY 2.0, Renaissance High School for Musical Theater and The Arts – Bronx; TWILIGHT: LOS ANGELES, 1992, Fordham High School for the Arts – Bronx; FRIDAY NIGHT LIVE, Millennium Brooklyn High School – Brooklyn; ROMEO ET JULIETTE, Professional High School of Performing Arts – Manhattan; and DIVERSE CONNECTIONS, Lexington School for the Deaf – Queens.
CURTIS PLAYERS RESPOND
Curtis’ eldest, Emma Bresowsky, who was a member of the Curtis Players for all three years, won a spot for the Shubert Festival. “The best part of playing on Broadway for ‘Spelling Bee’ was sharing that moment with my cast mates,” she said. “Having such a talented and supportive group of people to share the stage with made this performance so much more meaningful and I’m so grateful to have this opportunity to sing on Broadway because we work so hard on it.
“When it got canceled last year, I was really disappointed because being with all the other artists from all over New York restored my love for the theater and the way it really brings people together. The theater has always been a place where I can express myself freely and be with people that I can relate to and bond with, especially as part of the amazing Shubert Festival.
Curtis senior Tatiana Mroczek was also a member of the Curtis Players during the three years they were selected for the Subert Festival. “Performing on Broadway in 2019 was a dream come true and the best part was sharing the experience that night with my second family, my theater family. Although we only had three months to rehearse, we all bonded well through our mutual dedication to the show, ”Mroczek said. “Each person came to the rehearsal giving everything they could, arriving early before and leaving late.
“Working with Broadway stars Christopher Seiber – a two-time Tony Award winner whom I personally idolize – and being on the same stage that I have deep admiration and respect for, while performing in front of a sold-out audience as a grande dame, was simply surreal. “
Mroczek added that she was “devastated” that the 2020 was canceled. “I wasn’t sad for myself, but rather for my castmates who had yet to make their Broadway debut. However, I will remain eternally grateful to the Shubert organization for the memories I will keep forever and to God for Curtis’ incredible theater program, thanks to Mrs. Fugate, Mr. Barranca and Mrs. Fries.
ABOUT THE SHUBERT FESTIVAL
Now in its seventh year, the Shubert Festival highlights outstanding high school productions from the 2020-2021 school year, selected from over 30 productions across the city by a panel of industry professionals and educators in theater.
The Shubert Festival is a high-level, high-energy theatrical education experience for students, presented by the Shubert Foundation and the NYC Department of Education Arts Office.
The “winners” selected for the Shubert Festival represent each borough and are chosen from over 30 productions across the city by a panel of professional theater artists and theater educators.
Festival-inspired online production snippets reflect the professionalism, focus and passions of our New York Public School students of diverse backgrounds and identities who have come together with at least one common ground: telling stories and build bridges.
LEARN MORE ABOUT SHUBERT FESTIVAL 2021
Under very difficult circumstances, each student artist found the time and space to rehearse and record their individual performance on smartphones and laptops so that audiences around the world could enjoy their art and collaboration.
The High School Theater Festival showcases the excellent theatrical work currently underway in public high schools in New York City, and highlights the positive effects of studying theater on skills for the stage and in life: collaboration, artistry. , discipline, focus, literacy, student voice, self-awareness, presence, active listening and empathy.
The evening focuses on the impact that a comprehensive theater program can have on students and school communities and allows students to see theater and the arts as a potential career path.