Adrianna Hicks and J. Harrison Ghee Will Host The Shubert Foundation’s 2023 High School Theatre Festival
More than 100 young NYC public school theatre artists will make their Broadway debuts later this month. Celebrating five outstanding high school student productions from the 2022-2023 school year, The Shubert Foundation’s 2023 High School Theatre Festival for NYC Public Schools will take place March 20 at the Broadhurst Theatre (current home of A Beautiful Noise).
Some Like It Hot stars Adrianna Hicks and J. Harrison Ghee will co-host the event, with a lineup that includes Tony winner Danny Burstein (Pictures From Home), Justin Cooley (Kimberly Akimbo), Latoya Edwards (White Girl in Danger), Amelia Fei (How To Dance in Ohio), Bill Irwin (Endgame), Michael Iskander (Kimberly Akimbo), Katrina Lenk (Company), Apollo Levine (MJ the Musical), Tony Shalhoub (The Band’s Visit), and Ben Jackson Walker (& Juliet).
This year’s performers were selected from more than 20 productions across the city by professional theatre artists and theatre educators. Over the course of the festival’s nine-year history, school productions from all five boroughs have performed at the event.
Students from the Professional Performing Arts High School in Manhattan will kick off the evening with a number from Rent, followed by William Cullen Bryant High School in Queens performing from The Band’s Visit. Fordham High School of the Arts in the Bronx will then do excerpted scenes from The Crucible, while The Beacon School in Manhattan will do the same with School Girls; Or, The African Mean Girls Play. Rounding out the evening will be the Frank Sinatra School of the Arts in Queens performing a selection from Carrie, The Musical.
Additionally, a special cameo by Nevada resident Howard Shapiro, age 74, will take place as the AARP’s Wish of a Lifetime recipient fulfills his dream to perform on a Broadway stage. Howard, backed by 26 participating Festival teen artists will perform “To Life” from the Broadway musical Fiddler On The Roof and share his story of overcoming obstacles and perseverance as an older adult and member of the LGBTQ+ community.
“The theatre enabled me to feel more comfortable and come out of my shell, I could express myself fully for the first time,” says Shapiro. “I am honored to perform alongside such talented young people and to share my story with them. I want them to know how fortunate they are to have such opportunities that I never even knew existed.”