Celebrating Broadway in Freeport


More than 200 students hit the stage at Freeport High School on July 30 to demonstrate their musicality, theatrical abilities and fancy footwork. Broadway Stars 2014 was a production orchestrated as part of Freeport’s Summer Academy of the Arts program.

The four-week program, run by teachers with help from high school and college volunteers, gives students in grades 4-8 an opportunity to explore the arts. 

Freeport High School Principal Linda Carter welcomed visitors and district administrators to the high-energy production.

“This is our sixth year running the program and each time it gets stronger thanks to our staff, students and families,” Carter said.  

First to the stage was the advanced orchestra, delighting audience goers with “I will Follow Him” from Sister Act and traditional melodies, such as “Mary Had a Little Lamb.” They were followed band performances of “My Girl,” “42nd Street” and music from the Lion King. 

Next was the dance performance “A Broadway Blend,” which was included music from Annie, In the Heights, The Wiz and Lion King, and was choreographed by teacher Mahendra Morales. After that was “The 25th Annual Nassau County Spelling Bee,” a theatrical performance adapted from the musical comedy The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. The fictional spelling bee, set originally in Putnam County, was revised to take place in Nassau County.       

The event also included an art exhibit created by participants, which was displayed in the lobby of the high school, and a choral performance featuring participants singing music from Broadway’s Lion King and the rock-musical Hair.    

Summer Academy Coordinator Ruth Breidenbach attributed the show’s success to her “team of star-studded excellence” and to the hard work and dedication of the participants.   

“The children take responsibility for how the program will turn out and are very invested in their performances,” Breidenbach said. “We just hope we inspired our audience to go see a Broadway show.”