[06/20/12 - 10:12 AM]
WGBH Boston and Producer Lance K. Shultz in Association With the National High School Musical Theater Awards Announce "Broadway or Bust," a Three-Part Primetime Series Premiering September 9, 2012 on PBS
The project "will be the first-ever TV series to capture the behind-the-scenes coaching and grueling rehearsal schedule leading up to the NHSMTA."

[via press release from PBS]



Boston, MA [June 20, 2012] - It's non-stop drama when 60 of America's top high school musical theater performers arrive in New York City this summer for an intensive week of "theatrical boot camp" as they vie for a shot at stage stardom in the ultimate national theater competition. The annual event is the subject of the new three-part primetime series, BROADWAY OR BUST, airing Sundays this fall, beginning September 9, 2012 on PBS (check local listings).

BROADWAY OR BUST will be the first-ever TV series to capture the behind-the-scenes coaching and grueling rehearsal schedule leading up to the National High School Musical Theater Awards (NHSMTA). Popularly known as "The Jimmy Awards" - named in honor of renowned Broadway theatre owner and producer James M. Nederlander - this national competition culminates in a unique weeklong New York experience - a make-it-or-break-it week of rehearsals, coaching and auditions that are capped by an awards event on a Broadway stage in front of a live audience and a panel of high-profile judges.

Producers WGBH Boston and Lance K. Shultz have teamed up with the National High School Musical Theater Awards, created by Nederlander Alliances, LLC and Pittsburgh CLO, and produced by The Broadway Education Alliance in association with Pittsburgh CLO, and 30 top regional musical theater programs to bring this series to PBS. Airing as part of the PBS' Arts line-up, a multiplatform commitment to make the arts accessible to all, BROADWAY OR BUST is comprised of three hour-long episodes and airs on consecutive Sunday nights, September 9-23, 2012 at 8:00-9:00 pm ET on PBS (check local listings).

"WGBH is thrilled to be working with Lance Shultz and the NHSMTA to bring audiences across the country a look at the enormous talent of these young performers, and the emotional process they endure as they take on a once in a lifetime opportunity to compete at 'The Jimmy Awards'," says WGBH Executive Producer of Lifestyle Productions, Laurie Donnelly. "We believe that these performers will truly touch the hearts of viewers as they have ours, positioned against the magical backdrop of Broadway."

Part competition, part performance and part non-fiction drama, BROADWAY OR BUST will capture the highly charged atmosphere as the country's most talented teens are plunged into the theatrical capital of the world to compete for a shot at Broadway and college scholarships. In addition to being hosted by Broadway stars Constantine Maroulis and Deborah Cox surprise visits and cameo appearances by some of today's biggest Broadway names will offer the kids insider perspectives and tips about working on the Great White Way.

"Full of captivating performances, compelling characters and dramatic storylines, this series will pull back the curtain to show viewers the whole process - the talent, ambition, drive, vulnerability, discipline, resiliency, dreams dashed and dreams fulfilled - both the highs and lows of what it takes to make it to Broadway," says BROADWAY OR BUST, executive producer, writer and director, Lance Shultz.

The series begins as young talent from all over the country try to catch their big break at highly competitive, regional musical theater awards competitions in over 30 cities including, San Diego, Memphis, Atlanta and Pittsburgh. Next, follow the finalists in New York for a grueling and energizing week of behind-closed-door performances, voice and acting sessions. The final hour will showcase "The Jimmy Awards," at New York's Minskoff Theatre, the finalist performances, the celebrity hosts and presenters, and the naming of the winners - the top male and female performers.

BROADWAY OR BUST is a co-production of WGBH Boston and Lance K. Shultz, in association with the National High School Music Theater Awards. Funding for the series is provided by PBS. For additional information, please visit pbs.org/broadwayorbust.


About WGBH Boston

WGBH Boston is America's preeminent public broadcaster and the largest producer of PBS content for TV and the Web, including Masterpiece, Antiques Roadshow, Frontline, Nova, American Experience, Arthur, Curious George, and more than a dozen other prime-time, lifestyle, and children's series. WGBH's television channels include WGBH 2, WGBH 44, and the digital channels World and Create. WGBH TV productions focusing on the region's diverse community include Greater Boston, Basic Black, and High School Quiz Show. WGBH Radio serves listeners across New England with 89.7 WGBH, Boston Public Radio; Classical New England; and WCAI, the Cape and Islands NPR(R) Station. WGBH also is a major source of programs for public radio (including The World), a leader in educational multimedia (including PBS Learning Media, a free online service providing the nation's educators with curriculum-based digital content to meet 21st-century learners' needs), and a pioneer in technologies and services that make media accessible to the 36 million Americans who are deaf, hard of hearing, blind, or visually impaired. WGBH has been recognized with hundreds of honors: Emmys, Peabodys, duPont-Columbia Awards...even two Oscars. Find more information at www.wgbh.org.

About Lance K. Shultz, Co-Producer, Writer, and Director

Lance Shultz has produced, directed, written, executive-produced and distributed an array of award-winning television programs for domestic and foreign broadcast markets. In addition to non-fiction television, genres include reality shows, national television commercials, and live Las Vegas stage shows and special events. Mr. Shultz's films have aired on PBS, The Discovery Channel, A&E, and other network. Mr. Shultz has also produced and directed specials which include some of Hollywood's top names such as John Travolta, Sidney Pollack and music legends Jimmy Paige of Led Zeppelin, Brian Johnson of AC/DC, and Charlie Daniels.

About The National High School Musical Theater Awards /JIMMY(TM) AWARDS

The National High School Musical Theater Awards (NHSMTA) is a celebration of outstanding achievement in vocal, dance and acting performance, developed to elevate the profile of in-school arts education across America, provide college scholarships and create pathways connecting promising young performers to the professional theater industry. Each year, 50,000 teenagers at 1,000 high schools participate in the program. Students who win lead actor and actress awards at their regional high school musical theater awards competitions convene in New York City for five days of private coaching and rehearsals at the New Studio on Broadway, NYU Tisch School of the Arts Department of Drama, in preparation for their Broadway debut at The Jimmy(TM) Awards. The program was founded in 2009 by Pittsburgh CLO and Nederlander Alliances LLC, under the leadership of James L. Nederlander, and is produced by The Broadway Education Alliance in association with Pittsburgh CLO. It has been supported by The National Endowment for the Arts, The Broadway League, The Shubert Organization and other industry organizations and foundations committed to nurturing future artists and audiences. The Jimmy(TM) Award is named for James M. Nederlander, the legendary Broadway theater owner, in honor of his vision and generous support of young artists. For more information please visit www.nhsmta.com.

About Pittsburgh CLO

PITTSBURGH CLO has been the driving force behind live musical theater in Pittsburgh and the Southwestern Pennsylvania region since 1946. Under the direction of Van Kaplan since 1997, this not-for-profit arts organization appreciates the support of nearly 200,000 patrons each year and produces a subscription series, educational programs and develops and invests in new works and national tours, including 13 Broadway shows (13 Tony(R) Awards) including the current production of Evita and the national tour of The Addams Family. The organization's dedication to the musical theater art form includes programs such as the CLO Academy, the CLO Mini Stars, the Gene Kelly Awards, the Richard Rodgers Award, the Construction Center for the Arts, the CLO Cabaret and The National High School Musical Theater Awards.

About The Broadway Education Alliance

BROADWAY EDUCATION ALLIANCE is a not-for-profit corporation dedicated to supporting the theatre industry through the development of coalition programs between performing arts institutions and philanthropic partnerships with public and private entities. The mission is to raise awareness around and fund arts education programs and provide services that inspire creativity, build confidence and stimulate thinking in American's youth. The organization is a member of the New York Institute of Technology's Education Enterprise Zone(R).

About PBS

PBS, with its nearly 360 member stations, offers all Americans the opportunity to explore new ideas and new worlds through television and online content. Each month, PBS reaches nearly 123 million people through television and more than 21 million people online, inviting them to experience the worlds of science, history, nature and public affairs; to hear diverse viewpoints; and to take front row seats to world-class drama and performances. PBS' broad array of programs has been consistently honored by the industry's most coveted award competitions. Teachers of children from pre-K through 12th grade turn to PBS for digital content and services that help bring classroom lessons to life. PBS' premier children's TV programming and its website, pbskids.org, are parents' and teachers' most trusted partners in inspiring and nurturing curiosity and love of learning in children. More information about PBS is available at www.pbs.org, one of the leading dot-org websites on the Internet, or by following PBS on Twitter, Facebook or through our apps for mobile devices.

  [june 2012]  

(series past and present)
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