Thespians thankful for Broadway experience


photo by Ansley Howell

Junior Neha Kabir and sophomore Madalena Agosto explore Times Square and immerse themselves within the New York culture. The thespians traveled to New York City on Nov. 23-27.

Over Thanksgiving break, 34 students from Thespian Troupe 6885, along with nine chaperones and theater teacher Jamaal Solomon, traveled to New York City. The troupe is a part of the International Thespian Society, the only theater honor society for middle and high school students. Solomon hoped students could learn from immersing themselves in New York and Broadway culture.

“I decided to take the trip so that students can learn and grow from experiencing life in New York City, seeing actual Broadway productions, and learning from Broadway professionals,” Solomon said. 

Students even experienced once-in-a-lifetime opportunities, including a cast party with the stars of Wicked and participating in two theater workshops with Broadway professionals. 

“It was really cool being able to ask them personal questions. The most important thing I learned was that everyone had their own path to Broadway and there is no ‘one way’ to a career in musical theater,” senior Jazlyn Compton said. 

The troupe was the first school group to tour the brand-new Museum of Broadway, which displayed a timeline of Broadway history, behind-the-scenes information into the makings of a show, and more.

However, while an exclusive museum tour was exciting, it could not compare to the actual Broadway experience. Junior Julia Register, troupe 6885 historian, said that some of her favorite moments were watching the live performances

“My favorite part was definitely seeing Wicked and The Phantom of the Opera,” Register said.

The troupe also went sightseeing around New York City, visiting a Christmas market, the Statue of Liberty, Radio City Music Hall, One World Observatory and other staple New York attractions. Students were immersed in the culture of the city by walking around Times Square and eating traditional New York pizza. 

The trip itinerary was filled with festive excursions, including viewing the iconic Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and having Thanksgiving Dinner at the Hard Rock Cafe. Even though they missed Thanksgiving with their families, troupe members celebrated the holiday together. 

“It was truly life-changing and for some a once-in-a-lifetime experience. It was absolutely lovely,” Solomon said.