Every year, Shea's offers a sneak preview of the coming Broadway season to our season ticket holders before it's announced to the public. The event includes guest presenters, videos, a complimentary dessert reception, and live performances from some of the coming shows. We were very excited to have 17 of our Kenny finalists help us announce our 15-16 Broadway series on Wednesday, March 4.
The whirlwind evening started at 4:30 pm when the students arrived at Shea's for a run through. They sat back stage and watched the end of the Matilda rehearsal with BAVPA's Vocal Symphony before stepping out onto the stage themselves. The experience of standing on Shea's stage for the first time can be quite overwhelming, as you can imagine. Shea's production staff walked the students through the event and let them take turns rehearsing their speeches to an empty house before the actual announcement.
The Kenny students were then brought backstage to the catering room where countless stars have dined between and before performances for dinner, socializing and last minute preparation. Then at 6:45 pm, they were brought back up to the stage for the actual announcement. They waited anxiously on stage left for their turn to present with performers from Newsies, Beautiful, and Matilda. One school at a time, the students went on stage to announce our upcoming season. Once they were finished, they were ushered into the balcony to watch the rest of the announcement.
The enthusiasm and passion from the students was palpable to the audience. By the end of the night, everyone was excited not only for the 15-16 Broadway series, but also for the Kenny ceremony on May 16.
We thank all of the students presenters for their incredible work, professionalism, and preparedness for the event. We can't wait to see all of our finalists on May 16!
Erin Burris and Justin Pope from Tonawanda High School rehearse their speech to an empty theatre.
Parent video of Sam Anderson, Jillian Beard, and Hannah Keller from City Honors presenting Shea's 15-16 special engagements.
For over 25 years, hundreds of outstanding high school musical theatre productions in Western New York have been recognized and honored by The Kenny Awards.