NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. - From the small screen to the big stage: New Rochelle High School students recently used their popular YouTube series to get a face-to-face with the team of Broadway’s latest hit sensation, "Hamilton."
Last week, students from New Rochelle High School’s PAVE (Performance And Visual Arts Education) program paid an exclusive backstage visit with the production team behind the hottest ticket in town.
All year long, New Rochelle High School film teacher Anthony Stirpe has had his students working on a YouTube series of five question interviews with central figures in the film and theater industries.
According to Stirpe, Jason Bassett, the play’s production director was so impressed by the students’ YouTube series - which will feature more than 40 videos, all shot on iPads by the end of the year - that he insisted they take a special trip to Broadway.
This isn’t the first time the PAVE program’s YouTube series has earned accolades. They were recently featured in the Wall Street Journal, and two weeks ago, two-time Emmy award winner Michael Park met with the students and sung their praise.
After the backstage visit, the students went to see the production at the Music Box Theatre, where they were publicly acknowledged by producers in front of the crowd. Bassett was also interviewed for the five-question YouTube series, with his episode expected to be released next month.
Stirpe said that this type of access and experience shows the students that their goals of working on Broadway - be it on stage or behind the scenes - is ultimately attainable if they commit themselves.
“They get to see how possible it is. What we’re talking about is that they’re not just wild dreams,” he said. “They get to see people practice what they preach.”