Freddie G Fellowship honor goes to local teacher

Mountain Ridge Middle School awarded $5,000 from theater notables

Staff report
Posted 8/25/17

Local educator Laurilea McDaniel was selected as one of eight teachers from schools and performing arts centers nationwide to work alongside Broadway stars at the eighth annual Freddie G …

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Freddie G Fellowship honor goes to local teacher

Mountain Ridge Middle School awarded $5,000 from theater notables

Posted

Local educator Laurilea McDaniel was selected as one of eight teachers from schools and performing arts centers nationwide to work alongside Broadway stars at the eighth annual Freddie G Fellowship.

McDaniel, director of Headstrong Theatre at Mountain Ridge Middle School and executive director of Front Range Theatre Company, was honored for the difference she is making for her students and community through theater productions, a media release says.

The fellowship included a four-day event in early July in New York City. Recipients attended private workshops led by winners of prestigious theater awards, including the Tony Honor, which recognizes achievement in theater, and the Tony Award, which honors Broadway performances and productions. Recipients also participated in classes with Broadway choreographers, directors, producers, actors and designers. They attended and met the cast of a current hit show, "Anastasia," according to a media release.

Each of the teachers' schools received $5,000 from Freddie Gershon (chairman and CEO of leading theatrical licensor Music Theatre International) and his wife Myrna, who underwrite the fellowship.

The honor provides teachers with one-of-a-kind learning opportunities to take back to their schools and students, Freddie Gershon said in a media release.

"These teachers perform inspiring work with limited financial resources," he said in the release. "We want to give them the opportunity to live the Broadway experience and interact with qualified professionals to reward them for all they do to introduce the next generations to live theater and simultaneously enhance their knowledge, skills and experience."

McDaniel was selected out of dozens of educators who attended the 2017 annual Junior Theater Festival - the world's largest musical theater festival dedicated to educational musical theater groups that work with elementary and middle school students - which had more than 5,800 attendees, the medial release says.

Without teachers, Gershon said, there is no Broadway junior.

"It's crucial we keep live theater thriving in this country by working with both educators and children," he said. "Our future is in their hands."

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