NBC is promoting its new drama Smash, premiering Feb. 6 — which as a backstage-Broadway drama, looks to be a professional-grade-but-still-splashy-and-melodramatic version of Glee.
But the promo efforts for this show include Make a Musical, a new, stand-alone musical theater program that the network will fund in U.S. schools underserved in the arts education department. The effort begins this month with a pilot group of twenty schools in Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Los Angeles, Houston, Nashville, Tenn., and Seattle. For the project, the TV network is joined by iTheatrics, which adapts musicals for student productions. The twenty pilot schools — including the one in Dallas — will essentially work out the staging of a musical for performance in May with the assistance of the project’s master teachers who’ll visit to help.
Make a Musical will expand by the fall — and your school can apply for it.
The nonprofit iTheatrics’ Junior Theater Project aims to begin another 180 programs this fall, building toward a 2014 goal of 1,000 school programs reaching 1 million students, NBC said. Schools may apply for the fall program at the website makeamusical.org starting Friday.
If you go to the website, you’ll see that only ten schools will be selected for the fall — after the typical, teasing-and-suspenseful, reality TV process of winnowing and online voting.
NBC said it will announce the first twenty pilot schools Jan. 15. Still waiting to hear back from John Dahlander, spokesperson for DISD, who hadn’t heard of the deal but was checking with the district’s arts people.