Bravo appears in the New York Times

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By Michael Romain

Staff Reporter

Bravo, the performing arts program at Gwendolyn Brooks Middle School in Oak Park, was recently mentioned in a New York Times article "Broadway hits the middle school circuit" on Feb. 23 about the iTheatrics Junior Festival in Atlanta. 

The event is full of Broadway hits performed by, and adapted for, middle high school theater students.

Bravo student-actrors performed songs from "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Jr." in front of executives 


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Marcia Frank  

Posted: March 8th, 2018 9:41 AM

The WJ has been good about supporting BRAVO and CAST through their reporting over the years but journalist accuracy is important, even if it is just a short blurb. The NYT article is not about the Junior Theatre Festival. Instead, it focuses on the significant growth of theatrical productions in schools and the process of how they adapt Broadway shows so that they are appropriate for school/junior audiences and performers. BRAVO is one of the few organizations nationally that is regularly used by iTheatrics (a company that works with publishing houses to adapt the shows) because it is known as a high-quality organization both in terms of its staffing and the talent and dedication of the students who participate in BRAVO. Yes, they "performed for the executives" but as part of workshopping process when the executives will see what works and what should be corrected before publishing the show for other schools to perform. As the NYT articles states, "[BRAVO] has worked on about a dozen plays for iTheatrics". The executives also note, "[Other schools] go back to their communities, people say 'Hey what is BRAVO doing? And they say, 'Wow, we want to do that." Instead of just saying the students "performed for executives", it would have been nice to highlight those quotes. We have fantastic middle-school arts organizations that challenge our kids to be the best that they can be, are known nationally, and that other groups want to emulate. Something to keep in mind as District 97 is considering the future of BRAVO and CAST in the middle school programs.

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