Students from public high schools across all five boroughs of New York City gathered May 5 to kick off the 2021 Shubert High School Theatre Festival—a celebration of the best in NYC-area high school theatre that will stream online May 26 at 7 PM ET on Playbill—with a rousing performance of "Brand New Day" from The Wiz outside Manhattan's Tweed Courthouse. Watch the performance, along with remarks from New York City Chancellor of Public Schools Meisha Ross Porter and Department of Education Director of Theater Peter Avery, above.
Now in its seventh year, the festival spotlights outstanding high school productions from the 2020–2021school year, selected from more than 30 productions citywide by a panel of industry professionals and theatre educators. Normally held in a Broadway theatre, this year's festival will be the second to go virtual due to ongoing health guidelines restricting large indoor gatherings.
This year's event will be hosted by Tony winner James Monroe Iglehart (Aladdin, Memphis), and is scheduled to feature appearances from such Broadway favorites as Tony winners Nikki M. James (The Book of Mormon), composer-lyricist Stephen Schwartz (Wicked, Pippin), and costume designer Linda Cho (A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder); Brandon Victor Dixon (Hamilton), Zachary Noah Piser (Dear Evan Hansen), Treshelle Edmond (Spring Awakening), and Amelia Hensley (Spring Awakening).
"Brand New Day" was music directed by Matt Hinkley and choreographed by Ian Coulter-Buford.
Sponsored by The Shubert Foundation and presented in partnership with the New York City Department of Education, the Shubert High School Theatre Festival will stream on Playbill and at Shubert.NYC May 26 at 7 PM ET.