Broadway Bonanza On Performing Arts Trip To Big Apple

During the October half term 20 invited Performing Arts pupils from Years 8 to 11 visited the Big Apple on an exciting adventure to explore and experience the ‘dramatic’ American way of life. The trip was billed as an opportunity to bring together the music and drama departments at Princethorpe, developing friendships, understanding and team spirit across the different disciplines.

On the six-day trip, pupils visited some of New York’s most iconic landmarks, took in a Broadway show and were lucky enough to take part in a performing arts masterclass that also explored Broadway’s historical significance and the training process of a Broadway performer.

Leaving early on the morning of Tuesday 17 October the group travelled to Heathrow to board the plane for JFK, New York. After a long flight, the party arrived in New York and headed straight to their accommodation in the basic but centrally located YMCA, overlooking Central Park and an easy walk away from the Theatre District and Times Square.

Just one of the very many highlights of the trip was the chance to see the revival of the epic Boublil and Schönberg musical Miss Saigon which returned to the Broadway Theatre last year. The performance with its story of heartbreak and stunning special effects that included a helicopter, didn’t disappoint. Neither did the chance to participate in a performance workshop hosted by Broadway Performers, where, in a specially organised masterclass, pupils worked together to develop a storyline for a musical and then sang their song to an existing musical score.

The six-day trip also included a tour of the famous Lincoln Center, one of the world’s leading performing arts hubs and home to the Metropolitan Opera, the New York City Ballet, the New York Philharmonic and many more. Then there was a meal at the famous Ellen's Stardust Diner, workplace of aspiring Broadway stars and home to the ‘singing waiters’, who take to the table-tops to whisk you off musical theatre heaven as you sit back and enjoy your favourite quintessential American diner food.

The action packed trip also included a trip up the Empire State Building, where pupils were graced with some mesmerising views of the city’s imposing skyline, a trip to the arresting and humbling Ground Zero Memorial and a visit to the renowned American Museum of Natural History. There was even time for a ‘picnic in the park’ on a visit to the Strawberry Fields Memorial, which is dedicated to the former Beatle, John Lennon, who lived the latter part of his life in New York, close to Central Park.

Director of Music, Gil Cowlishaw, said, “You can’t have a bad trip to New York, there is simply so much to do. We had an unforgettable, fun-filled six days and despite walking what felt like a thousand miles, we had an amazing time - the laughter and smiles just never stopped.”

Our thanks go to the four staff who accompanied the trip: Gil Cowlishaw, Aileen Cefaliello, Jess Newborough and Digby Carrington-Howell.

Photos from the trip: