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'SMASH: Make a Musical' comes to Denver school

9:56 AM, Feb 15, 2012   |    comments
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The show's producers have launched a nationwide program called "SMASH: Make a Musical." The Place Bridge Academy in Denver was one of 20 schools chosen from across the nation. The goal is to build cost-effective musical theatre programs for under-served schools.

"One of my friends, Marty Johnson, he works at I-Theatrics in New York City. He has created this program with 'SMASH: Make a Musical.' He called me and asked if I could recommend a quality teacher and qualify program that wouldn't otherwise have the opportunity to do a musical. Mindy's school was a perfect fit for this program," Make a Musical Program Coordinator, Gillian McNally, said.

Both McNally and Theater Director Mindy Loughhead visited the 9NEWS studios on Wednesday to mark a special day for the school.

"Wednesday is the first day of auditions, so we will audition 6th, 7th and 8th graders at our school and choose a group of kids to come in and work on this musical on Feb. 27, and then we'll have a production in May," Loughhead said.

The Place Bridge Academy specializes in serving under-privileged children, offering them opportunities they may not otherwise have.

"We serve refugees and newcomers. We are a K-8 school so we have kindergarten at our school. We serve students from all over the country; 50 different countries are represented, 40 different languages. It makes for an amazing culture," Loughhead said.

Loughhead was chosen for her teaching skills as well as her passion for teaching arts and theater.

"I've seen her teach both adults and children and I'm just blown away with her skill. She is so thoughtful and definitely what speaks to me most is her heart. When she spoke to me about her kids, I felt like I already knew them. She just speaks about how bright and how beautiful these kids are," McNally said. "Mindy is a perfect match for this program. She is such a highly skilled teacher and it's a school that traditionally wouldn't have these kinds of opportunities... That's exactly what the "SMASH: Make a Musical" is looking for."

(KUSA-TV © 2012 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)

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