Student Features

‘Broadway Dreams’ and early graduation for this Philly sophomore

Nov 30, 2015

NEW YORK CITY – PA Cyber student Emily Steinhardt took a step toward her own personal “Broadway Dreams” by being chosen to perform in the Broadway Dreams Foundation’s NYC Showcase in The Big Apple in late November.

The Philadelphia area resident was among young talents who sang and danced on stage Nov. 23 in the Penthouse of Lincoln Center for an audience of more than 100 casting agents, directors, talent agents and other industry professionals.

“Being in Lincoln Center itself was an amazing experience,” said Emily. “It’s right next to Julliard. Everyone was really kind and welcoming. It was an amazing experience.”

Highlights included sharing the rehearsal stage with Alex Newell, a cast member of the TV series “Glee,” and working with Stafford Arima, director of the current Broadway musical “Allegiance.” Arima produced and directed the one-night NYC Showcase.

The PA Cyber sophomore was invited to the NYC Showcase based on her performance in the Broadway Dreams Foundation’s show in Philadelphia’s Kimmel Center last August. Only 5 percent of those who performed at the local level in Broadway Dreams shows in 10 cities were invited to the NYC Showcase, according to Craig D’Amico, director of education for the foundation.

Emily’s parents, Maria and Chris Steinhardt, took her to New York City and were able to get seats for the final performance. The 60 young talents selected for the NYC Showcase rehearsed on Saturday, Sunday and Monday morning on the show’s program, derived from familiar Broadway musicals including “Little Shop of Horrors.”

Each of the theater industry professionals attending the show received a binder with a photo and bio of each performer. Emily said it would be up to them to contact those they are interested in.

Emily, a sophomore who anticipates early graduation, has been enrolled in the PA Cyber Charter School since fifth grade.

“My brother started in PA Cyber and it seemed really cool,” she said. “The other kids you know are still in school and you could be done before lunch.”

She soon realized that there were advantages to PA Cyber that related to her love of performing.

“Definitely it helped to be able to get to the dance studio earlier than other people,” she said.

She has also had more time for her singing, taking lessons in classical voice and Broadway style vocal performance at the Willson Vocal Academy in Bryn Mawr, Pa.

She has been involved for several years in training and stage productions at the McGuffin Theatre and Film Company, a Philadelphia performing arts venue and program for age 18 and under.

On the academic side, Emily has been able to participate in PA Cyber’s gifted-talented program and to accelerate through her high school courses. Technically a sophomore, not only does she have enough credits to graduate this coming June, but she will be well on her way toward earning an associate’s degree through Delaware County Community College.

She insists she’s not in a rush to become a professional performer, however. “I don’t want to push myself to get there right now because people can burn out.”

Earning her college degree in musical theater, or entering a conservatory vocal performance program are the goals she has in mind now.

In the short term, she has school to finish and will perform in Philly-area fundraising shows for the Broadway Dreams Foundation, helping other young performers to have the experiences she so recently enjoyed.


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About PA Cyber

Serving students in kindergarten through 12th grade, the Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School (PA Cyber) is one of the largest, most experienced, and most successful online public schools in the nation. PA Cyber's online learning environments, personalized instructional methods, and choices of curricula connect Pennsylvania students and their families with state-certified and highly-qualified teachers, and rich academic content that is aligned to state standards. Founded in 2000, PA Cyber is headquartered in Midland (Beaver County) and maintains a network of support offices throughout the state. As a public school, PA Cyber is open for enrollment by any school-age child residing in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and does not charge tuition to students or families.