UNIVERSAL CITY – Thirty schools from across the country have been selected as finalists in “NBC’s Smash: Make a Musical” Constructed by Lowe’s initiative to improve school theater facilities. The schools will compete to receive the most online votes at makeamusical.org by Wednesday, April 10, in order to receive one of five grand prize gift certificates to Lowe’s for their renovations.
To kick off the initiative, Broadway star and Smash cast member Jeremy Jordan joined local Lowe’s Heroes employee volunteers, Irwin Contracting, Inc., and volunteers from national nonprofit Rebuilding Together in early February to rebuild and restore East Rockaway High School’s theater, which was severely damaged during Hurricane Sandy.
East Rockaway High School was overcome by a tidal surge during Hurricane Sandy, which caused an estimated $10 million worth of damage. Students at East Rockaway were planning to perform the musical Seussical JR. at the beginning of February. Even though their theater wasn’t functioning, they performed excerpts from the show on a neighboring school district’s stage as a fundraiser to raise additional funds to repair their auditorium.
Last season, “NBC’s Smash: Make a Musical” created musical theater programs in schools by giving educators and students the tools and training they needed to build self-sustaining programs in under-served schools. The partnership was the catalyst for iTheatrics to produce 170 “Make a Musical” programs in schools across the U.S., with “NBC’s Smash: Make a Musical” being directly responsible for creating 30 additional musical theater programs. “NBC’s Smash: Make a Musical” was awarded a 2012 Thalo Critics’ Choice Inspiration Award.