Teen actors from Puerto Rico to perform with Cherry Hill West students

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It all starts with a dream. Then mix in mission, music and passion and it’s a great formula for success! These are the ingredients that quickly came together to make it possible for 30 teen actors from Colegio Ponceño Musical Theater Group in Ponce, Puerto Rico to come to Cherry Hill to perform with students from Cherry Hill High School West in “Homeroom: The Musical” They arrive on June 4 for a five-day whirlwind of a tour, visiting attractions in the Philadelphia region and perform the family musical for the school on Tuesday, June 7 at 11:30 a.m. and for the public that evening at 7 p.m. at Cherry Hill West They’ll also collaborate on the making of a music video with theater students from Cherry Hill High School West with the song called “Stand Up for Yourself.”

This event is happening due to the incredible vision of long-time Cherry Hill resident, award-winning composer, playwright, director and music therapist, Andrea Green, and her collaborator school psychologist and playwright Selma Tolins-Kaufman, from Elkins Park, Pa. They wrote the original in 1989 and the play has been performed all over the country. With messages that are universal – for kids and adults alike – the musical breaks down barriers and brings people together in friendship. With school related themes, the Homeroom characters present relevant issues that teens can relate to in these crucial growing up years.

When Green and Tolins-Kaufman visited Puerto Rico this winter to see it performed by the Colegio Ponceño Musical Theater Group, they decided the kids should perform it here, in the Philadelphia area. The passion and heart of the Ponce group was so overwhelming, as well as their desire to share the messages of acceptance of respect that are presented in Homeroom the Musical.

Homeroom the Musical serves as a model to teach tolerance to teens worldwide. Student performer Aimar Galarza said enthusiastically, “When we presented ‘Homeroom the Musical,’ I saw people in the audience cry and hold each other and I knew ‘Homeroom the Musical’ can make this world a better place.”

Bringing the Ponce teens to Cherry Hill will provide the opportunity to develop a more comprehensive teaching model for using the musical theater experience to bring teens together with acceptance. The musical will not only entertain others and be fun to perform, but help teens connect with others as they explore common issues that impact self-esteem, such as peer pressure, bullying and stress. This process will include facilitated discussions, the making of the music video called and the musical production including students from Cherry Hill and Puerto Rico. Dan Gottlieb, nationally known author and syndicated host of NPR’s “Voices in the Family” heard locally on WHYY-FM, will lead a discussion with both groups of students called “Stand Up For Yourself: Taking Care of Yourself and Others.”

Green shared her enthusiasm about bringing this talented theater group here. She said, “The biggest part of this is that kids feel better about themselves and more supportive of others. As expressed in the song, ‘I’m a Person, Too,’ they realize that everyone has weaknesses and strengths but we all share our humanity. It’s when they come to that realization, that they stop feeling shame about their insecurities and they feel more empowered to be themselves and more accepting of others.”

“These kids are so gifted and they connected so much to the musical that Selma and I wanted to share their passionate performance with others. When I told Cherry Hill Mayor Chuck Cahn and his wife Stephanie about my idea to bring Homeroom to Cherry Hill, they shared my enthusiasm and reached out to help me with open arms.”

Tolins-Kaufman added, “We believe that Homeroom should be in every school because it’s a great message and a great vehicle for teens to work together and explore together these issues that are so relevant to kids today. We hope this will create a model – doing a musical, a music workshop, creating a music video and the partnering of kids.”

Click here to view this on The Cherry Hill Sun's website

  • Children's Theater | Creating Safe Musical Spaces: Part II Building Inclusive Communities Through the Arts | Andrea Green Music +

    Creating Safe Musical Spaces: Part II
    Building Inclusive Communities Through the Arts

    Click here to download article PDF here

    In the last issue of PIO! I wrote about neurodiversity and strategies to create safe, inclusive musical experiences for all kinds of students in classrooms, choirs, or performance settings. This column continues the conversation, highlighting the work of two of our members, Frank Hernandez and Andrea Green, who each in their own unique way strive very purposefully to build inclusive communities using music and the arts.

    “Open the Circle” by Frank Hernandez and Ted Warmbrand is a favorite

    Read More
  • Children's Theater | Jewish Community Voice | Andrea Green Music +

    Puerto Rico & Cherry Hill teens collaborate on musical project

    By JAYNE JACOVA FELD Voice staff

      Students from the Colegio Ponceño Musical Theater group performing “Homeroom the Musical” in Puerto Rico in February.

    Students from the Colegio Ponceño Musical Theater group performing “Homeroom the Musical” in Puerto Rico in February.
    The things that teenagers obsess over could fill a feature-length musical. In any given homeroom, on any given school day, adolescents worry about their looks, upcoming exams, and how their GPA stacks up against others. They fret about fitting in, fashion, friends, frenemies and bullying—both cyber and traditional.

    In other words, “Homeroom the Musical”—a production as noteworthy for its big song-and-dance numbers as its value as a

    Read More
  • Children's Theater | The Cherry Hill Sun | Andrea Green Music +

    Teen actors from Puerto Rico to perform with Cherry Hill West students

    image001

    It all starts with a dream. Then mix in mission, music and passion and it’s a great formula for success! These are the ingredients that quickly came together to make it possible for 30 teen actors from Colegio Ponceño Musical Theater Group in Ponce, Puerto Rico to come to Cherry Hill to perform with students from Cherry Hill High School West in “Homeroom: The Musical” They arrive on June 4 for a five-day whirlwind of a tour, visiting attractions in the Philadelphia region and perform

    Read More
  • Children's Theater | Courier Post | Andrea Green Music +

    Cherry Hill producer picks up Emmy

    PHILADELPHIA Composer Andrea Green of Cherry Hill walked away with honors Saturday night when the documentary about her work won an Emmy Award.

    A Mid-Atlantic Emmy was presented to local filmmaker Henry Nevison, whose documentary, "On the Other Side of the Fence," chronicles Green and the children she works with at the HMS School for Children with Cerebral Palsy and Germantown Friends School.

    Green, a music therapist, served as associate producer of the documentary.

    The documentary is an intimate behind-the-scenes look at the students' relationships as they rehearse and perform together in the musical

    Read More
  • Children's Theater | WHYY, Voices in the Family | Andrea Green Music +

    Teaching children empathy through the arts

    Empathy is an essential skill to connect with the people and world around you. It is also so much more than even compassion- to be truly empathetic one has to feel how it might be to be in another’s place. So how can we teach this skill, and how can we simplify it enough to teach bit effectively to children? The most effective way to teach it is experientially- and the most fun way is through the arts. On this Voices in the Family, we will speak with people involved in the film “The

    Read More
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Philadelphia Honors Andrea Green

On May 16, 2013, Andrea Green and Teresa Maebori, were honored by a special resolution by the City of Philadelphia.

"Honoring the inspiring partnership of two Philadelphia women, Andrea Green (music therapist, composer/playwright) and Teresa A. Maebori (teacher), along with the staff and children from the HMS School for Children with Cerebral Palsy and Germantown Friends School in Philadelphia, who are celebrating the 30th year of a 'musical' and teaching tolerance project created to break down barriers- building communication, understanding and friendship."


Watch a video of the ceremony!

 

 

On the Other Side of the Fence Wins the Gold Medal from the 2015 NY International Film Festival!

On the Other Side of the Fence Gold Medal Winner

We are pleased to announce that On the Other Side of the Fence took home the gold medal from the 2015 NY International Film Festival and the bronze medal from the United Nations for outstanding achievement in a film that exemplifies the ideals and goals of the United Nations.

Filmed in the spring of 2012, On the Other Side of the Fence is a television documentary and educational media project. It focuses on Andrea's highly acclaimed musical, On the Other Side of the Fence and her work as a music therapist and director.

On the Other Side of the Fence is now distributed by American Public Television and is going to air on over 61 stations in 2015. 

Click here to visit the On the Other Side of the Fence website

 

Andrea's work as composer/playwright and music therapist was honored with a 2015 Mid-Atlantic Emmy Award for best documentary!

On the Other Side of the Fence takes home the Emmy