WATCH: Students Across America Are Livestreaming Their School Musical Performances After Theater Star Laura Benanti Launches #SunshineSongs Campaign
“Human Lady. Broadway Baby. You’ve seen me on your TV (maybe). Ella’s mom.”
Broadway star and Tony Award winner Laura Benanti has the Twitterverse belting out for #SunshineSongs after she issued a call for students to share videos of their school musical rehearsals.
“If you were meant to perform” in your school musical and it was canceled, “post yourself singing,” Benanti declared via a Twitter video this week, after schools across the country shuttered due to a worsening coronavirus pandemic. As a consequence, school theaters lost their spring shows and audiences.
So Benanti wanted to give the students an opportunity to show off what they had spent weeks, if not months, rehearsing for — and the students responded, receiving an audience that perhaps is even larger than the one they would have had their shows gone on as planned. Here, The 74 presents part one of a supercut of these incredible student videos, with more to follow in the coming days.
“Think about it: Seniors have worked their whole high school careers preparing for their last spring musical. Some have been working on their shows since November, only to have school canceled and the musical put in limbo just as it was to open,” said Peter D. Kramer, who has been covering high school musicals for The Journal News/USA Today Network for 16 years. He interviewed Benanti Sunday about the social media campaign.
“#SunshineSongs is by no means a replacement for a weekend of performances, but it is an acknowledgement of what has been lost. Laura Benanti gets it. And she gave these kids a gift, a wider platform than they’d ever have. And that means a lot.”