EXCLUSIVE: Kristin Chenoweth (Schmigadoon!), Kenny Ortega (Julie and the Phantoms) and producers Alan Powell, Steve Barnett and Vicky Patel of Monarch Media are teaming for the docuseries 1300 Miles to Broadway. Inspired by Chenoweth’s Broadway Bootcamp, the series introduces 8th to 12th graders to the world of performing arts through master classes in acting, singing and dancing, and goes on the emotional journey with them as they prepare for a future as performers.
Chenoweth launched Broadway Bootcamp at the Broken Arrow Performing Arts Center in her Oklahoma hometown of Broken Arrow in 2015, to give talented local kids a taste of real Broadway talent, working with them one-on-one. She brought Broadway director, actor and producer Richard Jay-Alexander into the fold four years ago to strengthen the program. All editions of the camp have taken place in-person with the exception of 2021’s, which was held virtually amidst the pandemic, with kids from 33 states and 8 countries participating.
This year, Chenoweth hosts two groups of students from around the world for her one-of-a-kind camps, which take place in the Performing Arts Center’s Kristin Chenoweth Theatre, having secured the participation of world class performing artists and teachers from Broadway, television and film including this year’s Camp Director Ortega, as well as Musical Director and Broadway Conductor Mary Mitchell Campbell, actor-musician Jordan Fisher, Kevin Chamberlin, Faith Prince, Owen Patrick Joyner, Booboo Stewart, Madison Reyes and Academy, Grammy and Tony Award-winning lyricist Stephen Schwartz.
Within the course of one week at camp, the series documents the life-changing breakthroughs and friendships made. Camp highlights include students participating in master classes with Chenoweth and other high-level professionals including Schwartz and Chenoweth’s vocal coach, Celeste Simone. The one-week camps for 13- to 15-year-olds and 16- to 18-year-olds culminate in an emotional and entertaining student-faculty live performance.
Michael Orland, Nate Patten and Cynthia Kortman Westphal serve as the camp’s musical directors and vocal coaches, with Tyler Hanes, Kelly Devine, Paul Becker, Deidre Goodwin, Kaitlyn Frank and Alif Sankey as its choreographers. Simone leads voice coaching, with Faith Prince, Lara Teeter, Zak Barnett and Kevin Chamberlin as acting teachers.
Ortega is directing the series and exec producing alongside Chenoweth, Powell, Barnett and Patel, with Paul Becker, Scott Lochmus, Louanne Madorma and Kim Vento producing. Monarch will take the project to market.
Chenoweth says that with Broadway Bootcamp, she wanted “to inspire youth from all over the world,” having achieved that goal over the course of the last seven years. “It goes to show you no matter where you’re from, if you do the work, you can do it,” she told Deadline. “My main goal at camp is to inspire, which is easy when you’re working with folks like Kenny Ortega, Paul Becker, Louanne Madorma, and Kim Vento. With help from Alan Powell, Steve Barnett and Vicky Patel of Monarch Media, audiences will now be able to see what makes the KCBBC experience so magical.”
“The joy I have felt working alongside Kristin and our Broadway Boot Camp team has filled my heart with an unforgettable life and creative experience. The love, imagination, and aspirational energy the kids and faculty brought to the camp each day seem to lift us off the ground. The music, laughter, breakthroughs, and personal transformations were life-changing,” said Ortega. “I’m so grateful to Kristin for inviting me to be this year’s camp and documentary director and to our Monarch partners produceorial and investment support. It has put me in that creative space that I live for.
“We share the enjoyment of working with young people, providing them with a non-judgmental atmosphere to grow as artists providing them with education, experience and the tools to own the self-confidence needed to pursue a career in the performing arts. We look forward to sharing this special and unique camp experience with the world and especially with all the Dreamers out there,” continued the series’ director-EP. “My favorite things is “discovery” and this documentary and camp are loaded with it! Careers will be born from this camp!”
“We’ll be rooting for these kids as we see them day one entering the theater, observing them in dance, acting, improv and music workshops, classes, and rehearsals,” added Monarch Media’s Powell. “The families join the kids for the bootcamp concert grand finale and it’s an incredibly special moment.”
Chenoweth is an Emmy- and Tony Award-winning actor and singer who co-stars on Apple TV+’s Emmy-winning musical comedy series Schmigadoon!, which has been renewed for a second season. She recently starred alongside Stephan James and J.K. Simmons in the STXfilms sports drama National Champions, also starring in the Netflix film Holidate. Other notable credits include Pushing Daisies, The West Wing, Glee, Disney’s Descendants and stage performances including Kristin Chenoweth: For the Girls, On the Twentieth Century and Wicked. Other recent releases from the multi-hyphenate include her first picture book What Will I Do with My Love Today and the holiday album HAPPINESS is…Christmas!.
Ortega is an Emmy- and DGA Award-winning director, producer and choreographer whose credits include the Netflix series Julie and the Phantoms, Disney’s High School Musical franchise, Hocus Pocus, Newsies, the Michael Jackson documentary This is It, and many world events, concerts and theatrical productions.
Monarch’s Barnett, Powell and Patel are currently in post-production on Something Here, a musical previously known as the Untitled Florida Georgia Line Project, and are prepping to shoot Road to Bethlehem, which will be directed by The Prom‘s producer and executive music producer, Adam Anders. They are currently developing an English-language remake of the Spanish-language film La Lista, from director Alvaro Diaz Lorenzo. Previous credits include the Netflix feature A Week Away.
Chenoweth is repped by CAA, 3 Arts Entertainment and Schreck Rose Dapello; Ortega by A3 Artists Agency, McDonald Selznick Associates and Hansen, Jacobson, Teller.
Subscribe to Deadline Breaking News Alerts and keep your inbox happy.