As we can all tell from my Instagram account, I have two very theatrical daughters who love the performing arts. When I was little, I volunteered for every play offered between camp and school, always hoping for a lead role, as singing dancing and acting were my passion. I’m happy to have found Broadway Bees, a short-term summer camp program that runs weekly, in Manhattan, the Hamptons, and Greenwich, supporting children’s acting skills and assisting with confidence building and public speaking. I believe that enrolling children in programs like this at a young age will facilitate strength and risk-taking, even for children who struggle with speaking up and voicing their opinions in the classroom. This program was founded by Valentina Berger, a Broadway veteran, who has worked as a producer in the industry for years, and I’m excited for the girls to try it out.
How many years have you been in business in NYC?
After 10 years of running theater camps for international students, we are launching Broadway Bees Summer 2019 with week-long musical theater camps for locals. We will be focusing on Bridgehampton, Greenwich, and Manhattan.
How did you get your start and what was your initial inspiration?
After becoming a mom, several mom friends asked me to start producing programs for locals. During a playdate with Sofia, we decided to merge her after-school program expertise with my camp experience, which developed into Broadway Bees, a safe space where kids and teens can learn musical theater, while enjoying the process.
What do you feel differentiates you from others in your field?
We have been working on Broadway for almost a decade and our programs are up to date with the latest techniques used on Broadway. We also offer theater programs in various languages, including Spanish, which is very valuable. We are both very nurturing and want our students to relax and enjoy theater like we do, without the pressure of having to be the best or having previous experience. We want our students to discover their personalities and who they are as artists by staying true to themselves and making new life-long friends.
What do you feel gives you longevity in this big city with so many options?
Quality and trust. We are experts in the theater education field and develop rich curriculums for each age group. We hire the best teaching artists and work very closely with them to plan each class. We both love what we do and that shows in our work and I think parents and students like and trust that.
How do you positively impact your clientele?
We always say that our work doesn’t end in the classroom. We hope that all the values and skills our students learn are transported into their day to day lives. Broadway Bees is a community and we hope that once students and parents join us, they become part of our family forever.
What is your favorite part of your job?
My favorite part of my job is watching students grow with us. I have students who started when they were 12 years old, and now have a career in theater. I love the final performance we do at the end of our programs and the fact that hundreds of kids have been able to make their NYC debut with us.
What is your favorite secret NYC spot?
My apartment terrace at sunset!
How do you benefit mamas?
Through Broadway Bees, moms will be able to pass on their love for theater to their families. At our Bridgehampton Mommy and Me classes this summer, moms will get the chance to meet other moms with kids the same age.
What is the most memorable feedback a client has given you?
I’ve taken hundreds of students to see a Broadway show for the first time, as well as taking them backstage and even onstage. Seeing the impact this has on students and how they are moved by these experiences is one of the best feelings in the world.
Pay it forward and name your top colleagues in the same field or related field.
Children’s Museum of Bridgehampton, Escuela Argentina de Greenwich, AMDA
What is the best advice anyone has ever given you? Or what is your "mantra" / words to live by?
Be kind, work hard, and lead by example.
As moms, the day can escape us, what is your best time-saving trick?
Working out first thing in the morning. Bathing my kids every night, it’s a great opportunity to enjoy time together and catch up on our day with no distractions.