“A New York Minute” with Lauren Class Schneider

 

Have you ever wondered how a Broadway play takes shape or what goes on behind the scenes of a lavish musical? The Broadway Fantasy Camp affords adults the unique opportunity to experience theater up close and personal by interacting with stage stars, producers and designers.

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The brainchild of Lauren Class Schneider, who spent three decades in theater, television and event production, Broadway Fantasy Camp is the premier experiential destination of its kind for adults who are passionate theater enthusiasts.

BELLA NYC recently spoke with Schneider.

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE BROADWAY FANTASY CAMP?

It’s a first cousin to other fantasy camps. It’s for adults who want to sing, dance, meet Tony winners and be immersed in an exclusive, authentic Broadway experience.

HOW AND WHEN DID YOU COME UP WITH THE CONCEPT?

I’ve been involved with Broadway in one capacity or another for quite some time. About six years ago my brother came to visit from the mid west. We saw a show and I took him backstage afterwards to meet a few of the actors. He remarked, “This is just like Baseball Fantasy Camp, but for theater lovers,” and the concept sprung from that.

DESCRIBE A TYPICAL SESSION

Actually there is no typical session as each one is geared specifically to the desires of the participants. We want people to live out their Broadway dreams, whatever they may be.  Some choose to participate in one of our theme-specific group programs, or celebrate a birthday, anniversary, reunion, or bridal party through a private curated session created especially for them. We also work with corporations and non-profits to customize valuable collaborative experiences.

DO PARTICIPANTS GET TO MEET ACTUAL BROADWAY ACTORS?

Absolutely. We provide the opportunity to meet actors and get a behind-the-scenes peek into Broadway magic. Some business oriented groups want to meet producers and general managers as well so we make that happen.

WHAT TYPE OF FEEDBACK DO YOU RECEIVE?

Many people tell us that it’s a dream come true for them. A lot of participants actually thought about a career on the stage at one point but for various reasons they choose a different profession. Once they meet the actors and learn the real story about how hard being an actor really is, that it’s not all glitz and glamour, they usually don’t regret their decision not to have pursued an acting career. Also, after this experience people tell us that they now have a richer experience when they see a Broadway play.

HOW DO PEOPLE HEAR ABOUT THE CAMP?

One way is through the TV show “The Price is Right.” Broadway Fantasy Camp is a prize that’s featured in the celebrity showdown. A lot of nonprofits use us as a fundraiser and they hear about us through word of mouth. We are also an experience provider for Audience Rewards.

HOW CLOSE TO A REAL BROADWAY EXPERIENCE IS THIS?

Everything we do is authentic. We put people in a real Broadway environment. They learn vocals and choreography. They have discussions with real Broadway actors, musical directors and producers, and they learn the real facts about Broadway. After being in a Broadway rehearsal studio with us, one woman said, “Not since I took dancing lessons as a little girl have I felt so free.”

 

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