Broadway Bound’s History
Broadway Bound Children’s Theater was founded in 1996 by Jimmy Nixon, a performer in Hollywood and New York City, who appeared in over 100 plays and musicals both on and off Broadway. He is currently the Executive Artistic Director. This 501(c)(3) performing arts organization’s focus is staging live theater musicals performed by children and teens, ages 5-18. Broadway Bound also offers ongoing enrichment programs including dance lessons, voice coaching, and summer camps. It is located in Seattle and draws participants from the greater Seattle area. In the 2008-2009 season, the organization staged six productions for a total of 53 performances, with over 430 student participants, to a total audience of over 13,000.
Professional theatres throughout the city (i.e., ACT, Moore Theatre, Paramount and Broadway Performance Hall) are utilized for student performances. Productions are staged by professional directors, choreographers and music directors from the Seattle theatrical community and beyond, and are completely realized with professional scenery, costumes, sound, lighting, musicians and backstage support. Enrolled students have the opportunity to participate in all aspects of theatre production. Recent shows in 2009 included “13 the Musical,” “The Little Mermaid” and “Cinderella”. The organization also participates in many performing arts events throughout the city as a community citizen in which no compensation is received. In the past student actors have performed at the Alliance for Education Black and Orange Ball, the Freemont Fair, the Seattle Rotary Club, the SPS Back to School Rally, at the State Capitol in Olympia, and Winterfest at the Seattle Center.
The area and population served by all of Broadway Bound’s programs is the greater Seattle area with the majority of students coming from within Seattle city limits. The population served includes not only the 5-18 year old participants but all the community members such as senior groups, elementary, middle and high school classes, after school clubs, summer youth groups, and non-profit agencies serving children and teens, who
attend a show to enjoy live musical theater.
A Brief History of Broadway Bound
March 8, 1996
Broadway Bound’s first musical, “How To Eat Like A Child” opened on the cafeteria stage of B.F. Day Elementary School (Seattle Public School District) with 25 cast members. The four performances were attended by over 500 family members and friends.
January 12, 1997
Based mainly on the growth of the program, Broadway Bound relocated to the basement of Fremont Baptist Church.
January 20, 2002
Broadway Bound Children’s Theatre was incorporated as a nonprofit performing arts organization, and the first Board of Directors was convened. Jimmy Nixon became the first Executive Director.
Move to U. Heights
July 23, 2005
Once again due to the growth of the organization and increased number of participants, Broadway Bound moved the base of operations to the current site at the University Heights Community Center, where three large rehearsal studios and administrative offices are in constant use. An off-site warehouse was leased to accommodate both set building and production storage.
February 5, 2007
Student participation leaped by over 300% from the previous year, and Broadway Bound staged five productions, including seven simultaneous casts of “Annie” in two theatres, and the Seattle premiere of “High School Musical,” which drew over 20,000 people at the Moore Theatre. Marka Jenkins Waechter became the Executive Director and Jimmy Nixon the Executive Artistic Director.
Dreamgirls in the South End
August 2, 2007
In the summer of 2007, Broadway Bound reached out to Seattle’s South End, and funded the opening of the dormant Paul Robeson Performing Arts Center, which had sadly lied unused in the Rainier Beach Community for years. The production of “Dreamgirls” played to sold out houses and was featured extensively in the Seattle Times, Seattle Magazine, and elsewhere.
Partnership with Seattle Public Schools
November 28, 2008
Broadway Bound formed a partnership with the Seattle Public Schools to assist in the creation of a premier performing arts high school at Rainier Beach for low-income teens that have had less access to performing arts both in the classroom and during out-of-school time. In addition, a strategic alliance was created with the Seattle Theatre Group, Seattle’s largest nonprofit arts organization. In December of 2008, James D’Asaro, former Director of Production at the New York City Opera and a Yale School of Drama professor, was hired to be the new Executive Director for Broadway Bound.
September 12, 2009
New outreach into the Seattle community and well beyond was initiated. Broadway Bound entered into a formal partnership with the Interlochen Arts Camp in Michigan, the world’s premier summer arts camp that attracts over 2500 students each summer from all 50 states and 40 countries who come for intensive training with renowned instructors. A new collaboration was established with the Seattle Youth Symphony Orchestra, the largest youth orchestra in America, which culminated with a concert at the Moore Theatre in January of 2010, featuring nine Emerging Artists performing a Broadway program supported by a 100-piece orchestra. Further collaborative efforts resulted in the participation of the internationally acclaimed UMO Ensemble as movement specialists with our young artists for a production of PETER PAN.
World Premiere of an Original
July 20, 2010
In the Summer of 2010, Broadway Bound returned to the Paul Robeson Performing Arts Center at Rainier Beach High School to present GOD LIVES IN GLASS, the company’s first premiere of an original new musical. The project was underwritten by a $75,000 grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The artistic teams working with Jimmy Nixon in 2010 reflected the professional growth of the company, and included Patricia Barker, Choreographer; Etta Lilienthal, Scenic Designer; Ben Zamora, Lighting Designer; Sonia Dawkins, Choreographer; and Barbara Lynne Jamison, Musical Director.
December 5, 2011
2011 saw a record number of students participating in Broadway Bound summer camps, as enrollment topped 900 children for the first time in Broadway Bound history. The school year program returned to the beautiful Falls Theatre at ACT in downtown Seattle for productions of FIDDLER ON THE ROOF, JR and 13. Broadway Bound formed a collaborative partnership with ACT and plans were laid to bring back 13 as a special engagement professional production in December, 2011 at the Falls Theatre.
Another New Home
April 11, 2013
Broadway Bound moved to a brand new theatre, Theatre 47, in Magnuson Park.
Our 20th Anniversary
October 20, 2016
And over 20,000 kids through the program!