Inside Broadway introduces children, teens to theater, 'King Kong'

MIDTOWN, Manhattan (WABC) -- Hundreds of New York City school kids recently got a special look behind the scenes at the Broadway musical "King Kong" thanks to the non-profit group Inside Broadway, which is designed to introduce children and teens to the magic of live theater.

The idea is for "King Kong" to lead kids inside Broadway.

After the presentation, I asked a group of 4th graders if it was a cool experience, and the answer was a resounding yes.

The children have been coming to theaters like the Broadway Theatre for this program since 1982, when the founder of the organization came up with the idea to educate your people about what goes on behind the scenes.

And Michael Presser's mission has stayed the same through the decades. He leads the demonstration from the stage, reminding the hundreds present that, "Every Broadway show has somebody in charge of making sure all these components, all these departments work together."

Kids learn that it takes 150 people or more to stage a musical like "King King."

"It inspires you to want to come back again," said Brian Sadowski, the assistant principal of PS 203 in Brooklyn. "And it inspires you to want to share with your family the magic of the theater."

The cast and crew of "King Kong" -- the ones who are creating the magic -- hope to inspire these young people, as they were once inspired.

"I grew up wanting to do theater since I was 5 years old," assistant stage manager Matt Leiner said.

Actress Jennifer Noble, an understudy in the show, was always drawn to the stage.

"I couldn't believe this was a real job that you could actually do this for a living," she said. "It was like magic to me."

And their message transcends the theatrical profession.

"It's exciting," performer Rhaamell Burke-Missouri said. "Because you see little boys and little girls who look like me, so it's very exciting to be like, 'Hey, if you want to do this, come on up. It's for you as well.'"

It's about more than just show business for Noble.

"The most important thing is that if you love this, keep doing it," she said. "Don't let anybody tell you no."

The message was received loud and clear by the students, with one saying that what inspired her was how Noble "said to never give up and always follow your dreams, no matter what."

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