By Jill Fox
With Broadway shows being cancelled indefinitely, one Parkland teen felt people were missing out on the live aspect of performance.
Ethan Shavelson, a sophomore in the theater department at American Heritage School in Plantation, came up with an idea for artists craving that connection.
“The connection between the audience member and the actor involved is magic and cannot be replicated,” he said.
Shavelson thought, what would be a better way to do that than with a live-stream concert for a charity to give back to the community and the world with art.
Shavelson has lived in Parkland for nine years with his mother, Jill Redmin, who he calls his superhero, and his sister, Cameron, who will attend Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in the fall.
He organized the live-stream benefit concert “AHS Sings for Hope,” where 16 American Heritage Center for the Arts musical theatre students and alumni sang a variety of songs, from contemporary to Broadway on Thursday, May 21, and raised over $2,000 for UNICEF.
Shavelson chose UNICEF because they’re working to provide help for children, families, and educators during the pandemic.
“I thought, what better charity to give to since we’re a school, and they’re helping to provide information to educators and children across the world,” he said.
Hoping everyone would want to give back to the community, Shavelson asked students and alumni to be a part of his show and received immediate yesses from everyone he asked.
Theater department co-chairs Johnpaul Moccia, and Nina Vanderhoof were also in favor of the idea.
Shavelson said the co-chairs love and support all of their students immensely.
“I am eternally grateful for what they have taught me about theater and life.”
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- Jill Fox is an Emmy Award-winning writer and producer. She has worked on the public relations side as well as the television side of marketing for NBC Universal. A true Floridian, Fox grew up in Ormond Beach and now resides in Parkland with her husband, Brian and their two children, Madden, 10 and Randi, 7.