How This Special Education Teacher Fulfilled Her Broadway And Off-Broadway Dreams – Forbes

Posted: November 11, 2019 at 7:43 pm


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Anna Marie Lettieri has taken dance classes with the dance captains of Bandstand, A Bronx Tale and Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, learning the actual choreography from the shows. She played the Bourbon Room bartender in Rock of Ages and unleashed her inner rock star dancing in the Dont Stop Believing dance party number. She has gone backstage at shows for intimate backstage tours. She had the opportunity to confab with Tony-winning choreographer and director Andy Blankenbuehlerat an exclusive event for his show Band Stand.

Anna Marie Lettieri gets a walk-on role in Rock of Ages

For Lettieri, a special education teacher who longs to be on Broadway, these opportunities are a dream come true. Im the theater kid who never grew up, she says. Ive been a member of various drama departments since I was in middle school and continued throughout college.

All these experiences were made possible because of a unique Broadway loyalty program, Audience Rewards. Broadways only loyalty program, Audience Rewards is a collaboration between Broadways major theater owners and producers including Shubert, Nederlander, Jujamcyn and Broadway Across America.

Audience Rewards began as an idea to thank the fans who keep coming back to Broadway. Prior to our founding 11 years ago, there wasnt an entity on Broadway that took the long-term, big-picture view to acknowledge fans across different shows and venues, says Katie Dalton, Executive Vice President of Audience Rewards. Now, Audience Rewards identifies those customers who have a passion for Broadway and gives them insider perks and benefits in appreciation for coming back again and again.

At a special Audience Rewards VIP event with Jake Gyllenhaal and Tom Sturridge after Sea Wall/A ... [+] Life.

The program works like a frequent flyer program, but for theater. Its free to join, members provide an account when buying tickets to participating shows through an authorized ticket seller, (like Ticketmaster or Telecharge), then they earn points. After seeing just a few shows, rewards members can accumulate enough points to redeem for a ticket to see another show for free. This program is also special because of the access that we give fans to connect more closely to the shows they love through our unique experiences, says Dalton. They also have bonuses where they offer members first access to book the best seats for new shows.

Cocktails and conversation with Bandstand stars Corey Cott and Laura Osnes at Sardi's

Audience Rewards members can also redeem points to attend behind-the-scenes specially curated events with cast members like Lettieri has participated in. For an avid Broadway fan, we are the only way to access this type of experience without a personal connection to the show or spending a lot of money, shares Dalton. Our program is all about giving people more access to something that they love, which is Broadway.

In the past few months, Audience Rewards members have used their points to meet Jake Gyllenhaal and Tom Sturridge after a performance ofSea Wall/A Life. They had an intimate dinner at Sardis and then a q&a with Tony Award winners Laura Benanti and Celia Keenan-Bolger. Past events have included a vocal lesson with the musical director ofWicked, a master class with Tony winner Lindsay Mendez, a meet and greet with Chita Rivera, a baking class with the pie consultant forthe show Waitressand a q&a session with Heidi Schreck, the Tony-nominated playwright and star of What the Constitution Means to Me.

A dance Class with the dance captain of Beautiful: The Carole King Musical

The Broadway stars also benefit attending Audience Rewards events. They are enriched after connecting with such die hard and devoted theater lovers. The members see a lot of theater and are very dedicated and educated patrons, says Tony nominee Laura Osnes, who participated in two Audience Rewards events, including a Sardis cocktail and conversation gathering with her Bandstand co-star Corey Cott. It was fun interacting with members because they are so eager to ask good questions and really appreciate what I do, she adds. Also, Broadway tickets can get very expensive. So knowing our most loyal ticket buyers can get fun rewards in return for their investment and loyal support is wonderful.

Lettieri still gets a thrill thinking of her experience being in Rock of Ages. Everyone involved in the production, from the cast on stage to the backstage crew, was so welcoming and excited, she recalls. I was able to pick from a variety of accessories for how I wanted to design my costume and how I wanted my hair to be styled. Every element of that experience was tailored to my personality. And that also helped me feel less nervous before the show. Before the musical started the stage manager announced to the audience that she would be in the cast. The audience cheered for her. I still have big dreams about being on Broadway, says Lettieri. And Audience Rewards made it happen.

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How This Special Education Teacher Fulfilled Her Broadway And Off-Broadway Dreams - Forbes

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November 11th, 2019 at 7:43 pm