Somewhere between Central Park and Times Square, a new world is about to unfold. As young audience members from Camp Broadway watch the curtain rise, they get ready to see more than just a show. They prepare to watch months of hard work and dedication come together in one remarkable evening. And, thanks to Robert Agis, they dream of the day when they take to the stage themselves.
At Camp Broadway, a summer program for aspiring actors, Agis serves as a musical director who helps 6- to-18-year-old kids learn about the musical side of professional theater. The 2001 graduate plays the role of accompanist, composer and mentor to these young thespians, as he gives them a taste of life on the Broadway stage. In return, his students give him inspiration and an energy that fuels his work.
“There’s something exciting, alive and present about working with these kids,” says Agis. “Teaching requires you to be very present, and each workshop brings its own level of intensity and emotion. That intensity inspires me as a performer, and their passion for the craft helps refresh my perspective as an artist.”
Agis discovered Camp Broadway while working on another Broadway production, where his rehearsal space neighbored several others. He happened to walk down the hall and saw a seemingly unlimited energy and youthful enthusiasm coming from the Camp Broadway room. He couldn’t resist joining in, and he’s been swept up in it ever since.
“You never know what to expect until you get the kids together,” says Agis. “It’s exciting to see kids with their own style and skill level, and evaluate and support them as they cultivate a career of their own.”