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Two Greenacres Fifth Graders on Broadway National Tours

Alyssa and CalebAlyssa Marvin and Caleb PaulTwo Greenacres Elementary fifth graders, , won’t be attending any classes this year. Instead, they will be traveling the country performing in Broadway National Tours.

Caleb will be performing as Peter, Jack and George in Finding Neverland. Based on the Academy Award-winning Miramax motion picture by David Magee, and the play The Man Who Was Peter Pan by Allan Knee, Finding Neverland follows the relationship between playwright J.M. Barrie and the family that inspired Peter Pan. Finding Neverland opened on October 2 in Hershey, Pennsylvania. The tour will hit approximately 90 cities in 40 states over the next 8 months including Washington DC, Worcester MA, and closer to home, New Haven CT (March 15-17, 2019), New Brunswick NJ (March 22-23, 2019), and Brookville NY (May 18-19, 2019).

Alyssa has been on tour with Andrew Lloyd Webber’s School of Rock since February 2018, when she joined the tour to play the role of Marcy. Based on the hit film, this irresistible new musical follows Dewey Finn, a failed, wannabe rock star who decides to earn a few extra bucks by posing as a substitute teacher at a prestigious prep school. There he turns a class of straight-A students into a guitar-shredding, bass-slapping, mind-blowing rock band. Alyssa has already performed in more than 250 shows in 25 cities across the U. S. and Canada. The tour will travel to approximately 25 more cities over the next nine months, including Washington, DC, Boston and closer to home, Schenectady, New York (February 5-10, 2019).

Caleb and Alyssa, both 10, are best friends. They have performed together in several Greenacres school plays, including The Wizard of Oz in 2017 in which Alyssa played Dorothy and Caleb played the Scarecrow, and earlier this year Charlie and the Chocolate Factory in which Alyssa played Veruca Salt and Caleb played Charlie. Last fall, they performed in a regional theater production of Miracle on 34th Street at Yorktown Stage here in Westchester.

Life on tour is an entirely different adventure for Caleb and Alyssa. “I’m so excited for this adventure! I can’t wait to see different parts of the country. This show is amazing and the cast and crew are fantastic,” said Caleb. Caleb and Alyssa each travel with their mom, dad or grandma (who rotate between tour and home with their younger siblings), with visits from the rest of their families on school breaks and long weekends. Due to the demanding schedule which includes performing eight shows a week, school, travel, rehearsals, press events and, of course, seeing the cities they are visiting, they rarely are able to come home. Alyssa has come home for a single one week break since she left in February and approximately half a dozen single days when travelling between cities. Caleb has a scheduled week off in the spring and hopes to squeeze in some short visits home before then.

They each attend “tour school” during the day with tutors that travel with the shows to ensure they keep up with fifth grade work. Typically, they attend school for 15 hours a week anywhere from 3-6 days a week depending on the schedule of travel, shows, press and rehearsals, and school can take place anywhere from a hotel conference room to backstage to next to a pool to on a bus. Both children agree that the highlight of school on the road is weekly field trips to see the highlights of each city and learn about the places they are visiting.

When asked about some of the challenges of tour life, Alyssa said “Our schedule is jam packed with rehearsals, performing, promotional events, travel and going to school. I love all of it! The hardest thing is finding time to talk to my friends and family at home and I miss my brother and sister and dog Cookie a ton when they aren’t travelling with us.” This summer, Alyssa’s younger brother and sister joined her and her mom on tour, which Alyssa said made it a “family adventure” and Caleb is looking forward to his family visiting over the upcoming holidays. This pair of best friends makes time to facetime each other (often late at night after shows) to talk and work on the plays they write together!

You can find out more about tour dates, including some upcoming in this area, at the tour websites: www.findingneverlandmusical.com and www.schoolofrock.com. Also, you can follow Caleb and Alyssa’s adventures on instagram at @calebreesepaul and @alyssaemmarvin.

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