Jacque Carnahan
Photo courtesy Idyllwild Arts

Guests at this month’s Idyllwild Arts Academy Alumni/Family Weekend and Open House will be treated to a rare glimpse of Broadway.

Alums, current families, families curious about the academy as an option for their children — and anyone else who loves musical theatre — will be transported “From Main Street to 42nd Street” by 1998 Idyllwild Arts graduate Jacque Carnahan.

This autobiography in song chronicles Carnahan’s journey from a small California town to the bright lights of The City That Never Sleeps. From Main Street to 42nd Street is central to the accomplishments of Believe NYC (http://believe-nyc.com/), of which Carnahan is artistic director, an educational company that brings teenagers to New York to teach them about career opportunities in the performing arts.

Part of the education for any challenging career has to be inspiration, and Carnahan’s path to success is pure inspiration. She grew up in San Luis Obispo as a lover of dance and theater who saw that IAA was made for her. Unfortunately, even the partial scholarship offered to her wasn’t going to cover her full tuition needs.

“So, I wrote to everyone who supported the arts in my community and asked for their help,” Carnahan recalls.

“Over a hundred people donated forty thousand dollars — a huge help in getting me through four years at Idyllwild Arts. They meant so much to me that I sent them regular progress reports, first from Idyllwild, then from Boston Conservatory, then for ten years from New York.”

Carnahan, who can be followed at @jacquecarnahan on Instagram, was part of the pre-Broadway lab for the new musical Spongebob Squarepants, soloed for the Boston Pops and is a senior choreographer for Princeton’s McCarter Theatre Company. She has worked with such Broadway greats as Tony Award winners Alice Ripley, Renée Elise Goldsberry, Stephen Schwartz and Christopher Gattelli. She also co-produces the annual Broadway benefit concert Arts For Autism, which has raised more than $125,000 for Autism Speaks, hosted by Kelli O’Hara and Christopher Jackson.

For “From Main Street to 42nd Street,” Carnahan and piano accompanist Paul Staroba, associate music director of Lincoln Center’s My Fair Lady revival, perform music arranged by Broadway composer Barbara Anselmi.

The event is free and open to the public from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 20, 2018, in the IAF Theatre on campus. Seating is limited.

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