Shanken, 12, has always loved to
perform, whether in school plays,
singing or dancing.
she’s getting a chance to do what she
enjoys on center stage, as she and Camp
Broadway open the 79th annual
Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New
who attends Kyrene Aprende Middle
School, heard about the opportunity
after her mom, Laurie Shanken, saw a
commercial for Camp Broadway on KTVK-TV,
a theater arts education and
audience-development company that has
helped tens of thousands of children to
work side-by-side with Broadway
professionals, was holding auditions at
ASU, one of 12 nationwide locations.
performed and is now one of 470 kids,
ages 9-13, selected to perform in the
Broadway has been involved in the parade
for three consecutive years, this is the
first time the performers have been
bestowed the honor of being involved in
the opening number. The performance will
include a dance and the kids singing a
song, “We Give Thanks Today,” written by
off-Broadway composer Andrew Lippa.
limited time to prepare, expectations
were not very high for Hannah and her
like two days before we found out. We
walked in [that] morning and tried out,”
just one of those things that you take a
chance—and it’s really fun,” said
hearing she had been chosen, excited was
the only word to describe Hannah’s
jumping up and down, so excited,
screaming and stuff,” she said.
auditions pulled groups of 10 kids into
a room where they were shown a routine
and then had to repeat it. Hannah’s
mother believes it was something extra
that Hannah had that got her picked.
special in a way that she has energy and
she’s a happy kid. To go in there cold
turkey and to get to take your whole
family to New York, it’s awesome. We
think it’s pretty special,” Laurie said.
to the Big Apple for the first time,
Hannah and her family will be uprooting
their Turkey Day plans to conform to the
going to be a big family affair; we’re
going to have thanksgiving dinner in New
York,” said Laurie.
parade and so much excitement
surrounding the holiday, this
Thanksgiving will be one Hannah and the
Shankens will remember for years to
The parade will air live
on NBC from 7 to 10 a.m.