The Wiz’s Nichelle Lewis aka ‘Dorothy’ Teams up with Saving Our Daughters & MYCOM for Behind the Scenes in Careers in Theatre, Film and Television….Hosted by WZAK Kenya Brown.
On Wednesday, October 11th MYCOM and Saving Our Daughters (SOD) kicked off their 2023 partnership at Richmond Heights Middle School. The commencement of the program was timely as the day was observed as International Day of the Girl, which celebrates adolescent girls and aims to unite them across the world.
Selected 7th & 8th grade participants had the opportunity to meet the incredible Nichelle Lewis, most recently known for her portrayal as Dorothy in critically acclaimed Broadway Musical, The Wiz. SOD and MYCOM launched “Behind the Scenes in Theater,” an initiative to promote participation in theater, film, and television. The partnership utilizes Saving Our Daughters’ facilitation and MYCOM’s Occupational Skills Career Preparation Portfolio, and the program was led by Radio One WZAK’s Kenya Brown, who will continue these efforts at Richmond Heights Middle School.
The scheduled activities began with the students watching an inspirational clip of Nichelle discussing her excitement surrounding being a part of the amazing cast of The Wiz and the community she has built through her career in theater. Following this introduction, the eager participants were given the opportunity to ask Lewis questions, learning the answer to inquiries such as “How did Nichelle feel stepping into such an iconic role as Dorothy following in footsteps of well known actresses such as Stephanie Mills and Diana Ross?” After gaining insight into Lewis’ inspiration for the role, the girls were further motivated to learn about the actress’ work-life balance asking questions such as, “Do you like to stay to yourself when you get down time, or do you prefer to hang out with your fellow cast members or friends?”
The class concluded with Lewis learning a few endearing Tik-Tok dance moves led by the incredible Richmond Heights Middle School students.
Saving our Daughters is proud of the success of this partnership, and looking forward to the potential of future programming!
What some of our Richmond Heights Middle School students had to say about the launch:
· I feel that the Saving Our Daughters program will be a very interesting new journey. I feel like this group will be very fun and educational. I can’t wait to see all the new things this group will bring to me.
· I feel this experience in the Saving Our Daughters group is very nice and I like how we get to meet people that have a huge impact on people’s lives. I was actually shocked when I heard we could meet Keke Palmer in an upcoming group session. I feel like this group can bring a lot of new things for me.
· I like it, it seems fun and the people in it look fun too and I will continue to go. I would also participate in any activities. I am committed to the group.
· My experience with the program was great and I really liked the program.
· I think the program is very fun and I had an amazing time there, I even met my sister’s boyfriend’s cousin. Everybody was kind and they gave out free pizza and Sprite so that was nice!
About our Nichelle Lewis (The Wiz’s Dorothy)
Nichelle Lewis (Dorothy) is a 24 year old native of Virginia, and thrilled to portray Dorothy in the revival of The Wiz, marking her Broadway debut. The New York based singer-songwriter has performed in the national tour of Hairspray (Dynamite/Cindy Watkins); Little Shop of Horrors (Chiffon/Crystal); Bare: A Pop Opera (Ivy); and most recently Labelless, a new musical. Nichelle always felt she had a calling much bigger than herself.
It wasn’t until she was asked to sing a solo tribute to her late father at age 10 that she realized what that calling was. She mustered up as much courage as she could to sing, “My Help,” and by the end of the song the whole church was crying, not tears of sadness but of love and joy. In that moment, she knew she was called to inspire others through song.
Nichelle truly believes that the voice she sang with that day could have only been a gift. A gift she continues to hone and discover new things about over the years. She started her career singing in church and show choir, and booking gigs at weddings before “American Idol” reached out to her on Instagram to audition her on the show last summer. Nichelle says all of this to say that she is unbelievably grateful for the amazing opportunity to portray Dorothy.
A character, who much like herself and others, overcomes many trials and tribulations in life that only help to make her stronger, wiser, and more determined. Nichelle is grateful to her mother who raised her children with a will like no other and encouraged Nichelle to stay on the path, to remain hardworking and kind, and to never stop listening to her heart.
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