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Broadway Stars Unite in We Are The World Produced by Tony Award-winning Musical Theatre Alum Yael Silver

Broadway Stars Unite in We Are The World Produced by Tony Award-winning Musical Theatre Alum Yael Silver

July 2, 2018 The world today can feel like a divided place. For Tony Award-winning Broadway producer and New York Film Academy (NYFA) alum Yael Silver, this sense of division presented a challenge and an opportunity to create unity -- something the intrepid producer has done through her latest project.

Together with Casting Director Robin Carus and Broadway Records President Van Dean, Silver brought the Broadway community together to perform in a new music video cover of We Are The World.

According to Silver, the project began in a Starbucks in November of 2016, as she sat discussing current events with her friend Robin Carus: “just two girls having coffee and wanting to change the world.”

“I felt back then that we were about to be very divided as a country,” explains Silver, “And we are, now. There’s a lot of pain, people are hurting, and they’re hurt comes out in ways that are very aggressive and very divisive.” Both agreed that they wanted to “do something” to spark positive change, but what?

Naturally, they settled on a theatrical collaboration. Silver and Carus forged a partnership and set their sights on remaking We Are the World, one of Silver’s favorite songs from childhood, as an ensemble piece performed by Broadway’s brightest.

“The idea of this piece is really that we all have a voice,” continues Silver. “Our voice matters. So how do we work together and find what we have in common, and not only what separates us and what makes us different? We wanted to unify people and show people that they can use their voice for the better, not only to spread animosity but to bring love and light into this world. It’s really a call to action: it’s saying, ‘Step up and speak out. You have an opportunity, you have the power. Use it. Do something about it.’”

The video brings together an astounding company of Broadway luminaries to powerfully animate this theme of unity. As Playbill reports, the the music video features Broadway stars Christy Altomare, Kelli Barrett, Andrew Burns, Nikki Renee Daniels, Jordan Donica, Rachel Eskenazi-Gold, Justin Guarini, Derek Klena, Jeff Kready, Sydney Lucas, Beth Malone, Lesli Margherita, Constantine Maroulis, Bebe Neuwirth, Orfeh, George Psomas, Anthony Rapp, Courtney Reed, Chita Rivera, Kate Rockwell, Jarrod Spector, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Ephraim Sykes, Jenna Ushkowitz, and Ben Vereen.

“I think that art and what it teaches people is so much a collaborative art form,” notes Silver, “and it really is so much bigger than the individual. You can’t put on a show without a team. Not one person can do everything. There’s something so special about seeing literally Broadway legends with up-and-coming Broadway stars and kids, all in one video. I think that it really shows how much of a collaboration it is.”

Notably, this version of We Are The World is the first time the song has been performed with children.

“That was really important to us,” shares Silver, “because children are the future and their voices matter. What we’re seeing politically is that these kids are changing the world. Kids are out there getting people to register to vote and bringing up the issues that matter.”

While We Are the World was originally recorded by Lionel Richie and Michael Jackson in 1985 to raise funds for the charity Artists for Africa, this update is not affiliated with one specific charity or agenda.

“We’re not telling people what to do,” Silver explains. “We want people to find what matters to them. Is it policy, is it gun legislation, is it the environment, is it children’s education? For every person it can be different. We wanted people to have the opportunity to find their truth and what’s important to them. Just do something good for this world.”

We Are The World has not only generated buzz throughout the theatre world, but was also recently included in the Geena Davis Institute's SmartBrief, which profiles significant inclusion-oriented news. Along with executive-producing We Are The World, Silver recently won a Tony Award for Best Revival for Once On This Island, which she co-produced. Next up, Silver co-produce the upcoming Broadway adaptation of Alanis Morissette's Jagged Little Pill.

Silver credits her time at NYFA’s Professional Conservatory of Musical Theatre as an important foundation for her current work.

"It’s such an honor to be an alum of NYFA," she says. "To this day I use a lot of the connections that I made at NYFA to get to different parts of my career. It’s a really special community. … I know I wouldn’t have been able to get to where I am today on my own. Never. It’s all about the connections, it’s the friendships, and it’s really asking for help."

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