College Break Thru Accepts Stoneman Douglas Student to Elite Program for High School Performing Artists

Sawyer Garrity Receives Melody Herzfeld Scholarship and Chance at $250,000 in College Scholarships

CHICAGO, IL (May 30, 2018)   Broadway Break Thru (BBT) today announces that Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School student and survivor, Sawyer Garrity, will be a participant attending the first ever “College Break Thru” in Chicago.  Scheduled to take place Monday, June 25th thru Friday, June 29th at the University Center Chicago (525 S State Street), the summer symposium gives performing arts students the opportunity to receive the tools needed to excel in their auditions and performances while also providing more than $250,000 in college scholarships.

Sawyer is the first Marjory Stoneman Douglas recipient of the Melody Herzfeld Scholarship for CBT which provides admission to the 2018 CBT program, round trip airfare, and full boarding/meal plan (worth $2500).

“I am thrilled to be participating in the College Break Thru program!”, explains Garrity. “I have been doing theater since I was nine years old and I know my life will revolve around it forever.  I can’t wait to learn new things and grow as a performer.”

Garrity, who knew she wanted to be a performer since she was a toddler, has received accolades for the song “Shine” which she co-wrote with fellow student Andrea Pena.  The girls first shared “Shine” during the CNN-sponsored Town Hall on February 21st and then performed it at “The March for Our Lives” in Washington DC in March.  Some of Garrity’s recent theatre roles included ‘Wendla’ in Spring Awakening, ‘Smitty’ in How To Succeed and ‘Goldie’ in Fiddler On The Roof.

Founded by David Petro, a Disney, Nickelodeon and Broadway Casting Director and former Broadway performer, Broadway Break Thru provides nationwide opportunities to young, aspiring artists through performing arts summer camps, pre-college programs, after school programs and weekend workshops.

College Break Thru is the newest program and features 5-day intensive designed for incoming high school freshmen to seniors, who have a strong interest in musical theatre, dance, voice and acting.  By accepting only seventy-five of the nation’s elite high school performing artists, CBT can provide unprecedented access to the world’s top colleges and instructors, high caliber classes and exclusive auditions.

“Theater is more than performing arts and entertainment. It's leadership training and life development”, Petro explains. “The Melody Herzfeld College Break Thru scholarship was created to support performing arts students who exemplify the leadership and courage seen by Sawyer and her fellow Parkland, Florida Stoneman Douglas theater students.”

Garrity’s interest in CBT was fueled by her high school drama teacher, Melody Herzfeld, who saved sixty-five of her students from a gunman by barricading them into a closet.

“Mrs. Herzfeld has given me amazing opportunities to grow as an actress,” adds Garrity.  “She has also been a main support system for me and all of the drama department.  Her strength has held our drama family together during this dark time.”

When Petro found out that several of Herzfeld’s students were leading the “Never Again” movement he created the CBT scholarship as a way to support their educational goals in order to pursue a college acceptance in the performing arts. This unique real-life real work experience as a young artist prepares the individual for the rigors and challenges of a musical theatre program at the collegiate level.

“By providing access, auditions and college scholarships to the top performing arts universities in the country, we will provide unprecedented educational opportunities for all of our students”, Petro added.

University faculty members from the following institutions will be participating in College Break Thru :   American Musical and Dramatic Academy (AMDA), Ball State, The Boston Conservatory at Berklee, CAP 21, Carnegie Mellon, Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, Columbia College, DePaul University, Emerson College, Indiana University, The Juilliard School, Northwestern University, the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance, NYU, Pace University, Point Park University, Roosevelt University's Chicago College of Performing Arts, Texas State, Yale School of Drama, Stewart Talent Agency, and Second City Chicago.

To support additional students as part of the Melody Herzfeld Scholarship for CBT, please visit   The cost for CBT 2018 is $2195 per student with limited space available.  Students can apply online at

CBT 2019 is scheduled for June 24 -28, 2019 in Chicago.  Pre-registration will be held for a limited time beginning June 25, 2018, with a $400 discount off the regular price.

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