A group of vibrant, energetic young people, African-American, white, Hispanic, rich and poor alike, converge on 46th Street to audition for the chance to study at the famous New York School of Performing Arts (“P.A.”). Praying they make “P.A.”, the students tear open a letter from the school, learn of their acceptance and begin a joyous dance of celebration.
On the first day of school, the freshman meet Miss Sherman, their English teacher, who warns them that it takes a lot more than dreams to succeed at “P.A.” The students, with a mixture of excitement, trepidation and raw energy, acknowledge that what it really takes to succeed is (“Hard Work”).
Drama Class. Nick and Serena rehearse a scene and discuss their life experiences. Nick’s goal in life is to move people emotionally (“I Want To Make Magic”). Ms. Myers, the drama teacher asks his students to recall how a physical sensation can trigger an emotional response. Joe, a funny, uninhibited young man, graphically recounts the very personal reactions that occur whenever he thinks of a certain beautiful girl in dance class (“Can’t Keep It Cool”).
Dance Class. Tyrone, a sexy, streetwise American, is partnered with Iris, a very wealthy, classically-trained dancer. Iris obnoxiously derides Tyrone’s lack of classical dance experience. Tyrone, enraged at her comments, begins a rap that expresses his anger (“Tyrone’s Rap”). Iris apologizes and, unexpectedly, kisses him passionately.
The story continues…