Companies Collaborating to Conduct Musical Workshop for Teens Affected by Bleeding Disorders

Catarina Silva, MSc avatar

by Catarina Silva, MSc |

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BioMarin Pharmaceutical Inc. is partnering with digital content agency Believe Limited to produce a three-day musical workshop for young members of the bleeding disorders community.

The “Breaking Through!” musical theater intensive, the first program of its kind, will be held Nov. 9-12 in New York City, and aims at teaching teens about the healing and therapeutic potential of artistic expression.

“BioMarin is proud to support the next generation of the bleeding disorder community by creating a positive and impactful experience to allow teens to express the aspects of bleeding disorders that are often overlooked, as well as raise awareness of their impact on patient lives,” Hank Fuchs, MD, president of worldwide research and development at BioMarin, said in a press release.

U.S. high school students affected by bleeding disorders, including those who have hemophilia or another bleeding or clotting factor deficiency, are a carrier, or have a sibling with one of these conditions, can audition for the program. Submissions, which include a one-page essay and a video of the applicant singing, are open until Sept. 1.

The 25 selected applicants will learn and perform a six-song musical about the psychosocial and general health aspects of living with a bleeding disorder.

Composers and lyricists will write the program’s original music, which will incorporate ideas students will share during the application process. Paul Russell, a vocal coach and director of the U.K. Haemophilia Society choir, will serve as the musical director.

Participants will also take part in seminars on the impact of breathing and relaxation pain management, and the psychosocial benefits and therapeutic value of self-expression in the arts.

At the end of the workshop, the students will perform a Broadway-style show for family, friends, and members of the local bleeding disorder community.

“The ‘Breaking Through!’ musical theater intensive is a groundbreaking effort to empower young people in the bleeding disorder community who want to better understand how the arts and artistic expression can improve their health outcomes, and really, their lives in general,” said Patrick James Lynch, hemophilia advocate and Believe Limited CEO.

“We’re breaking through the barriers created by a bleeding disorder mentally, emotionally and imaginatively with the arts. Our community does an incredible job of working to inspire our young people to participate in physical activity, but I believe it’s as important to connect young people to the health and wellness benefits that the arts and self-expression offers as well,” said Lynch, who will direct the musical workshop.