It looks like Broadway Break Thru isn’t out of the woods yet. Despite claims of having a spotless record, more accusations have been made against the company for not paying its bills. And it looks like legal action is going to be filed against them and their founder, David Petro.
Following the report that Broadway Break Thru has not been paying its guest faculty members for its 2018 summer event, Mr. Petro, released the following statement:
This past week, it’s been shared in the public space that Broadway Break Thru (BBT) has not made full payments to our 2018 College Break Thru (CBT) instructors. I take pride in maintaining the utmost integrity in our organization’s business practices. All of BBT’s instructors have been notified when all stipends will be paid in full plus interest. In the spirit of transparency, I feel responsible to share the details and context on how we got here, and how we are ensuring it does not happen again.
Approximately two weeks after the CBT 2018 intensive, I had an emergency back surgery. An oversight was made in that payments did not go out due to a physical signature being required. Concurrently, my director of operations left due to his mom’s sudden death. The bottom line is that BBT’s CEO and the Director of Operations were unavailable and consequentially, regular business practices were interrupted. A member from my team kept the instructors updated, and as soon as I was able, I reached out to each and every instructor personally.
A focus of this week’s public messaging is our 2019 CBT programming and approach for marketing this initiative. Our 2019 website was launched during the 2018 CBT summer intensive to promote our upcoming year. We have addressed every concern that’s been raised to us directly. We take responsibility for this matter, but will not allow false narratives.
As a performing artist, educator, and business owner, it is incredibly hard to acknowledge this situation after more than 9 years of a spotless record. As many performers understand, our bodies are our livelihood. To date, I have had 23 medical procedures and 3 surgeries. Unfortunately, after a period of painful and debilitating forced medical leave, I came back to a business that was withered and a team of professionals and friends hurt by their missing payment.
Yet, as a result of these setbacks, I am excited to report that BBT has been revived as an even more mature and robust organization. We recently partnered with Accelerated Growth, a firm that works with entrepreneurial organizations to manage through these very types of business scenarios growing small businesses often face. We have put new people, systems, structures and policies in place to ensure this never happens again. There is a business management team built around contracts, payment structure, and internal policies to provide peace of mind to our instructors.
Thank you to everyone who has reached out with love, support and gratitude. We are touched to have you in our lives and excited to continue helping students reach their full potential with BBT.
In the statement, Mr. Petro claims that before this issue with guest faculty in 2018, he’s had a spotless record going back the past nine years. However, according to one university, that claim isn’t as accurate as Mr. Petro might believe.
I received the following statement from Jay Berkow, the Director of Musical Theatre Performance at Western Michigan University.
“Broadway Breakthru (BBT) is a company that provides musical theatre experiences for children of all ages from elementary to college students. In the past few years they have attempted to develop relationships with respected college music theatre programs to provide a one-week summer pre-college camp experience.
In August 2016 Broadway Breakthru partnered with Western Michigan University to provide such an experience on campus. Students paid a hefty sum and received training with the faculty from WMU theatre and dance, as well as guest artists and interns. The agreement with BBT ensured that the fees paid by the students directly to BBT would cover the experience including the faculty fees, housing in the WMU dorms and a meal plan. BBT has never paid for the contracted housing and meal plan provided by WMU and has left the university with a bill of over $6,000. When WMU attempted to contact BBT director David Petro on numerous occasions, he did not return calls or emails and was unavailable due to a vacation in Italy. As of now, WMU has no recourse but to take legal action against BBT to attempt to recover the owed funds.
Parents should take note that Broadway Breakthru is not a reputable organization and there are many other options for music theatre training and college prep available to their talented children.”
Given the fact that these events took place in 2016, it conflicts with Mr. Petro’s comment of having a spotless record for the past nine years.
We’ve reached out to Mr. Petro for comment on this inconsistency, we will update this article with any new information.
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