TODAY

TODAY   |  September 20, 2013

Broadway stars’ camp helps girls find their voices

Real life couple Idina Menzel and Taye Diggs have had success on the stages of Broadway’s biggest musicals, and now they are succeeding in helping city girls become leaders.

Share This:

This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> yes. camp in my future as well and my past, rather. for the past three summers, tony award winning actress idina menzel and actor husband taye diggs brought broadway to the berkshires. you may recognize them from the screen or from the stage. [ singing ]

>> reporter: but for the real life couple idina menzel and taye digs. cherished minutes are shared here. a camp they started for young city girls.

>> i always wanted to have a camp. it had to be centered on young women finding themselves, finding their voices. helping with leadership skills.

>> focussing on the girls themselves as opposed to the arts or the sports.

>> right. using the arts to help them express themselves and find their creative souls.

>> reporter: these creative souls first met 18 years ago on the set of the tony award winning musical rent, setting the scene for their romance.

>> and then he heard me sing.

>> and obviously she tore it up.

>> when she tore it up, what was your impression? that was it?

>> well then it was how can -- yeah, then i had to work my game. figure out how i could get in there. do you know what i mean ?

>> reporter: for ten days, idina, taye and other broadway vets mentor these girls as they write songs, turn their poems into performances, and hone their dance moves .

>> here, here, yeah, just a little bit.

>> reporter: even though this camp isn't all about performance, you do bring in friends that are pretty talented and they learn from the best of the best .

>> and selfishly that was always part of my dream.

>> reporter: but they had meaningful summers spent at camp, shaping who they are today.

>> one of the first times i was given a solo. so for me and how it made me feel while i was singing and then afterwards feeling like i had succeeded knowing, okay, this is something that i can do.

>> reporter: a lesson he is sharing with these campers.

>> before this i wasn't confident. i would dance in my room and wouldn't really dance in front of people. the first time i was put in a spotlight as a solo and the first year i was nervous. now i'm doing a improv dance.

>> i'm nerdy and kind of a misfit at school. i tend to be to the side. people don't pay that much attention. so it's really cool that someone is paying attention.

>> eventually i got to the point where i didn't say hush julie it is going to be okay but hush julie you are okay.

>> i have to draw a parallel there. these roles you choose kind of show what you want these girls to be.

>> yeah it keeps happening. it's funny. it's about a young woman having so much power and not knowing how to harness it and then usually they find a way. whether it's the kids in glee, they find ways to harness this power and do good with it.

>> awesome. that was great.

>> as women, i think that's really powerful. it's not about being scary, it's about being fierce.

>> reporter: using their forces to empower a new generation of young girls to find and use thei theirs.

>> that's cute.

>> wow.

>> idina and taye hope to extend the program all year supporting the girls and when idina performed at carnigie hall she invited that young performer on stage to help read a poem.

>> it's great.

>> plus they're such a talented couple and to use their talents to help others, that's what all of us should