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The Broadway League
729 Seventh Avenue, 5th Floor
New York, NY 10019
CONTACT: Elisa Shevitz
Telephone: 212-764-1122
Email: EShevitz@broadway.org


The Broadway League Partners With World Book Night
April 21, 2014
To Provide Free Books In Celebration of William Shakespeare's 450th Birthday! Shakespeare Sonnets To Be Given Out At Select Broadway Shows on April 23rd.

In celebration of William Shakespeare's 450th birthday on April 23, 2014, the Broadway League is pleased to announce a series of joint activities with World Book Night U.S, a non-profit campaign to give printed books to light or non-readers.

World Book Night U.S. will provide free copies of the Dover edition of Shakespeare's Sonnets to the Broadway League for use at national Family First Nights events for students and families, Kids' Night on Broadway programs throughout the country, and will be distributed to students participating in the Broadway League's high school internship program. These events will occur throughout the year in New York and on the Road at Broadway League member venues that are hosting Touring Broadway productions.

Family First Nights provides specially-priced theatre tickets for families, selected by local partner social service agencies, who may not otherwise be able to attend Broadway and Touring Broadway shows. Kids' Night on Broadway, a national audience development program, is when kids ages 6 to 18 can see Broadway shows for free when accompanied by a full-paying adult. A Kids' Night on Broadway ticket includes restaurant discounts, parking discounts, educational programs, and special events.

Additionally, copies of the sonnets will be placed on theatre seats during the April 23 matinee and/or evening performances of Rodgers + Hammerstein's Cinderella, Matilda The Musical, Newsies, and The Lion King. Curtain speeches and letters in the books will encourage audience members to give their book to someone who may not be a regular reader.

Charlotte St. Martin, Executive Director of The Broadway League , said, "Theatre is about storytelling. The Broadway League devotes significant time and resources on educational programs to nurture future theatregoing audiences, so we are happy to collaborate with the organizers of World Book Night to increase awareness of a notable Broadway playwright!"

World Book Night U.S. Executive Director Carl Lennertz said, "We are thrilled to be partnering with The Broadway League and all the great work they do. Obviously, we share a love for the words and work of William Shakespeare, and The Broadway League is committed to increasing awareness of the arts as we are of reading, so this is a wonderfully natural fit. Theatre and books bring joy and light into many lives."

Sue Frost, Tony Award winning producer of Memphis and Co-Chairman of The Broadway League's Audience Engagement Committee, will participate in the open-to-the-public World Book Night launch event on April 22 at 6:30 PM at the New York Public Library at Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street. Seven authors will be in attendance, including Esmeralda Santiago, Malcolm Gladwell, Walter Dean Myers, and Garrison Keillor.

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About World Book Night

World Book Night U.S. is an ambitious campaign to give a half million free, specially printed paperbacks to light or non-readers across America on one day. The 25,000 volunteer book lovers will go out into 6,000 communities to seek out those without the means or access to printed books. The volunteers go to such diverse locations as hospitals, underfunded schools, food pantries, nursing homes, community centers, and more.

World Book Night takes place on April 23, 2014 - Shakespeare's birthday - and is in its third year in the U.S., after the UK launch in 2011. As part of World Book Night, 2,300 bookstores and libraries serve as community organizers for the book distribution to the volunteer givers. WBN's reach includes all 50 states, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, and military bases in Germany, Guam, and Afghanistan.

The WBN picks are written by a wide array of award-winning and bestselling adult and YA authors, as well as classics, books in Spanish, and books in Large Print. This year will see an original free WBN proprietary e-book with pieces by authors, booksellers and librarians who were givers; next year's e-book will consist of essays by this year's givers, chosen in a national contest being held in May 2014. The assortment of WBN titles is based on diversity in subject matter, age level, gender, ethnicity, and geography.

Volunteers applied online to be givers by stating where they intend to seek out book recipients, and noting which of the special WBN Book Picks they'd like to hand out. The volunteer givers come from all walks of life: teachers, book club members, social workers, first responders, local businesspeople, librarians, booksellers, students, parents, and more. All of our volunteers for this year are already signed up, but anyone can join the WBN mailing list in order to be notified when giver application begins anew next year.

World Book Night U.S. is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization supported by UPS, authors, publishers, the American Booksellers Association, the American Library Association, Barnes & Noble, and the Ingram Content Group; a full list of sponsors is at our website. www.us.worldbooknight.org

About The Broadway League

The Broadway League, founded in 1930, is the national trade association for the Broadway industry. The League's 700-plus members include theatre owners and operators, producers, presenters, and general managers who present in nearly 200 markets in North America, as well as suppliers of goods and services to the theatre industry. Each year, League members bring Broadway to nearly 30 million people in New York and on tour across the U.S. and Canada. For more information, visit www.BroadwayLeague.com, or follow The Broadway League on Twitter @TheBwayLeague or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/BroadwayLeague. BROADWAY.ORG is the League's new official on-line headquarters for Broadway in NYC and on tour. Download the free Broadway.org mobile app for iOS orAndroid, and the free IBDB mobile app foriOS or Android.

Broadway theatres are filled with an exciting array of new and classic musicals and plays, providing the perfect experience for every audience. Great seats are available at every price point and are easy to buy online, by phone, or in person at theatre box offices. It's always the perfect time to see a show. Broadway performs every day of the week at multiple curtain times to accommodate every schedule.

The Broadway League annually presents the Antoinette Perry "Tony" Awards,® one of the most coveted awards in the entertainment industry, with The American Theatre Wing.

Press Contacts:
The Broadway League:

Elisa Shevitz, eshevitz@broadway.org, 212 703 0225

Erica Ryan, eryan@broadway.org, 212 703 0221