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13
Sep

The League of American Theatres and Producers, Inc. Announces Recipients of Ten National Education Grants for 2006

(New York, September 13, 2006) The League of American Theatres and Producers, Inc. announced today the recipients of its eleventh annual National Education Grants. These grants support innovative programs that enable students from coast to coast to experience touring Broadway as a form of artistic expression and as an educational tool.

The 2006 National Education Grants program bestows $5,000 to each of 10 presenters of touring Broadway shows across the U.S. for the development or support of education programs associated with touring productions. Since it was founded in 1996, the League’s National Education Grants program has awarded $550,000 in grants to support education efforts of Broadway presenting organizations. The League administers this program with generous additional financial support from Theatre Development Fund.
During the past year, theatre education professionals at organizations that present touring Broadway productions have worked closely with local teachers and community organizations to create activities that engage young people with theatre and enhance their academic experiences.

“I am delighted that League-member presenting organizations have continued with this educational programming year after year,” commented Charlotte St. Martin, Executive Director, The League of American Theatres and Producers, Inc. “The opportunities to engage young minds in the craft of theater arts should be utilized wherever and whenever they can, and the National Education Grants help to make this possible in so many different ways.”
This year, the ten programs that were awarded grants of $5,000 each are as follows:

Peace Center Foundation, Greenville, SC
“Discovering Camelot” is an outreach project designed to provide introductory experiences in theatre and dance for approximately 50 students of Generations Group Homes (GGH), a residential treatment facility for at-risk adolescent males. The project will culminate in attendance at the touring Broadway production of Camelot at the Peace Center for the Performing Arts, and with a student Summer Showcase performance facilitated by the teaching artist.

The Hershey Theatre, Hershey, PA
Hershey Theatre will use The Light in the Piazza to launch a program for Hershey High School drama and art students that will enhance students’ understanding and appreciation of art history, architecture, local history, live theatre and non-performance career paths in theatre.

Clowes Memorial Hall of Butler University, Indianapolis, IN
“Broadway Behind the Scenes: Exploring Technical Theatre Through Camelot” will give high school students an exceptional opportunity to explore the technical aspects of a professional Broadway musical. Twenty theatre students and two teachers will learn about technical theatre prior to, during and after the Broadway Across America-Indianapolis presentation of Camelot at Clowes Memorial Hall. A series of three follow-up experiences will include attending the touring Broadway production of Monty Python’s Spamalot that will challenge students to utilize their newly acquired technical skills.

Lied Center for Performing Arts – Nebraska, Lincoln, NE
One hundred and five eighth-grade students from Crete, Seward, and Park Middle Schools in Nebraska will participate in creating and producing short new musicals inspired by Elvis songs. Students will see the touring Broadway production of All Shook Up at the Lied Center. They will perform their musicals in a showcase in April 2007.

Memphis Development Foundation – The Orpheum Theatre, Memphis, TN
Thirty-five at-risk students enrolled in The Memphis Challenge program will learn about Memphis history through the Leadership Academy’s Memphis 101 program, participate in writing and music-related workshops, and attend a performance of All Shook Up at the Orpheum Theatre.

Florida Theatrical Association, Miami, FL
Students in grades 9-12 in Miami-Dade County explore the dynamics of serving on a jury and the process of deciding an accused person’s fate, as depicted in the national tour of Twelve Angry Men. This project will mark the first educational outreach event for a Broadway play at the new Miami Performing Arts Center, opening in the fall of 2006.

Hennepin Theatre Trust – State, Orpheum & Pantages Theatres, Minneapolis, MN
Interdistrict Downtown School (IDDS) is formalizing its school curriculum with an “Urban Humanities” focus as part of a more complete and vibrant partnership with Hennepin Theatre Trust. The “Critical View” program includes pre-show visits by a teaching artist, meetings with local artists and theatre professionals, seeing seven Broadway productions, and writing critiques. Participating touring Broadway productions include All Shook Up, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Doubt, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, The Light in the Piazza, and Twelve Angry Men.

Connecticut Association for the Performing Arts, New Haven, CT
This grant will support the “Literary Lessons: Doubt” Project, which enables students at High School in the Community to study John Patrick Shanley’s Tony Award®-winning play, learn about issues concerning sexual abuse and ethics, study related literature, and attend the touring Broadway presentation of Doubt at the Shubert Theater.

California Musical Theatre, Sacramento, CA
“Steppin’ Out!” is a multi-phase dance curriculum to be presented in conjunction with the September-October engagement of Movin’ Out at the Sacramento Community Center Theater. Its goal is to educate, encourage, and nurture a new generation of aspiring dancers and to expose them to the pioneering choreography of Twyla Tharp.

Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center, Tampa, FL
The 2006 On Golden Pond Broadway Education Initiative activities will engage senior citizens and middle school students in exploring family relationships and perspectives on aging and age discrimination. The student-driven project will explore oral and written history and help seniors develop brief spoken word performances based on their memories and experience. All participants will attend On Golden Pond and take part in a post-performance discussion with a cast member.

“Nothing can be substituted for the experience of live theatre, which is why we are so dedicated to sharing the Broadway experience with as many people we can; particularly with the next generation of theatregoers,” St. Martin states. “We applaud the presenters of touring Broadway shows for being open to integrating theatregoing into the curriculum of students in their communities, and will continue to support these types of programs centered around arts education.”

In addition to the National Education Grants program, the League also administers similar grants for education programs affiliated with Broadway productions in New York City each year.

The League of American Theatres and Producers, Inc., founded in 1930 and operating under the trademark “Live Broadway,” is the national trade association for the Broadway industry. The League’s 600-plus members include theatre owners and operators, producers, presenters, and general managers in over 240 North American cities, as well as suppliers of goods and services to the theatre industry. Each year, League members bring Broadway to more than 30 million people in New York and on tour across the U.S. and Canada. www.LiveBroadway.com. For more information on these programs, call Rachel Reiner at (212) 703-0215.