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MOTOWN & TDF to Welcome 1,500 NYC Students for Special Matinee, 4/3

MOTOWN & TDF to Welcome 1,500 NYC Students for Special Matinee, 4/3

It is Theatre Development Fund's belief that future audiences are built by engaging students, first-hand, in the vital and exciting activity of the creative process, as well as providing opportunities to see live performances of great theatre. To that end, 1,500 New York City public high school and middle school students from 20 schools (and one school from East Orange, NJ), who are participating in TDF's Stage Doors Program, will be attending a special matinee performance of Broadway's smash hit, Motown the Musical on Thursday, April 3 at 1pm at the Lunt Fontanne Theatre (205 West 46th Street, NYC).

"Last year the producers of Motown the Musical approached TDF about doing something special for New York City students. The cast and creative crew were equally excited," said Daniel Renner, TDF's Director of Education. "We asked if we could buy out the house for a special matinee performance and the result is that 1500 students in our Stage Doors program not only get to attend the show, but engage in a series of intense workshops that investigate the history and sound that changed America. When those kids meet that cast....boom...history is gonna rock the house."

The 1,500 students from 20 New York City public high schools who will see Motown the Musical through TDF's Stage Doors Program are from: THE BRONX: Bronx Leadership Academy, Bronx Engineering and Technology Academy, Pelham Memorial High School BROOKLYN: Brooklyn High School for Law and Technology, EBC - High School for Public Service, George Washington High School, International High School at Lafayette. MANHATTAN: Coalition School for Social Change, Democracy Prep Endurance Middle School, Gregorio Luperon High School, Harvest Collegiate High School, Hudson High School of Learning Technologies, IS 210, High School of Fashion Industries, LaGuardia H.S..QUEENS: Flushing International High School, Queens High School of Teaching, RFK Community High School, Bell Academy. STATEN ISLAND: Ralph McKee Career and Technical High School. EAST ORANGE, NJ: Cicely Tyson Community School of Performing and Fine Arts.

TDF's STAGE DOORS, which is provided at no cost to the schools or students, is a project-based arts education program that provides middle and high school students with a meaningful introduction to live theatre. Each participating class attends a Broadway or Off Broadway performance and participates in eight in-class workshops: four workshops conducted by a TDF teaching artist and the other four conducted by the classroom teacher. The workshops engage students in discussion, writing, reading and improvisation to prepare them for their experience at the theatre. Over 55,000 students have been served through TDF's Stage Doors since the program was founded in 1995.

The smash hit Motown the Musical, now in its second year on Broadway, features the music and lyrics from the legendary Motown catalogue and a book by Berry Gordy. Directed by Charles Randolph-Wright, Motown the Musical is the real story of the one-of-a-kind sound that hit the airwaves in 1959 and changed our culture forever. This exhilarating show charts Motown Founder Berry Gordy's incredible journey from featherweight boxer to the heavyweight music mogul who launched the careers of Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, Smokey Robinson, Marvin Gaye and many more. The show's creative team features choreography by Patricia Wilcox (Blues in the Night) and Warren Adams (Toy Story), scenic design by David Korins (Bring It On: The Musical, Annie), costume design by Tony Award nominee ESosa (The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess, "Project Runway"), lighting design by Tony Award winner Natasha Katz (Once, Sister Act), sound design by Tony Award nominee Peter Hylenski (Rock of Ages, The Scottsboro Boys) and projection design by Daniel Brodie (Jekyll and Hyde).

THEATRE DEVELOPMENT FUND was created in the conviction that the live theatrical arts afford a unique expression of the human condition that must be sustained and nurtured. It is dedicated to developing diverse audiences for live theatre and dance, and strengthening the performing arts community in New York City. Since 1968, TDF's programs have provided over 86 million people with access to performances at affordable prices and have returned over $2.4 billion to thousands of productions. Best known for its TKTS Discount Booths, TDF's membership, outreach, access (including its newly formed Autism Theatre Initiative) and education programs - as well as its Costume Collection - have introduced thousands of people to the theatre and helped make the unique experience of theatre available to everyone, including students and people with disabilities. Recent TDF honors include a 2011 Mayor's Award for Arts and Culture, a 2012 Tony Honor for Excellence for its Open Doors Arts Education Program, a 2012 New York Innovative Theatre Award for its support of the off-Off Broadway community, and a 2013 Lortel Award "Outstanding Body of Work Award."

For more about TDF's Arts Education programs to go: www.tdf.org or about Motown the Musical at their official Web site: www.MotownTheMusical.com.

Photo by Joan Marcus

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