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'Partners in Preservation' Selects Helen Hayes Theatre's Second Stage as Finalist; Public Vote thru 5/21

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Second Stage Theatre (Carole Rothman, Artistic Director and Casey Reitz, Executive Director) has been chosen as one of the 40 finalists in this year's Partners in Preservation program, which awards up to $250,000 to the cultural institutions that receive the most votes from its supporters. If selected, Second Stage Theatre will use the grant money to restore the façade of the company's future home, the 100-year old Helen Hayes Theatre on Broadway. The finalists were presented by celebrity guest Katharine McPhee of NBC's hit "Smash" at The Metropolitan Museum of Art on Thursday, April 26. Second Stage at the Helen Hayes Theatre is the only Broadway theatre selected as a finalist.

"We are thrilled that American Express and the National Trust for Historic Preservation agree that our future Broadway home, the Helen Hayes Theatre, is a landmark building that needs to be preserved for generations of theatergoers to come" said Executive Director Casey Reitz. "We are honored to be the only Broadway theatre chosen as a Partners in Preservation finalist."

The program, sponsored by American Express and the National Trust for Historic Preservation, is a community-based initiative to raise awareness of the importance of historic places. Partners in Preservation will infuse $3 million in grants to preserve New York City's historic buildings, icons and landmarks. From April 26 to May 21, 2012, anyone 13 years of age and older, anywhere in the world can vote online – go to www.PartnersinPreservation.com or log on through Facebook at www.Facebook.com/PartnersinPreservation and vote for Second Stage. Everyone can vote up to once a day from now until May 21st. On May 22, the top three public vote-getters and the grants for their preservation projects will be revealed.

Founded in 1979 under the leadership of Artistic Director Carole Rothman, Second Stage Theatre produces a diverse range of premieres and new interpretations of America's best Contemporary Theatre, including Tiny Alice and Peter and Jerry by Edward Albee; The Good Times Are Killing Me by Lynda Barry; The Little Dog Laughed by Douglas Carter Beane; Little Murders by Jules Feiffer; The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee by William Finn and Rachel Sheinkin; A Soldier's Play by Charles Fuller; Afterbirth: Kathy & Mo's Greatest Hits by Mo Gaffney and Kathy Najimy; Becky Shaw by Gina Gionfriddo; Painting Churches and Coastal Disturbances by Tina Howe; Ricky Jay and His 52 Assistants and On the Stem by Ricky Jay; Next to Normal by Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey; Living Out by Lisa Loomer; This Is Our Youth and The Waverly Gallery by Kenneth Lonergan; Some Men by Terrence McNally; eurydice by Sarah Ruhl; Everyday Rapture by Dick Scanlan and Sherie Rene Scott; Let Me Down Easy by Anna Deavere Smith; Saturday Night by Stephen Sondheim; Crowns by ReGina Taylor; Uncommon Women and Others by Wendy Wasserstein; Spoils of War by Michael Weller; Before It Hits Home, Jar the Floor and Birdie Blue by Cheryl L. West; Jitney by August Wilson; Lemon Sky, Serenading Louie and Sympathetic Magic by Lanford Wilson; and Metamorphoses and The Notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci by Mary Zimmerman.

The company's more than 130 citations include the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for Next to Normal, the 2009 Tony Awards for Best Score, Best Orchestrations, and Best Actress in a Musical (Alice Ripley) for Next to Normal, the 2007 Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play (Julie White, The Little Dog Laughed), 2005 Tony Awards for Best Book of a Musical (Rachel Sheinkin, ...Spelling Bee) and Best Featured Actor in a Musical (Dan Fogler, ...Spelling Bee), 2002 Tony Award for Best Director of a Play (Mary Zimmerman for Metamorphoses), the 2002 Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Body of Work, 27 Obie Awards, six Outer Critics Circle Awards, two Clarence Derwent Awards, 12 Drama Desk Awards, nine Theatre World Awards, 12 Lucille Lortel Awards, the Drama Critics Circle Award and 15 AUDELCO Awards.

In 1999, Second Stage Theatre opened The Tony Kiser Theatre, its state-of-the-art, 296-seat theatre, designed by renowned Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas. In 2002, Second Stage launched "Second Stage Theatre Uptown" series to showcase the work of up and coming artists at the McGinn/Cazale Theatre. The Theatre supports artists through several programs that include residencies, fellowships and commissions, and engages students and community members through education and outreach programs.

Second Stage Theatre has acquiredthe right to purchase the historic Helen Hayes Theatre, located at 240 W. 44th Street. With this new home, Second Stage will be the only theatre company on Broadway dedicated exclusively to the development and presentation of contemporary American theatrical productions. Second Stage will also become one of only four non-profit theatre companies that own and operate theatres on Broadway. The company will continue to lease and operate their original theatres on the city's Upper West Side and in Midtown Manhattan.

For more information, visit www.2ST.com.

Partners in Preservation is a program in which American Express, in partnership with the National Trust for Historic Preservation, awards preservation grants to historic places across the country. Since 2006, $6.5 million has been awarded to nearly 100 preservation projects in San Francisco, Chicago, New Orleans, Boston, Seattle and Saint Paul/Minneapolis.

Through this partnership, American Express and the National Trust for Historic Preservation seek to increase the public's awareness of the importance of historic preservation in the United States and to preserve America's historic and cultural places. The program also hopes to inspire long-term support from local citizens for the historic places at the heart of their communities. For more information, visit Facebook.com/PartnersinPreservation or PartnersinPreservation.com, or follow us on Twitter at Twitter.com/PartnersinPres.

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