Town Hall Theater Launches New Education Program

Town Hall Theater Launches New Education Program

Town Hall Theater in Middlebury, Vermont, has created a vibrant education program that brings theater into schools with innovative classroom projects, and brings schools into the theater to see first-class productions of plays.

THT now seeks to extend the program to underserved populations, and the first step is the creation of the Eleanor Bennett Marlow Fund.

"Some schools can't afford to participate in our classroom projects, and some kids can't afford to take classes that we offer here at the theater" says THT education director Lindsay Pontius. "This fund will help defray the cost of our programs. It means we're going reach more kids, and that's very exciting."

The fund has been established in memory of Eleanor "Missy" Bennett Marlow of La Salle, Texas. A Middlebury College graduate, she had success in many careers: teacher, writer, advisor, philanthropist, caregiver, mother and grandmother.

The new fund will help develop new initiatives that target underserved populations. One program currently underway is a partnership between THT and the Addison County Parent Child Center.

While allowing THT to reach out to schools by reducing ticket prices, the fund will also increase the availability of THT's innovative school residency programs, including Opera-in-the-Making (student-created operas connected to the curriculum), Shakespeare-It's-Elementary (putting more than 100 students annually in a Shakespeare production on the THT stage) and the Core-To-Core arts and literacy program.

THT programs have been embraced by local teachers and administrators. As one area principal said after seeing her students energized by a THT program, "School should be like this every day."

THT has already developed long-term relationships with elementary schools in rural areas like Leicester, Shoreham and Bridport. The Eleanor Bennett Marlow fund will deepen this commitment to serve every area child. Donations to the Eleanor Bennett Marlow Fund may be made by contacting THT education director Lindsay Pontius at 802 388-1436 or

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