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LaChanze, Shuler Hensley, Denée Benton & More to Take Part in The Shubert Foundation's 2022 High School Theatre Festival

Additional guests include K. Todd Freeman (The Minutes), Jessica Hecht (The Price), Mateo Lizcano (Dear Evan Hansen), Nathaniel Stampley (Paradise Square).

LaChanze, Shuler Hensley, Denée Benton & More to Take Part in The Shubert Foundation's 2022 High School Theatre Festival

More than 100 talented young NYC public school theatre artists will make their Broadway debuts in The Shubert Foundation's 2022 High School Theatre Festival for NYC Public Schools on Monday, May 23 at 7:30pm at the Winter Garden Theatre (1634 Broadway) on Broadway. This annual high profile and high energy theatre education experience for NYC students is presented by The Shubert Foundation and the NYC Department of Education Arts Office.

Shuler Hensley (The Music Man) and Tony Award nominee LaChanze (Trouble in Mind) will host this year's eighth annual event, which returns in-person following the last two virtual festivals. Additional guest presenters, supporting public school theatre education, will include Denée Benton (Into the Woods), K. Todd Freeman (The Minutes), Jessica Hecht (The Price), Mateo Lizcano (Dear Evan Hansen), Nathaniel Stampley (Paradise Square), and Antwayn Hooper (A Strange Loop).

The Festival celebrates five outstanding high school student productions from the 2021-22 school year, selected from more than 20 productions across the city by professional theatre artists and theatre educators. Over the course of the festival's eight-year history, school productions from all five boroughs have performed at the event. This year, student presentations from the following schools will present excerpted scenes and musical numbers in order as follows:

Into the Woods - Repertory Company High School for Theatre Arts (Manhattan)
Indecent - Professional Performing Arts High School (Manhattan)
Guys and Dolls - Curtis High School (Staten Island)
RENT - Frank Sinatra School of the Arts (Queens)
Dontrell, Who Kissed the Sea - Brooklyn High School of the Arts (Manhattan)

The High School Theatre Festival showcases the ongoing excellent theatre work currently taking place in NYC public high schools, as well as highlighting the positive effects of theatre study on skills for the stage and in life: collaboration, artistry, discipline, focus, literacy, student voice, self-awareness, presence, and empathy. The evening focuses on the impact that a full theatre program can have on students and school communities and enables students to see theatre and the arts as a potential career path.

"The arts are a truly essential component in the education of all our students. I'm thrilled our children will have the opportunity to participate in the truly inspiring New York City tradition of live theater, experiencing firsthand the transformative power of the arts," said New York City Schools Chancellor David C. Banks. "I want to thank the Shubert Foundation for supporting this event and theater education in our schools."

"We've waited a long time for this moment," said Diana Phillips, President of The Shubert Foundation. "After two years of outstanding virtual performances, it will be very exciting to see our talented NYC Public School students performing live once more on our Broadway stage. Congratulations to them, to Director Peter Avery and to their dedicated teachers for their work and their unflagging commitment to the theatre."

Sponsored by The Shubert Foundation, the festival is presented in partnership with the New York City Department of Education (NYCDOE). Funding for the Festival and for a range of existing Shubert Foundation programs in New York City public schools comes from a Shubert Foundation grant of $600,000 for 2021-22.

Since 2005, The Shubert Foundation has provided more than $7.2 million to the New York City Department of Education for Theatre and arts education programs.

"It's Back to the Future! We celebrate and honor our creative NYC public high school students for their theatrical response but also their resilience in the face of the academic, social and artistic challenges of the past two years. Theater in our schools provides a welcoming place for students and audiences to reconnect, to listen, to reflect, to invest, to empathize...to heal. Theatre also entertains! Tonight, we feature 5 outstanding student performances that interweave hope and artistry," said Peter Avery, the Festival's Producer and the Director of Theater for the NYC Department of Education.

The Shubert Foundation, Inc. is the largest institutional funder of theatre education programs throughout NYC public schools and the nation's largest private foundation dedicated to unrestricted funding of not-for-profit theatres, with a secondary focus on dance. In 2021, the Foundation provided $32.1 million to 575 not-for-profit performing arts organizations across the United States. The Shubert Foundation, Inc. was established in 1945 by the legendary team of brothers, Lee and J.J. Shubert, producers of more than 520 plays, musicals and revues, as well as owners and operators of a nationwide network of legitimate theatres. For more information, visit www.shubertfoundation.org.

The New York City Department of Education is the largest system of public schools in the United States. The Department of Education (DOE) supports universal access to arts education through school support programs, student initiatives and the ArtsCount initiative, which tracks and reports student participation in arts education according to city and NY Standards. This DOE Shubert High School Festival for NYC public schools highlights the impact of a dedicated theater education by showcasing student theater work on a Broadway stage.



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