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League of American Theatres and Producers Announces 2005 Education Grant Recipients

For the third consecutive year, the League of American Theatres and Producers, Inc., has awarded New York Education Grants to Broadway-related audience development programs with schools, community outreach, and other social organizations.

This year's two award winners will each receive $5,000 grants. The recipients are Manhattan Theatre Club's outreach program for "Brooklyn Boy"; and educational programs for "Avenue Q" "Chicago," "Little Women: The Musical," "Rent" and "Sweet Charity," administered by StudentsLive!

As the national trade organization for the commercial theatre industry, the League created the New York Education Grants in 2002. The League also sponsors a granting program to support road presenters' education programs that involve touring Broadway productions. Both awards were established by the League's Education Committee. They are generously supported by Theatre Development Fund.

"The 2005 award recipients have created opportunities for students to experience Broadway, further encouraging a lifelong appreciation for the arts, while developing academic and social skills," commented Jed Bernstein, President of the League of American Theatres and Producers, Inc. "Both programs also offer teachers innovative learning strategies using theatre to heighten critical thinking, problem solving-skills, and the examination of relevant social themes. These programs reach out to a diverse population that includes students who may not otherwise have an opportunity to experience Broadway theatre due to financial constraints or geographic location."

Manhattan Theatre Club's production of "Brooklyn Boy"

The Broadway play, Brooklyn Boy, will serve as an excellent model of playwriting and production for the 1,150 high school students, teachers and family members that will participate in these educational initiatives. Manhattan Theatre Club's Education Program explores topics that concern young people and affect them deeply such as poverty, violence, love, loss and maturation through the study, writing and performance of theatre.

Manhattan Theatre Club (MTC) will conduct two Student Matinee performances, in conjunction with this production, serving 27 New York area high schools. Participating students will experience in-class instruction led by MTC teaching artists prior to the matinees, and then take part in a post-show discussion with the cast and/or playwright. To prepare for this program, MTC will also offer a Professional Development Workshop to prepare teachers with implementation techniques for teaching theatre and dramatic literature in the classroom.

Educational outreach for "Avenue Q," Chicago," "Little Women," "Rent" and "Sweet Charity," administed by StudentsLive!

Educational programs are currently underway to educate students attending the following Broadway productions:"Avenue Q," "Chicago," "Little Women: The Musical," "Rent" and "Sweet Charity"

StudentsLive!, which is administering these programs, specifically targets economically depressed schools in order to reach students who have never before attended an arts education program in conjunction with a Broadway show.

At matinee performances, StudentsLive! conducts special classes which explore a show's particular history and themes, enablings students to learn about the following:

 

  • "Avenue Q" -- puppetry, real world financial economics, the fight against racism, and TV sitcoms of the 1980's.
  • "Chicago" -- the work of Bob Fosse, Chicago in the 1920's, and the American media.
  • "Little Women: The Musical" -- the life of Louisa May Alcott, America during the Civil War, and the role of women in American history.
  • "Rent" -- the HIV AIDS epidemic, alternative lifestyles, Puccini's La Boheme, and rock musicals.
  • "Sweet Charity" -- the show's background, its original creative team, the history of dance choreography in the American musical, and the cultural atmosphere of New York City in the 1960s.

A variety of Broadway master classes are also given immediately prior to performances, focusing on music, acting, dance and design.

Student's Live! programs serve an estimated 10,000 to 15,000 students from the widest demographic range of diverse cultural, ethnic, gender and socioeconomic school districts, business forums and continuing adult education arenas throughout the country.

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 500-plus members include theatre owners and operators, producers, presenters, and general managers in over 140 North American cities, as well as suppliers of goods and services to the theatre industry. Each year, League members bring Broadway to nearly 30 million people in New York and on tour across the U.S. and Canada.


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