Marty Markowitz to Cut Ribbon for Vital Theatre's FOOTLOOSE, 5/2


Vital Theatre Company, Linda Ames Key, Education Director and BROOKLYN THEATRE ARTS HIGH SCHOOL, Amy Murphy, Principal - partners in one of six small schools in the South Shore Educational Complex located in Canarsie, Brooklyn - today announced that Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz will cut the ribbon for the newly renovated South Shore Auditorium on Wednesday, May 2nd at 9:00 am. The ribbon cutting will be followed by a proclamation for the inaugural production, "Footloose" and a performance of the show at 10:00 am. The South Shore Educational Complex is located at 6565 Flatlands Avenue, Brooklyn and is the largest high school auditorium in New York City.

The auditorium renovation was made possible with funds from the Borough Presidents' office and included updates to the electrical system, 150 new theatrical lighting instruments, a new sound system, wireless microphones and structural renovation that will improve acoustics in the 750-seat auditorium. The renovation will also facilitate the creation of a technical theatre curriculum and will allow Brooklyn Theatre Arts students to study stage management, lighting, sound, costume and projection design through hands-on experiential classes in the auditorium.

The Brooklyn Theatre Arts fall musical "Footloose" is directed by Brooklyn Theatre Arts drama teacher Erica Giglio, choreographed by Vital Theatre Company teaching artist Harold Lewter, musical direction by Vital Theatre Company teaching artist Jad Bernardo, produced by Brooklyn Theatre Arts drama teacher Danielle Duffy and production managed by Dee Dee Katchen, will feature a cast of 36 students and a technical crew of 15 students who will perform for over 200 middle school students from Canarsie area schools.

Vital Theatre Company, founder and Lead Partner with Brooklyn Theatre Arts High School, facilitates student productions and offers four twelve-week residencies that integrate theatre arts into the core academic curriculum in order to fully engage students, while simultaneously building self esteem and teaching the skills necessary for creative expression.

Since its founding, Brooklyn Theatre Arts has been identified as an Arts Achieve School, part of a special initiative by the Department of Education's longitudinal study of the effects of arts learning. Nine Brooklyn Theatre Arts seniors in the first graduating class graduated in May of 2011 with a NYC Chancellor's Endorsed Diploma with a special designation in Theatre and 100 percent of Brooklyn Theatre Art's senior class applied to and were accepted into college and received over $400,000 in scholarships. In 2010, Brooklyn Theatre Arts Senior Jared Finley won the National August Wilson Monologue Competition and received a scholarship to Point Park Conservatory in Pittsburgh, PA, where he now attends and was recently featured in the film THE ST(ART) OF DREAMS as part of th! e Atlanta Film Festival. Brooklyn Theatre Arts students have been accepted into BAM's Brooklyn Reads, Art and Justice and Dance into the Future! Programs; The Kevin Spacey Foundation's Richard's Rampage; CAT Youth Theatre; Stella Adler's Shakespeare Program and Summer Training program; and Wingspan Arts' Summer Conservatory. Six 2012 Brooklyn Theatre Arts Seniors were finalists for the Posse Foundation Scholarship. Brooklyn Theatre Arts has been the recipient of funding from New York State Council on the Arts, Department of Cultural Affairs, Mary Duke Biddle Foundation, CAE "Parents as Arts Partners" Grant and NAMM Foundation/Disney's "The Music in You" grant to produce "High School Musical."

Other schools sharing the South Shore Educational Complex include Academy of Conservation (Eugene Mazzola, Principal), Brooklyn Bridge Academy (Max Jean Paul, Principal), Brooklyn Generations (Lydia Colon-Bomani, Principal), Victory Collegiate (Marcel Deans, Principal) and YABC/GED (Nancy Velez, Principal).

Vital Theatre Company, located on the upper West side of Manhattan, commissions four to five new musicals for children each season. Since its founding in 1999, Vital Theatre Company has been honored with two AWARDS FOR EXCELLENCE by the Off Off Broadway Review and has received high acclaim from audiences and critics alike for being "a wonderful place for parents to introduce their kids to the glories of live theatre, done well and at modest prices." Now in its 13th season, the company is dedicated to producing entertaining and educational theatre for young audiences. To date, the company has presented 60 original productions for over 284,000 children and their families.

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