Music Theatre International Honored With EdTA 2010 Standing Ovation Award, 6/22

Music Theatre International (MTI), the agency that created The Broadway Junior Collection®, which has enabled thousands of schools to stage productions of Broadway shows and the company that licenses some of the best-known titles from Broadway, Off-Broadway, and London's West End, is the recipient of the Educational Theatre Association's (EdTA) 2010 Standing Ovation Award.

John Prignano, MTI's Senior Operations Officer, will accept the award on Tuesday, June 22 during Thespian Festival 2010. The Thespian Festival takes place June 21-26 at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

The EdTA Standing Ovation Award recognizes a corporation or business making significant contributions to promote and strengthen theatre education through its philanthropic efforts or programs and activities. "We have licensed more than 50,000 school productions since we decided to start an education division with school editions and Broadway Junior," says Freddie Gershon, President and CEO of MTI. "The shows are now part of American pop culture, with more students participating every year. We are very proud to be recognized by EdTA."

MTI's contribution to promoting and strengthening theatre education has set the bar for the field, producing a variety of educational resources for musicals. In addition to The Broadway Junior Collection® for elementary and middle schools, MTI produces the School EditionTM musical for high schools, as well as the RehearScore® and OrchEXTRA® products. They've also created musical theatre programming in underserved schools in the New York City area, demonstrating a further belief in and support for theatre in schools.

MTI's relationship with EdTA goes back many years, with MTI being especially supportive of the Thespian Festival. Their generosity and partnership in the production of three Thespian National Company musicals-Ragtime, Thoroughly Modern Millie, and Hairspray-made these shows possible.

"We at MTI are very proud and honored to be receiving this award from EdTA," states Prignano. "MTI has been working with EdTA for over 10 years, and its support and dedication to theatre and education is vital to keeping theatre in the schools and remains a tremendous asset to young talent around the country. As we know, theatre not only teaches how to ‘act,' but it builds many life skills needed to be able to succeed in the world. Because one of MTI's missions is to support initiatives intended to enhance arts and education, EdTA's parallel goals have made it an ideal partner."

"MTI has done so much to help schools and EdTA reach students and engage them in musical theatre," says EdTA Executive Director Michael J. Peitz. "Their support of our Thespian National Company productions and their work publishing teaching materials for Broadway musicals has helped hundreds of teachers and brought the benefits of theatre involvement to thousands of students. It is my pleasure to award MTI the 2010 Standing Ovation Award in recognition of all of their generosity and vision in taking care of the needs of theatre students and teachers."

MTI takes its place in an illustrious group of past recipients of the EdTA Standing Ovation Award, including the Bravo television network (2001), Camp Broadway (2002), Glencoe/McGraw-Hill (2003), Camp Bravo (2004), Procter & Gamble Productions (2005), Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS (2006), Electronic Theatre Controls (2007), and Interactive Educational Video (2008).

For more information on MTI, visit For more information on EdTA, visit

About Music Theatre International
Music Theatre International is one of the world's leading dramatic licensing agencies, protecting the rights and legacies of composers, lyricists and book writers. MTI's core business is issuing licenses, scripts, musical materials and dynamic theatrical resources to schools as well as amateur and professional theatres across the globe.
With over 300 classic and contemporary show titles from Broadway, Off-Broadway, and London's West End, MTI shows have been performed by 60,000 theatrical organizations in the US and in over 60 countries worldwide.

MTI is particularly dedicated to the idea of theatre as education and has created special collections for younger audiences. The Broadway Junior Collection® features 70-minute adaptations of major musicals designed for middle school children to perform; the KIDS Collection®, provides 30-minute musicals for performance by elementary school children; School Editions are musicals that have been annotated for performance by high school students; and the Theatre For Young Audiences Collection, 70-minute musicals designed for adults to perform for children.

About the Thespian Festival

The Thespian Festival is an annual, weeklong event for high school theatre students, celebrating student achievement in the theatre arts. The event features workshops presented by theatre professionals, individual and group performances, programs for technical theatre students, and opportunities to audition for college admission and scholarships. The Thespian Festival is currently held on the campus of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and is presented by the International Thespian Society (ITS), the student honorary of the Educational Theatre Association (EdTA).

About the International Thespian Society

The International Thespian Society (ITS) is an honorary organization for high school and middle school theatre students located at more than 3,900 affiliated secondary schools across America, Canada, and abroad. The mission of ITS is to honor student achievement in the theatre arts. High school inductees are known as "Thespians" and junior high/middle school inductees are known as "Junior Thespians." ITS is a division of the Educational Theatre Association (EdTA).

About the Educational Theatre Association

The Educational Theatre Association (EdTA), as the pre-eminent professional association for theatre arts education, shapes lives by sharing ideas and supporting efforts to have theatre arts education (including film, television, and other related media) recognized in all phases of education and lifelong learning. Our members are a network of theatre arts educators, students, professionals, and enthusiasts. EdTA operates the International Thespian Society (ITS), an honorary organization for middle school and high school theatre students. The organization also publishes Dramatics, a monthly magazine for high school theatre students, and Teaching Theatre, a quarterly journal for theatre education professionals.

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