Patti LuPone Joins Broadway Back to School Gala Celebrating Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman

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Patti LuPone Joins Broadway Back to School Gala Celebrating Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman

Patti LuPone, the multiple Tony, Grammy, and Olivier Award winner, will be on hand for the Broadway Back to Schoolgala honoring her good friends Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman on Sunday, September 22, 2019, at 6:30 p.m. at the Edison Ballroom (228 W 47th Street). Shaiman and Wittman are receiving the Broadway Back to School Award recognizing their impact as key leaders in the theatrical industry and education in building access and excellence in school theatre. The gala is a benefit for the Educational Theatre Foundation (ETF) which provides financial support for theatre education programs for schools in need.

LuPone is joining special guest Chita Rivera, as well as an all-star cast including John Cariani, Gavin Creel, Megan Hilty, Evan Ruggiero, Alex Stone, and J. Harrison Ghee who will be appearing as Crystal Demure. Due to a scheduling conflict Laura Benanti will step into the role of host in place of Celia Keenan-Bolger.

Broadway Back to School is the only event where professional artists share their talents alongside award-winning student Thespians from across the country. (Thespians are members of the International Thespian Society, the honor organization for middle and high school theatre students, with 2.4 million alums, currently celebrating its 90th anniversary.) In addition to Thespian host Brannon Evans of Nebraska, and Thespian playwright Jared Goudsmit of Missouri, whose work will be performed, Thespian Shreya Muju of Virginia, winner of the 2019 Amy Bennett Musical Theatre Scholarship, will also be featured in the evening. About two dozen Thespians will work with professionals onstage and behind the scenes.

Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS will also be honored with the Standing Ovation Award from the Educational Theatre Association (EdTA), which is ETF's parent organization. The award recognizes a corporation or organization that makes significant contributions to EdTA in supporting its mission of "shaping lives through theatre education" through philanthropic efforts, programs, and activities.

In announcing the award, Julie Cohen Theobald, EdTA's Executive Director praised BC/EFA for their 20-year partnership with the International Thespian Society where they have worked with literally thousands of students and teachers to raise funds for significant charitable efforts, often providing the first access these students have to the Broadway theatre community, inspiring them to dream big, hone their craft, and feel a part of the theatrical industry.

Beginning in the 2019-20 school year, BC/EFA will be the charitable partner supporting New Troupe Charter Grants, funding the charter of an International Thespian Society troupe and induction for up to ten students in Title 1 schools with established theatre programs.

The production team for 2019 Broadway Back to School is led by Artistic Director/Concept Creator J. Jason Daunter, Production Stage Manager for Broadway's To Kill a Mockingbird and the upcoming West Side Story; with Creative Producer Matt Conover, Vice President, Entertainment, Disneyland Resort and chair of the ETF National Board of Trustees; Musical Director Christine Riley; Associate Director/Choreographer Jeff Whiting, founder Open Jar Institute and Board of Directors Educational Theatre Association; Musical Arranger P. Jason Yarcho; Lighting Designer Herrick Goldman; Sound Designer Kyle Cole; and Line Producer Hans Weichhart.

Visit to purchase tickets to Broadway Back to School. For more information on ETF, Broadway Back to School, and more, visit, call 513-977-5539, or contact

Photo Credit: Walter McBride / WM Photos

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