Sergio Trujillo, Kathleen Marshall, Kimberly Marable & More to Take Part in TDF's Wendy Wasserstein Project Ceremony

TDF Wendy Wasserstein Project mentors include Kathleen Chalfant, James Lapine, Eric Ulloa and more.

By: Jun. 06, 2023
Sergio Trujillo, Kathleen Marshall, Kimberly Marable & More to Take Part in TDF's Wendy Wasserstein Project Ceremony

On Monday, June 12 at 5 p.m., TDF will host its annual Wendy Wasserstein Project ceremony at The Gerald W. Lynch Theater at John Jay College (524 West 59th Street). Founded as Open Doors in 1998 by TDF and Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Wendy Wasserstein, this unique arts mentorship program pairs top theatre professionals with NYC-area public high school students for a season of shows and conversation. This special celebration will open with a performance of “Livin’ It Up on Top”  by Hadestown original cast member Kimberly Marable, (who is currently starring “Velma Kelly” in Chicago).

“This year the TDF Wendy Wasserstein Project was fully back up to speed, with all the students, teachers, and mentors seeing live and in person theatre and then sitting down afterward to share a meal and their thoughts and feelings,” said Ginger Bartkoski Meagher, Director of TDF Education Programs. “We laughed, we cried, we spoke freely about the past few years. We saw our own joys and traumas reflected to us from many stages as the curtain went up and the lights went down. We shared with authenticity about how theatre changes us, lifts us up, and gives us a way to see the world. Most importantly, we created our own communities of support, love, and friendship.”

Wendy Wasserstein always said that “theatregoing is the birthright of every New Yorker,” and TDF’s Wendy Wasserstein Project operates on that belief. Every season, dedicated theatre and dance professionals mentor groups of eight underserved New York City high school students, bringing each cohort to six performances on Broadway and beyond throughout the school year. Every outing is followed by a lively post-show discussion, and the students keep journals of their theatre experiences, which are reviewed by and discussed with their mentors. Through this personal and dynamic interaction, TDF's Wendy Wasserstein Project fosters a deep appreciation of theatre and an understanding of its relevance in the students’ lives. 

In 2012, TDF's Wendy Wasserstein Project became the first arts education program to receive a special Tony Honor for Excellence in the Theatre. During the 2022-2023 season, 28 mentors worked with 22 groups of students from NYC-area public high schools. To help continue their theatregoing journey, all participants received free TDF memberships.


The 2022-23 TDF Wendy Wasserstein Project mentors and the schools the students attend:



Marc Acito, playwright – Renaissance High School for Musical Theater & the Arts, the Bronx

Mark Brokaw, director – Robert F. Kennedy Community High School, Queens

Kathleen Chalfant, actress - High School of Telecommunication Arts & Technology, Brooklyn

Rachel Chanoff, producer/performing arts programmer, and Keith Randolph Smith, actor – Cicely L. Tyson Community School of Performing and Fine Arts, East Orange, NJ

Dawn Chiang, lighting designer – KAPPA International High School, the Bronx

Dominic Colon, actor, Brooklyn High School of the Arts, Brooklyn

Alexander Dinelaris, playwright/director, and Cindy Fernandez, producer – Community School for Social Justice, the Bronx
Ira Mont, stage manager – Repertory Company High School for Theatre Arts, Manhattan

Scott Ellis, director, and Joe DiPietro, playwright/lyricist – All Hallows High School, the Bronx

Peter Friedman, actor – Fannie Lou Hamer Freedom High School, the Bronx

Anne Hamburger, producer – The Urban Assembly School for the Performing Arts, Manhattan

Natasha Katz, lighting designer – Frank Sinatra School of the Arts High School, Queens

James Lapine, writer/director, and Stephen Karam, playwright – William Cullen Bryant High School, Queens

Robert Longbottom, director/choreographer – Millennium High School, Manhattan
Aubrey Lynch II, dancer/choreographer - Talent Unlimited High School, Manhattan

Kathleen Marshall, director/choreographer – Bronx Health Sciences High School, the Bronx

Derek McLane, set designer – Edward R. Murrow High School, Brookyn

Dick Scanlan, playwright/director/actor – Science Skills High School, Brooklyn

Sergio Trujillo, choreographer, and Luis Salgado, – Pan American International High School, Queens

Eric Ulloa, actor/playwright – Gaynor McCown Expeditionary Learning School, Staten Island

Serena Wong, lighting designer, and Leonardo Sandoval, dancer/choreographer – Flushing International High School, Queens

David Zippel, lyricist/director – The Young Women’s Leadership School of East Harlem, Manhattan



Founded in 1968, TDF (formerly known as Theatre Development Fund) is a not-for-profit service organization dedicated to bringing the power of the performing arts to everyone. TDF’s mission is to sustain live theatre and dance by engaging a broad and diverse audience and eliminating barriers to attendance. We fulfill our mission with a variety of programs that expand access, cultivate communities and support the makers of the performing arts.


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