Vineyard Theatre Partners with Developing Artists for Arts-in-Education Program

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Vineyard Theatre's Artistic Directors, Douglas Aibel and Sarah Stern, are excited to announce a partnership with Developing Artists, a non-profit arts education organization led by Artistic Director Jill DeArmon and Executive Director Jinn S. Kim. The two organizations have partnered to expand the education initiatives of both companies and co-present Developing Artists' REBEL VERSES Youth Arts Festival, July 27-August 5, 2017 at Vineyard Theatre 108 E. 15 St. in New York City.

Founded in 2001, REBEL VERSES Youth Arts Festival is a two-week event that brings together youth performing companies from across the United States to perform with, be inspired by, and network with their peers. Vineyard Theatre will provide a venue for the festival along with resources to produce the event.

In the 2015-2016 season, Vineyard Theatre hired DeArmon and Kim as Education Directors to lead The Vineyard's ongoing Arts-in-Education Program, which launched in 1999 in partnership with neighbor Washington Irving High School and the Union Square Partnership. The Vineyard's education initiatives include meaningful opportunities for learning centered on its season productions, which students see in special matinee performances; as well as "Theatre Boot Camp" intensive workshops during winter and spring break; The Vineyard Theatre Student Ensemble after-school program; and ongoing in-class programs, including master classes with professional artists, that are tailored to support teachers' curricula. The Vineyard currently works with students and teachers at Gramercy Arts High School, The Academy for Software Engineering, and Union Square Academy for Health Science. All programs are offered at no cost to students or their schools. This season, DeArmon and Kim will expand the after-school program to incorporate Developing Artists' student-empowering education techniques, with special focus on original writing and the creation of new work.

Vineyard Theatre Artistic Director Sarah Stern said, "The Vineyard launched our educational programs with public high school students 17 years ago with a mission to make a difference in the lives of the students and teachers with whom we work, and to empower students' creativity and self-expression through theatre. Over the years, the experiences and the relationships nurtured by these initiatives have been among our most rewarding as a company. We have long admired and felt a kinship with Developing Artists and their mission to empower young artists to create original work and have their voices be heard. Working with Jill and Jinn over the past year has been a gift to our theatre and to the students in our programs. They are inspiring teachers and guides, and we are thrilled to expand our collaboration with them and Developing Artists and to host the incredible REBEL VERSES Youth Arts Festival. We hope the partnership between our companies will result in even more opportunities for students to take ownership of theatre as a means of gaining knowledge and expressing ideas, be it as artists or audience members."

DeArmon agrees: "We are thrilled to partner with Vineyard Theatre who share a common goal for 'new work, bold programming, and the support of artists.' This new home at Vineyard Theatre allows us a place where we can work to enhance the current programs and synergize on new projects that will serve even more young artists and audiences. With Vineyard Theatre as the headquarters of REBEL VERSES, we can continue to grow on an international scale that youth companies from around the world will recognize and desire to be a part of."

Developing Artists (www.developingartists.org) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing opportunities for underdog teens to reach their full potential through a practical application of the performing arts. Since 1999, Developing Artists has helped kids find their place and their connection to their community through participation in the arts. Developing Artists' signature innovation is the creation of REBEL VERSES Youth Arts Festival that unites an underserved segment of the theater community; one that celebrates the voice of young artists by inviting the best youth performing arts companies around to participate in an annual two-week festival. Developing Artists' Board of Directors has been joined by David Zayas (Fox: "Gotham," Showtime: "Dexter"), Ana Ortiz (ABC: "Ugly Betty," Lifetime: "Devious Maids") and Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Stephen Adly Guirgis (Co Creator & Executive Producer of "The Get Down"), because they believe passionately in the organization's mission.

Dedicated to the creation and production of daring new plays and musicals, Vineyard Theatre has consistently premiered provocative, groundbreaking works, including last season's DOT by Colman Domingo, and Paula Vogel and Rebecca Taichman's INDECENT, along with previous productions including Branden Jacobs-Jenkins' Pulitzer Prize finalist GLORIA; Nicky Silver's THE LYONS; Marx, Lopez and Whitty's Tony Award-winning musical AVENUE Q; Kander and Ebb's THE SCOTTSBORO BOYS; Bell and Bowen's [title of show]; Paula Vogel's HOW I LEARNED TO DRIVE (1998 Pulitzer Prize); Edward Albee's THREE TALL WOMEN (1994 Pulitzer Prize); Tarell Alvin McCraney's WIG OUT!; Becky Mode's FULLY COMMITTED; Jenny Schwartz' GOD'S EAR; Will Eno's MIDDLETOWN; and many more. The Vineyard's productions have been honored with two Pulitzer Prizes, three Tony Awards, and numerous Drama Desk, Obie, Outer Critics Circle and Lucille Lortel awards.

Developing Artists fall classes are currently full. Enrollment for Winter/Spring session are open and scholarships are available for students who qualify. More information on Developing Artists and class registration can be found at www.developingartists.org.

Follow Vineyard Theatre on Facebook: vineyardtheatrenyc, Twitter: @vineyardtheatre, and Instagram: @vineyardtheatre. More information available atwww.vineyardtheatre.org.



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