John Oliver to Host Brooklyn Children's Theatre Gala Honoring LaChanze & More

The gala, being held at Edison Ballroom, will include performances by Tamika Lawrence, Kristolyn Lloyd, and Micaela Diamond.

By: Apr. 01, 2024
John Oliver to Host Brooklyn Children's Theatre Gala Honoring LaChanze & More
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On April 8, award-winning actor/comedian John Oliver along with Tony nominee Jeremy Shamos (Only Murders in the Building, The Gilded Age) and Nina Hellman (Wet Hot American Summer) will host Brooklyn Children's Theatre (BCT) 20th Anniversary Gala for a night of music and celebration to support musical theater scholarships for hundreds of Brooklyn children.

BCT will honor Dr. Monique Couvson, CEO of Grantmakers for Girls of Color and award-winning author, and Broadway legend LaChanze, who will receive the "Beautiful Me: Achievement in the Arts Award."

"BCT fills an important gap in the landscape of musical theater by elevating the unique and dynamic creative voices of children. I am excited to be in community with them in celebration of their 20th anniversary," said Dr. Couvson.

The gala, being held at Edison Ballroom, will include performances by Tamika Lawrence, Kristolyn Lloyd, and Micaela Diamond.

Over the span of 20 years BCT has introduced more than 10,000 children to the magic of musical theater. Each year, BCT serves 550 students - ages six through 18. 75% of students attend at no cost or by scholarship. Programs include the Viola Davis Summer Program which was launched in 2023 by the actress herself; BCT's free weekend program; and, the MainStage program, where children collaborate with professional artists to create and perform original musicals.

This year, BCT is proud to announce and launch the Monica Selter Scholarship Fund, named for BCT's Advisory Council member who passed away in 2017. Monica spent her lifetime advocating for civil rights and social justice. The Monica Selter Scholarship Fund provides scholarships for the MainStage program - where her children grew up. MainStage enables students who would not otherwise have access to musical theater to be centered by creating a space where they can give voice to their ideas for stories and perform original musicals they help create.

BCT's mission is to empower youth through reimagined musical theatre education, prioritizing equity and belonging as children create and perform original musicals.

"We found that it wasn't enough to give a few scholarships to low-income students - there were too many barriers to an equitable experience," said Amy White-Graves, BCT's founder and executive director. "Since the pandemic, we have been intentional about dismantling systems in traditional musical theatre education that prohibit the participation and growth of students from historically excluded communities. Competitive settings can make some kids shut-down, especially if they have experienced trauma or have anxiety. At BCT, we prioritize community building and social-emotional well-being in the context of creating original musicals."

Major sponsors of the gala include award-winning song writing team Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez, Grantmakers For Girls of Color, and Amika. Limited gala sponsorship packages and tickets are available here.




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