Bonnie Milligan, Caitlin Kinnunen and More to Perform at Broadway Back To School Benefit
The fourth annual Broadway Back to School, benefitting theatre education programs for underserved schools, takes place September 23 at Feinstein's 54 Below in New York City. The event, produced by the Educational Theatre Foundation (ETF) is chaired and hosted by Tony-nominated playwright and Vice President of the ETF National Board of Trustees Hunter Bell ([title of show], Found).
In addition to International Thespian Society student performers from New York and New Jersey, the show will feature performances by professionals who are giving back to school theatre including: Preston Max Allen (We Are The Tigers, Never Better); Jeremy Brown (ASL Cabaret, Fiddler on the Roof); Morgan Siobhan Green (Between the Lines); Caitlin Kinnunen (THE PROM, Spring Awakening, Law & Order: SVU); Justin Gregory Lopez (Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert on NBC, Evita, In the Heights); Michael Maliakel (Anything Can Happen: The Songs of Maury Yeston, Monsoon Wedding); Marcy & Zina (Ever After, The Marcy and Zina Show); Bonnie Milligan (Head over Heels, Kinky Boots, Search Party on TBS); Renee Rapp (2018 Jimmy Award winner for Best Actress); and Garrett Zuercher (Deaf West's international Broadway tour of Big River, Law & Order: Criminal Intent, Wonderstruck).
Key leaders in education and the theatrical industry will be honored with the inaugural Broadway Back to School Award recognizing their impact in building access and excellence in school theatre: Freddie Gershon, Co-Chairman of Music Theatre International (MTI), and Dr. Sharon Dunn, formerly Senior Manager for Arts Education for the New York City Department of Education.
"Having the opportunity to experience theatre in school changes lives," said ETF President, Julie Cohen Theobald, "and with the help of theatre enthusiasts, we're working to help more students have the experience of feeling accepted, valued, and part of something larger than themselves."
Seating is limited; tickets are available online.
Serving as the creative team for Broadway Back to School are: Hunter Bell (co-producer & emcee), Hans Weichhart (co-producer), Seth Rettberg (director), Christine Riley (music director), and John Conover (stage manager).
The host committee for Broadway Back to School is: Hunter Bell, Chair; Sarah Jane Arnegger; Dori Berinstein; Michael DiBianco; Mark Drum; Nancy and Ken Duffy; Mathew Hagmeier; Glenn Halcomb; Jim Hoare; Courtney Kochuba; Carolyn Little; Tim McDonald; John Prignano; Kim Rogers; and Abbie Van Nostrand.
The Educational Theatre Foundation was launched November, 2017, as the philanthropic arm of the Educational Theatre Association, which is the home of the International Thespian Society. ETF provides essential financial support to enhance excellence in theatre education and to expand access to school theatre programs for every child, putting them on a more positive life path. ETF is focused on three areas: JumpStart Theatre-to create sustainable musical theatre programs where there previously were none; need-based grants to schools-to provide teaching and performance resources and equipment in under-resourced schools; and, merit and need-based grants to individuals-to nurture the next generation of theatre teachers and artists. In its first year ETF has awarded more than $650,000 in grants, directly impacting high school theatre programs in 50 cities, and enabling the development of musical theatre programs in underserved middle schools in six states.
Photo Credit: Walter McBride / WM Photos