16 U.S. High Schools Awarded $10,000 To Perform THE UNSINKABLE MOLLY BROWN

Educational Theatre Foundation, The Music Man Foundation, and Music Theatre International enable recipients to produce the musical.

By: May. 15, 2024
16 U.S. High Schools Awarded $10,000 To Perform THE UNSINKABLE MOLLY BROWN
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Sixteen U.S. high schools will receive $10,000 each to perform a new, revised version of The Unsinkable Molly Brown.

They are the second group of schools to receive the grants from The Educational Theatre Foundation (ETF), The Music Man Foundation (TMMF) and Music Theatre International (MTI), which partnered in 2023 to provide accredited high schools with the opportunity to produce Dick Scanlan's updated version of the Meredith Willson musical in 2024 or 2025.

The newest grant recipients:

  • Baldwin High School, Baldwin, N.Y.
  • Cambridge High School, Cambridge, Wis.
  • Christian Heritage School, Trumbull, Conn.
  • Decatur Central High School, Indianapolis
  • Everett High School, Lansing, Mich.
  • Hickory High School, Chesapeake, Va.
  • The Weber School, Atlanta
  • Montrose High School, Montrose, Colo.
  • Mount Carmel Academy, New Orleans
  • Pittsburg High School, Pittsburg, Kan.
  • Randolph High School, Randolph, N.J.
  • Rowlett High School, Rowlett, Texas
  • Salmon Junior/Senior High School, Salmon, Idaho
  • Shorewood High School, Shoreline, Wash.
  • Terre Haute North Vigo High School, Terre Haute, Ind.
  • Valley Regional High School, Deep River, Conn.

The Unsinkable Molly Brown Grant seeks to enhance the capacity of school theatre programs to impact students, educators, and their communities at large. Like the initial recipients, these schools were selected for their plans to use the show to engage their school and surrounding population in themes present in the musical, including women's and immigrants' rights, community-building, and the civic-minded “share-the-luck spirit” embodied by Molly Brown.

“Using theatre as a means to promote racial equity and spark social activism in underserved populations is a key part of ETF's mission,” said Matt Conover, chair of ETF's board of trustees. “We're thrilled that these schools and their communities will have the opportunity to engage with this revised classic in new and empowering ways.”

“This announcement comes in time for the 122nd birthday of Meredith Willson, who wrote the music and original lyrics for The Unsinkable Molly Brown and in whose honor The Music Man Foundation was established,” says Tom Camp, president of the Foundation. "We can't think of a better way to celebrate Meredith's legacy than by offering many more high schools across the country the opportunity to delve into The Unsinkable Molly Brown's new book.”

The Unsinkable Molly Brown is the rags-to-riches love story of Molly and James Joseph “JJ” Brown, owners of the richest mine in the United States at the turn of the 20th century. The show features music and lyrics by Meredith Willson, and a book and additional lyrics by Tony-nominated author Dick Scanlan (Thoroughly Modern Millie, Everyday Rapture) based on the original book by Richard Henry Morris.

Dick Scanlan's work updating this classic for new performers and audience members is outstanding,” said John Prignano, MTI's chief operating officer and director of development and education. “The result is a fantastic new show that resonates today while maintaining the heart and spirit of Willson's and Morris' original golden-age masterpiece.”

The revitalized version of The Unsinkable Molly Brown is currently available for licensing from MTI. A free read of the revised script as well as selections from a new cast recording are available on MTI's website.

About the Educational Theatre Foundation

The Educational Theatre Foundation is the fundraising arm of the Educational Theatre Association (EdTA). ETF's mission is to advance the field of educational theatre by broadening representation and increasing access for all. The Foundation achieves this by subsidizing new, emerging, and underserved student theatre programs, creating paths for theatre educators to develop new skills, and commissioning research to showcase the value of theatre education.

About The Music Man Foundation

The Music Man Foundation is named after the Tony-winning musical written by Meredith Willson. Meredith's widow, Rosemary, started the Foundation in 1998 as the Meredith and Rosemary Willson Charitable Foundation and substantially increased the Foundation's endowment upon her death in 2010. The Foundation's mission is to empower organizations using music to catalyze enduring change and to amplify our founders' musical legacy. Over the last decade, the Foundation has awarded more than $25 million to 85 organizations. In addition to creating The Music Man, Meredith Willson wrote the music and lyrics for The Unsinkable Molly Brown and beloved songs including “It's Beginning to Look Like Christmas” and the University of Iowa fight song.

About Music Theatre International

Music Theatre International (MTI) is one of the world's leading theatrical licensing agencies, granting theatres from around the world the rights to perform the greatest selection of musicals from Broadway and beyond. Founded in 1952 by composer Frank Loesser and orchestrator Don Walker, MTI is a driving force in advancing musical theatre as a vibrant and engaging art form. MTI works directly with the composers, lyricists, and bookwriters of these musicals to provide official scripts, musical materials, and dynamic theatrical resources to over 100,000 professional, community, and school theatres in the US and in over 150 countries worldwide.


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