Dallas Theater Center's Project Discovery Receives Theatre Forward Staging Success Contribution Supported by AT&T

Dallas Theater Center (DTC) is pleased to announce involvement in the Theatre Forward Staging Success Initiative supported by AT&T. DTC's nationally recognized educational program, Project Discovery, will be one of four programs across the country to be measured and evaluated as part of this initiative to study the impact of theatre education on school engagement and participation. The Staging Success study, benefiting almost entirely Title 1 students, spans a two-year time period, tracking participation, school engagement and students' beliefs and attitudes over time with exposure to 21st century skills.

In addition to supporting DTC's Project Discovery, Staging Success will measure programs at American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco, Denver Center for the Performing Arts' and Seattle Repertory. Theatre Forward is committed to advancing American theatre and its communities by providing funding and other resources to their membership of 19 of the country's leading nonprofit theatres.

"Project Discovery at Dallas Theater Center is helping DISD students develop important communication, collaboration and creative skills that get them excited about learning and staying in school" said Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings. "With the support of AT&T, this collaboration with the Theatre Forward Staging Success Initiative will help measure results of the program and bring valuable learnings to help even more students succeed."

Project Discovery is a catalyst for young people to explore their place in the world. This yearlong afterschool program brings together diverse teens through on-your-feet activities and curriculum-related content for five productions at the theatre during the school year. As they experience plays among an adult audience, participating students learn to be engaged arts patrons, with the self-assurance to discuss ideas with peers and adults alike. Since 1986, Project Discovery has helped over 265,000 students and teachers to experience and study live, professional theatre.

"Dallas Theater Center and Project Discovery are immensely grateful for AT&T and Theatre Forward for supporting programming that affords students access to unique experiences in the arts," said DTC's Director of Education Morgana Wilborn. "It is our hope that through the Staging Success study we can clearly see the direct influence and impact that programs, such as Project Discovery, have on the trajectory of a young person's life."

Bruce E. Whitacre, Theatre Forward Executive Director said, "Theatre Forward is honored to have the support of AT&T to help demonstrate the impact of theatre education on at risk high school students' engagement in school. AT&T's support recognizes the crucial roles these theatre education programs play in their communities, and acknowledges the commitment of Dallas Theater Center to ensuring it meets the needs of young people at this formative point in their lives. Staging Success brings greater rigor to the process of defining and documenting outcomes of theatre education initiatives, and helps to fulfill our vision to increase access and opportunity for all. Theatre builds community and sets the stage for individual achievement. We are looking forward to working on this project with all our partners, and to helping advance theatre education around the country with these findings."

ABOUT Dallas Theater Center:

One of the leading regional theaters in the country, Dallas Theater Center (DTC) performs to an audience of more than 100,000 North Texas residents annually. Founded in 1959, DTC is now a resident company of the AT&T Performing Arts Center and presents its Mainstage season at the Dee and Charles Wyly Theatre, designed by REX/OMA, Joshua Prince-Ramus and Rem Koolhaas and at its original home, the Kalita Humphreys Theater, the only freestanding theater designed and built by Frank Lloyd Wright. DTC is one of only two theaters in Texas that is a member of the League of Resident Theatres, the largest and most prestigious non-profit professional theater association in the country. Under the leadership of Artistic Director Kevin Moriarty and Managing Director Jeffrey Woodward, DTC produces a seven-play subscription series of classics, musicals and new plays and an annual production of A Christmas Carol; extensive education programs, including the National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award-winning Project Discovery, SummerStage and partnerships with Southern Methodist University's Meadows School of the Arts, Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts and South Oak Cliff High School; and community collaboration efforts with the Sixth Floor Museum, the City of Dallas, North Texas Food Bank, the Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas Public Library, Dallas Holocaust Museum, Dallas Opera, Dallas Black Dance Theater, and leading the DFW Foote Festival. Throughout its history, DTC has produced many new works, including The Texas Trilogy by Preston Jones in 1978, Robert Penn Warren's All the King's Men, adapted by Adrian Hall, in 1986, and recent premieres of Deferred Action by Lee Trull and David Lozano, Clarkston by Samuel D. Hunter; Moonshine: That Hee Haw Musical by Robert Horn, BRandy Clark, and Shane McAnally; FLY by Rajiv Joseph, Bill Sherman and Kirsten Childs; Fly by Night by Kim Rosenstock, Michael Mitnick and Will Connolly; Giant by Michael John LaChiusa and Sybille Pearson; The Trinity River Plays by ReGina Taylor; the revised It's a Bird... It's a Plane... It's Superman by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, Charles Strouse and Lee Adams; Give It Up! (now titled Lysistrata Jones and recently on Broadway) by Douglas Carter Beane and Lewis Flinn; Sarah, Plain and Tall by Julia Jordan, Laurence O'Keefe and Nell Benjamin; and The Good Negro by Tracey Scott Wilson. Dallas Theater Center gratefully acknowledges the support of our season sponsors: Texas Instruments, American Airlines, Lexus, City of Dallas Office of Cultural Affairs, Time Warner Cable and WFAA.

ABOUT THEATRE FORWARD:

Based in New York City, Theatre Forward's mission is to advance the American theatre and its communities. We achieve our mission by providing funding and other resources to the country's leading nonprofit theatres. Theatre Forward aims to increase access and opportunity for all to experience theatre that builds community and sets the stage for individual achievement. Our focus is on "Educating Through Theatre" and "Advancing Strong Theatre." Theatre Forward's "Educating Through Theatre" supports educational access and opportunities throughout our network of 19 theatres at every grade level and beyond. We support the development of 21st century workforce skills, social emotional learning competencies and individual cultural/global competencies, and measurement and assessment design for programs with an emphasis on underserved and underrepresented youth and adults. "Advancing Strong Theatre" supports theatre productions advancing Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) goals for a targeted underserved and under-represented community that complement each theatre's trajectory of organizational change.

ABOUT PHILANTHROPY & SOCIAL INNOVATION AT AT&T:

AT&T is committed to advancing education, strengthening communities and improving lives. Through its community initiatives, AT&T has a long history of investing in projects that create learning opportunities; promote academic and economic achievement; or address community needs. AT&T Aspire is AT&T's signature philanthropic initiative that drives innovation in education by bringing diverse resources to bear on the issue including funding, technology, employee volunteerism, and mentoring. Through Aspire, we've passed the $250 million mark on our plan to invest $350 million in education from 2008-2017.

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