Viola Davis, Jeremy Shamos, Nina Hellman & More to Join Brooklyn Children's Theatre Gala

This year's fundraising gala celebrates the launch of BCT's groundbreaking VIOLA DAVIS SUMMER PROGRAM.

Celebrate Memorial Day with Discounts on Broadway Favorites in our Theatre Shop!

Celebrate Memorial Day with Discounts on Broadway Favorites in our Theatre Shop!

On April 25, Viola Davis will join Brooklyn Children's Theatre for a night of music and celebration to support musical theatre scholarships for hundreds of Brooklyn children.

The gala will take place at 26 Bridge in Brooklyn. Tony nominee Jeremy Shamos (Better Call Saul) and Nina Hellman (Wet Hot American Summer) will host; Aisha Jackson (Once Upon a One More Time) and Manu Narayan (Company) will also be performing. Major sponsors of the gala include award-winning song writing team Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez (Frozen, Coco, Wanda Vision, Up Here), Morgan Stanley Global Sports & Entertainment, and Grantmakers For Girls of Color. Limited sponsorship packages and tickets are available Click Here.

This year's fundraising gala celebrates the launch of BCT's groundbreaking Viola Davis SUMMER PROGRAM. Newly named in honor of the award-winning actress and producer, the workshops will provide invaluable musical theatre instruction to youth with limited resources for summer enrichment.

"It's important for kids to do theatre because it helps them to express themselves in a way they cannot, or feel they can't, in their regular life," Ms. Davis told BCT students. "It's the one place where you can get all kinds of different people to come together into one community. Theatre has been the joy of my life. It really has."

Viola Davis is a critically revered, award-winning actress, producer, and New York Times best-selling author. She's also a newly crowned EGOT, having won Emmy (How to Get Away with Murder), Grammy (audiobook memoir, Finding Me), Oscar (Fences) and Tony (Fences and King Hedley II) awards. JuVee Productions, founded by Davis and her husband Julius Tennon, creates impactful and culturally relevant narratives such as The Woman King and Hungry For Answers.

When BCT students interviewed Ms. Davis, she encouraged them to celebrate their creativity, raise their voices, and chase big dreams. "Know that you're good enough. Know that you're worthy. Don't let anyone tell you that you're not good enough or you're not valued, or you're not worthy. You are."

Ms. Davis has corresponded with BCT students remotely for several years. The gala will mark the first time they'll meet their role model in person.

"When I was a little girl, I really needed role models," Ms Davis said. "I grew up really, really poor. Sometimes, I didn't see anyone who looked like me. So, I needed (role models) because sometimes I didn't feel so good about myself or like I could have dreams. So, when little girls come to me and say that I motivate them, or I inspire them, I think about the little girl that I was, and I feel like it makes her happy."

An equity-focused musical theatre company, BCT's mission is to dismantle barriers to the arts by prioritizing scholarships and providing holistic support to families such as social workers and meals. In 20 years, the non-profit has brought performing arts instruction to more than 10,000 Brooklyn children. Every musical is original and child-centered. Every teaching team is at least half BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color), and youth of color are represented in every aspect of the company.

Each year, BCT serves 525 students - ages 6 through 18 - with 75% receiving tuition assistance.

"At BCT we believe that every child - with resources or not - should have access to musical theatre education," said Amy White-Graves, BCT Founder and Executive Director. "The creative joy, sense of belonging and life skills that come from performing a musical with one's peers is invaluable."

BCT's Viola Davis Summer Program is an opportunity to serve students when they need it most - during the long break from school. BCT is Click Here to provide full scholarships for every child who needs one.

BCT is creating the world it wants to see, building a place where children from every corner of Brooklyn come together to lift their voices, celebrate art, and find joy.


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