Signature Theatre Presents the Andrew A. Isen Young Artist Gifts

Signature Theatre Presents the Andrew A. Isen Young Artist Gifts

Washington DC entrepreneur Andrew A Isen joins forces with the Tony Award®-winning Signature Theatre to present The Andrew A. Isen Young Artist Gifts. Each year, Signature Theatre will award $2,500 to a college student from Overtures: The Musical Theater Institute and a Arlington high school student from the Signature in the Schoolsprogram who have demonstrated excellence in their work.

award is funded through a generous gift by Andrew A. Isen and was created to provide opportunities for young people who aspire to a career in the theater. The students will have the freedom to use this money however they best see fit for educational purposes.

"As a lifelong devotee of musical theater, I want to support the future of this art form while making a difference in young performers' lives," said Andrew A. Isen. "Establishing this program in conjunction with Signature Theatre, one of the most esteemed theatres in the country, is a natural fit. Signature offers highly successful educational programs to talented, early-stage performers for whom a financial gift would make a positive impact. I look forward to watching the recipients grow and pursue their careers."

"We are deeply grateful to Andrew for his generous, multi-year funding for this exciting new opportunity for students and emerging artists in our training programs," said Managing Director Maggie Boland. "Signature shares Andrew's commitment to investing in the young people of our community, and we are thrilled that this new partnership will support committed and talented students on their way to becoming great artists and theatre practitioners."

Overtures: The Musical Theater Institute is dedicated to nurturing and training emerging musical theater performers. Designed for college students and recent graduates, Overtures is a unique experience for up to 20 young artists. This two-week intensive, professional training program provides rigorous and comprehensive instruction in vocal and performance technique, dance, acting and audition skills.

Signature in the Schools is a multi-faceted program that enables Arlington high school students to take part in the creation of a world premiere play with dedicated performances at Signature for high school students and the community. The play, written by Signature's Director of New Works Joe Calarco, is specially tailored to the personalities and abilities of the student performers and crew and gives students the chance to participate in a theatrical conversation about issues that matter such as: race relations in America, veteran issues, the Arab Spring, and immigration.

This season's Signature in the Schools' play, 12 Million Footsteps draws parallels between Homer's "The Odyssey" and the sufferings by sea that millions of Syrian refugees have made and are making. With this play, Signature in the Schools continues its 23-year tradition of bringing alive difficult subjects by connecting them to history, politics, current events, and literature.


Founded in 1989, Signature Theatre is a Tony Award®-winning regional theater that broadens and brightens the region's cultural landscape with its bold productions of challenging new and established works and engaging education and outreach programs. Under the leadership of co-founder and Artistic Director Eric Schaeffer and Managing Director Maggie Boland, musical theater has become Signature's "signature," and the Theatre is renowned for its definitive Sondheim productions, inventive adaptations of overlooked or forgotten works, and investment in fresh new projects. Called a "musical theater powerhouse" by The Washington Post, Signature combines Broadway-caliber productions with intimate playing spaces and aims to be a leading force in U.S. musical theater. Since its inception, the Theatre has produced 58 world premiere works-including 19 new musical commissions-and is home to the single largest musical theater commissioning project in the United States, The American Music Voices Project. Attracting talent from the DC metropolitan region and New York, Signature has grown to reach more than 100,000 people annually from the Washington, DC region and beyond. Signature has won 103 Helen Hayes Awards for excellence in the Washington, DC region's professional theater and has been honored with 411 nominations.

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