The Broadway League
729 Seventh Avenue, 5th Floor
New York, NY 10019
CONTACT: Elisa Shevitz
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
THE BROADWAY LEAGUE Awards New York Education Grants to MEMPHIS and WAR HORSE
March 21, 2011
The Broadway League has awarded coveted New York Education Grants to the Broadway productions of Memphis by Joe DiPietro and David Bryan , and War Horse by Michael Morpurgo. Each production receives a $5,000 grant towards its 2011 educational initiatives. The grants are important to the growth and development of theatre education in the city as they encourage theatres to create more opportunities for young people and to exchange ideas about education.
The Broadway League established the New York Education Grants in 2002 to recognize education initiatives and to support further programs for Broadway shows. As the national trade organization for the commercial theatre industry, the League also sponsors a grant program supporting educational programs for touring Broadway productions. The two programs combined have to date awarded over $800,000 to theatres in New York and across the country. Both awards were established by the League's Education Committee and are also generously supported by Theatre Development Fund.
“The New York Education Grants are designed to inspire professional and personal development,” said Charlotte St. Martin, Executive Director of The Broadway League. “These two shows especially reflect how theatre can be inspired by world events to tell a story. Innovative programs that educate about the craft of theatre, motivate social awareness, and instill a deep appreciation of the arts are crucial for the growth and survival of Broadway, and we applaud and thank these recipients."
“Inspire Change with Memphis the Musical” fosters collaboration with teaching artists and local public school teachers to create a workshop using themes from Memphis that best suits the interests and curriculum of individual classrooms. The topics range from historical lessons on the Civil Rights Movement, theatrical performances based on scenarios from the musical, interpretation and analysis of music, or a flexible combination of different elements. The workshop will be followed by a performance of Memphis at the Shubert Theatre, where students will see the ideas they explored in class come alive onstage. After the performance, students will participate in a post-show workshop that revisits previously discussed topics with more depth and understanding because of the students' experiences at the show. They will be guided to create a final project, such as forming an alternate ending for Memphis , in order to foster critical analysis and creativity.
Approximately 930 high school students will partake in three workshops that culminate with a final performance of Lincoln Center Theater's North American premiere of the National Theatre of Great Britain's production of War Horse at the Vivian Beaumont Theater. Lincoln Center Theater teaching artists will conduct workshops that combine the history of World War I with the artistry of theatre and puppetry. Students will learn about the role that horses played on the front lines, act as if they are historical characters, and discover New York's significance in the conflict. The participants will then create puppets and bring them to life with the assistance of teaching artists and company members. The creation of the puppets will prepare students for the all-student matinee performance of War Horse, while also revealing that with a bit of imagination, everyday objects can be transformed into unique artistic endeavors. After the show, students will continue their exploration through dramatic writing, as they create and perform monologues, translating their ideas about War Horse from the page to the stage.