In 1998, Tony- and Pulitzer-winning playwright Wendy Wasserstein and Broadway production stage manager, Roy Harris joined with TDF to found Open Doors. The program's guiding premise is that theatregoing is the birthright of every New Yorker and that, as Wendy put it, “Theatre is a very personal experience that grows in meaning and depth when shared with others.” Open Doors is the first arts education program ever to be named for a special Tony Honor for Excellence in the Theatre
Open Doors matches dozens of distinguished theatre and dance professionals with small groups of high school students with no prior exposure to theatre. The program runs for the entire school year, so students build rapport with their mentors as they gain confidence as theatregoers.
Each mentor works with a group of eight students who:
- Attend six live performances
- Participate in a 90-minute mentor-led discussion after each performance
- Keep journals focused on documenting, expanding and reflecting on their learning
- Participate in an end-of-year celebration with mentors, other students and program alumni
TDF Open Doors featured on WABC-TV Eyewitness News
Due to the highly selective nature of the Open Doors program, schools are not able to apply directly to Open Doors. Historically, teachers and schools picked for Open Doors have had an ongoing relationship with TDF through the other TDF Education Programs and are then invited into Open Doors if appropriate.
Number of participating students: 168
Number of participating schools: 21
View list of participating schools