It is Theatre Development Fund’s belief that future audiences are built by engaging students, first-hand, in the vital and exciting activity of the creative process, as well as providing opportunities to see live performances of great theatre. Acting on this belief, TDF is launching a fundraising campaign to grow its most expansive theatre arts education program, STAGE DOORS.
Currently STAGE DOORS serves 7500 New York City public school students in 78 schools throughout the five boroughs. This program is so popular among educators that TDF currently has a wait-list of 60 additional schools that want their students to take part in the program. TDF’s goal is to get all of those schools off the wait list and into the program, increasing the number of students served annually from 7,500 to 10,000 by the fall of 2018. For most of these students, STAGE DOORS will take them to their first live theatre performance. The program’s objective is to create a generation of lifelong and independent theatre goers. Since it was first launched in 1994, STAGE DOORS has served nearly 100,000 New York City public school students.
The Ambassador of the STAGE DOORS campaign is Tony Award winner JAMES MONROE IGLEHART (star of Disney’s Aladdin). Iglehart first encountered TDF’s STAGE DOORS program while he was starring on Broadway in Memphis – to which TDF brought thousands of students. “It was my teachers that introduced me to theatre and if they hadn’t, I don’t know if I would have the life that I have today,” said Mr. Iglehart. “Theatre education has been drastically cut or eliminated from New York City schools and it’s amazing that not-for-profit organizations like TDF are trying to give these kids exposure to something they could have only dreamed of.”
To learn more and donate to STAGE DOORS go to: stagedoors.tdf.org
MORE ABOUT STAGE DOORS: STAGE DOORS is a project-based arts education program that includes attending a Broadway or Off Broadway show. TDF provides, at no cost to the school, a teaching artist and the tickets to the shows (one show per semester). The classroom project, which is central to the program, is designed by the classroom teacher and the teaching artist to serve as a preparation for the Broadway show. It is primarily an opportunity to engage the students in the creative process in a hands-on approach.
TDF’s model is an 8-session residency, 4 of the sessions provided by the TDF teaching artist and 4 follow-up sessions carried out by the classroom teacher. The residency relies on an effective collaboration between the classroom teacher and the teaching artist.
ABOUT THEATRE DEVELOPMENT FUND (TDF): TDF is a not-for-profit service organization for the performing arts, was created in the conviction that the live theatrical arts afford a unique expression of the human condition that must be sustained and nurtured. It is dedicated to developing diverse audiences for live theatre and dance, and strengthening the performing arts community in New York City. Since 1968, TDF’s programs have provided over 90 million people with access to performances at affordable prices and have returned over $2.5 billion to thousands of productions.
Best known for its TKTS Discount Booths, TDF’s membership, outreach, access (including its Autism Theatre Initiative) and education programs — as well as its Costume Collection — have introduced thousands of people to the theatre and helped make the unique experience of theatre available to everyone, including students and people with disabilities.
Recent TDF honors include a 2011 Mayor’s Award for Arts and Culture, a 2012 Tony Honor for Excellence for its Open Doors Arts Education Program, a 2012 New York Innovative Theatre Award for its support of the off-Off Broadway community and a 2013 Lucille Lortel honor for “Outstanding Body of Work” in support of the Off Broadway community. For more information about everything TDF does, please visit www.tdf.org