In 1998, Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright, Wendy Wasserstein and Broadway production stage manager, Roy Harris, joined with TDF to found the Open Doors Program for middle and high school students in New York City, because, as Wendy put it, “Theatre is a very personal experience that grows in meaning and depth when shared with others.”
The program invites 24 New York City schools to participate every year. Each school is paired with a distinguished theatre and dance professional who mentors a group of eight students. Throughout the school year, the students attend six live performances. Each performance is followed by a 90-minute discussion over food with their mentors. The students also keep journals to document their experiences and reflect. At the end of the year, Open Doors celebrates with a ceremony to honor all participants.
In 2011, Open Doors became the first arts education program to be named for a special Tony Honor for Excellence in the Theatre.
TDF Open Doors from Theatre Development Fund (tdf) on Vimeo.
TDF OPEN DOORS GRADUATION 2015
Harry-HD from Theatre Development Fund (tdf) on Vimeo.
Shana-HD from Theatre Development Fund (tdf) on Vimeo.
How Can My School Participate?
to the highly selective nature of this program, schools are not able to
apply directly to Open Doors.
View a list of participating schools
View a list of current mentors