Open Doors

Pairing Theatre and Dance Professionals with Students

The Open Doors program pairs 24 selected New York City schools with a distinguished theatre and dance professional who each mentor a group of eight students per school. 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 reflect on and document their experiences. At the end of the year, Open Doors celebrates with a ceremony to honor all participants. 

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 high school students in New York City. As Wendy put it, “Theatre is a very personal experience that grows in meaning and depth when shared with others.”

In 2012, Open Doors became the first arts education program to be named for a special Tony Honor for Excellence in the Theatre.

TDF Open Doors Video Diaries from Theatre Development Fund (tdf) on Vimeo.

How Can My School Participate?

Due to the highly selective nature of this program, schools are not able to apply directly to Open Doors. 

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