Saturday Night Fever's Bryan Batt will join Andrea McArdle in anchoring the Theatre Development Fund's (TDF) 7th Annual "Teachers' Night On Broadway" on May 2. Batt replaces Tom Wopat who reportedly had to cancel his appearance after an unexpected scheduling conflict arose.
Over 2,000 teachers are expected to attend TDF's Theatre Education Fair at the Gershwin Theatre, a program dedicated to creating "future theatregoing audiences."
As reported earlier, TDF joins the League of American Theatres and Producers, the Board of Education of the City of New York, the United Federation of Teachers (UFT) and TIAA-CREF in presenting the "Teachers' Night" event.
Agenda issues include the need for arts education in the schools and the need for educators to use theatre as a teaching tool, both in and outside the classroom. As with other popular theatre programs, the importance of developing an appreciation for theatre with young audiences will be stressed.
An estimated 2,000 teachers from the 1,100 public schools in New York City will gather in the lobby of the Gershwin Theatre at 2:30 PM for the Theatre Education Fair, where as many as 50 participants comprising "Broadway shows, institutional theatre companies, licensing organizations, theatre book publishers and others" will display and distribute education materials, information resources and study guides for teachers' use. Productions notes indicate that Broadway stars McArdle (Beauty and the Beast) and Batt (Saturday Night Fever) will share their experiences with the teachers during a program inside the Gershwin Theatre itself.
The event producers then host an evening of Broadway theatre where the teachers will see one of eleven Broadway shows. The participating shows include A Moon for the Misbegotten, Amadeus, Dame Edna: The Royal Tour, The Green Bird, Jesus Christ Superstar, The Music Man, The Phantom of the Opera, Saturday Night Fever, Swing, Taller Than a Dwarf and The Wild Party. In a statement, TDF reported that the following organizations will present their educational outreach materials to the teachers attending the Teachers' Night on Broadway theatre fair: African Atlantic Genealogical Society, American Globe Theatre, Broadway Theatre Institute, Brooklyn Academy of Music, Camp Broadway, City Center, City Lights Youth Theatre, Dramatists Play Service Early Stages, Dodgers: Footloose & The Music Man, Folksbeine Yiddish Theatre; Group Sales Box Office; High Five Tickets to the Arts; Inside Broadway; Lincoln Center Theater; Manhattan Class Company; Match Tix; Music Theatre International; National Artists: Annie Get Your Gun & Chicago; Nederlander Group Sales; New Victory Theatre; NYS Theatre Education Association; Paper Bag Players; Paper Mill Playhouse; Plays for Living; Pro Marketing; Rent; Repertorio Espanol; Retro Productions; Rodgers and Hammerstein; Roundabout Theatre Company; Samuel French; Second Stage Theatre; Showtix; Sociedad Educativa de las Artes, Inc.; TADA!; Tams Witmark Music Library; Theatre Direct; Young Audiences NY; Young Playwrights; and Theatreworks USA. Now in its 32nd year of service, TDF currently maintains over a dozen programs to support New York's theatre, dance and music productions in addition to its highly visible TKTS discount tickets booth at Duffy Square. For further information visit www.tdf.org.
-- By Murdoch McBride