The Project, which "matches inner city kids with professional theatre artists to create original theatre," was once attended by an 11-year-old named Shirley Rumierk, who eventually attended Harvard University and later returned to New York as an actor and now sits on the Project's Board of Directors. Rumierk was also seen on Broadway earlier this season in Latinologues, and she penned one of the songs that will be performed at the upcoming benefit. A host of theatre stars will lend their voices to the concert portion of the Gala, including Judy Kuhn, Malcolm Gets, Marva Hicks, Lee Wilkof, John Conlee, David Costabile and Anne Torsiglieri. Jonathan Bernstein will direct the concert with music direction by Larry Yurman and music supervision by Kim D. Sherman.
The evening will also feature an announcement about the new theatre that will soon be built as a permanent home for the 52nd Street Project.
Among the many actors who have helped Hell's Kitchen children learn the skills of playwriting and acting throughout the Project's 25 years are Frances McDormand, Edie Falco, Billy Crudup, Cynthia Nixon, Robert Sean Leonard and Angela Bassett.
The May 1 benefit is sold out. For more information about the 52nd Street Project, however, visit www.52project.org.