Laura Benanti, John Cariani, Gavin Creel, and Megan Hilty Join 2019 Broadway Back to School Lineup

Education News   Laura Benanti, John Cariani, Gavin Creel, and Megan Hilty Join 2019 Broadway Back to School Lineup
 
They join a previously announced all-star cast that includes Celia Keenan-Bolger and Chita Rivera for the event supporting school theatre.
Laura Benanti, John Cariani, Gavin Creel, and Megan Hilty
Laura Benanti, John Cariani, Gavin Creel, and Megan Hilty

Tony winners Laura Benanti and Gavin Creel and Tony nominees John Cariani and Megan Hilty have joined the roster of Broadway stars set to appear at the fifth annual Broadway Back to School gala, an event that gives back to school theatre by supporting the Educational Theatre Foundation (ETF).

The four join the event's previously announced hosts Celia Keenan-Bolger and Chita Rivera at the September 22 event, held at the Edison Ballroom.

Celia Keenan-Bolger and Chita Rivera
Celia Keenan-Bolger and Chita Rivera

Also scheduled to perform at the event are Keenan-Bolger's To Kill a Mockingbird co-star Will Pullen, Drama Desk nominee Evan Ruggiero, Thespian alum Alex Stone, and Kinky Boots star J. Harrison Ghee.

Cariani will introduce Derailed, by 2019 Thespian Musicalworks and 2018 Thespian Playworks finalist Jared Goudsmit. Pullen, joined by Pace University student and Thespian alum Victor Colasurdo and current New Jersey Thespian Qawiyya Haqq, will perform a scene written by a student playwright from Kirkwood, Missouri's Troupe 748.

The evening will also honor Hairspray and Catch Me If You Can songwriters Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman with the Broadway Back to School Award in recognition of their efforts to build access and excellence in school theatre.

Keenan-Bolger will be joined by co-host Brannon Evans of Omaha, Nebraska, the winner of the 2019 International Thespian Society Democracyworks essay contest. Evans wrote about performing To Kill a Mockingbird and how the experience impacted and inspired her.

The fifth annual Broadway Back to School gala has been assembled by a creative team comprising Artistic Director J. Jason Daunter, creative producer Matt Conover, musical director Christine Riley, musical arranger P. Jason Yarcho, and line producer Hans Weichhart.

The Educational Theatre Foundation is the philanthropic arm of the Educational Theatre Association, home of the International Thespian Society. ETF supports grants and programs that expand access to theatre education in schools. The foundation awarded more than $650,000 in grants in its first year, impacting high school theatre programs in 50 cities and creating musical theatre programs in underserved middle schools in six states.

For more information, visit EducationalTheatreFoundation.org.

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