Samuel French, the theatrical publishing and licensing company, is collaborating with the Educational Theatre Association to launch a Natural Disaster Script Bank for high schools nationwide.
The Bank, which began its collection in September 2017, will donate scripts to schools whose libraries are lost to natural disasters. The first donation will be made to four high school Thespian troupes (students who have been inducted into the International Thespian Society, the honor society for high school drama students) in Puerto Rico, who are rebuilding from the effects of Hurricane Maria.
The idea for the Natural Disaster Script Bank began last fall when Samuel French and EdTA received inquiries for script replacements from high schools whose libraries were destroyed by Hurricane Harvey, Hurricane Maria, the California wildfires, and more. Samuel French pledged at that time that for every script purchased at its conference booth in the 2017–2018 season, the company would donate a script to a high school affected by natural disasters.
A year later, 3,665 scripts are available for donation.
“The idea was incubated as we heard story after story of schools whose theatre departments were wiped out from Hurricane Harvey. Unfortunately, we realized that this situation was bound to be repeated with other natural disasters,” stated Samuel French Director of Corporate Communications Abbie Van Nostrand. “As the largest theatrical publishing company, it became our goal to design a program in which we could assist in restocking an affected school’s theatre library. We are so appreciative of EdTA jumping in as a willing partner.”
EdTA Chief Relationship Officer Hans Weichhart added, “When we looked at 2017 we recognized a long-term need and built infrastructure to better enable us to support schools and Thespian troupes efficiently and effectively in the wake of a natural disaster. Now, thanks to Samuel French, our resources include a source for scripts.”