The Irondale Ensemble Project, the company that brought The Pope and the Witch and Brecht On Brecht to Off-Broadway last season, has taken up residence in the Brooklyn High School for the Arts. This is the first time a professional OB theatre company has merged with an educational institution.
The Deputy Chancellor David Klassfield, Superintendent of Brooklyn and Staten Island High Schools Rose Albanese DePinto, and Principal Robert Finley put forth the invitation to Irondale in the hopes it would fuse the arts, education and the community. Brooklyn HSA is the first specialized institution authorized by the Board of Education since the Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School for Music and the Performing Arts. (That's the institution made famous by Fame, the musical, film and television series based on and set in the Manhattan school.)
Irondale has aimed to merge the arts into education as well as the community since its inception in 1983 and has several programs based on these principles. At Brooklyn HSA, they will lead the theatrical training of students and also conduct workshops for teachers on the integration of theatre techniques into the curriculum.
In other recent borough news, the Brooklyn Academy of Music Local Development Corporation have been supervising a 10 year/$560 million plan (according to the New York Times) to create an area of theatres, dance studios and other performance spaces in the vacant lots surrounding BAM. The Irondale Ensemble plan to collaborate with the BAM LDC to bring a cultural renaissance to downtown Brooklyn.