TDF, the not-for-profit service organization for the performing arts, has renamed its Open Doors Program the TDF Wendy Wasserstein Project in honor of the program's late founder, Pulitzer Prize–winning playwright Wendy Wasserstein.
In the program, which was founded in 1998, theatre professionals share their expertise with students throughout the five boroughs. Together they see hundreds of shows a year and come together for post-performance discussion, and it is the first arts education program to receive a special Tony Honor for Excellence. This past year all of TDF’s school programs served 12,300 students from nearly 200 schools through a variety of programs for public school students in New York City at no cost.
The June 3 graduation ceremony was attended by mentors James Lapine, Kathleen Marshall, Kathleen Chalfant, Aubrey Lynch, Scott Ellis, and Derek McLane, in addition to over 300 current students and graduates who have participated in the program.
“TDF Wendy Wasserstein Project celebrates Wendy’s vision of having accomplished theatre professionals take small groups of students to the theatre, meeting afterward, and chatting over a meal—a simple yet eloquent way to celebrate the joy of live theatre,” said Ginger Bartkoski Meagher, Director of TDF Education Programs. “As a group, they get the chance to investigate what is meaningful, personal, and lasting about attending live performance. Amazing students and mentors journey together through a season, inspiring one another, and learning about the world as it’s reflected through the art, and through each other. Renaming this program was a perfect way to cap an incredible year of TDF’s programming for thousands of students, most of whom have never seen a live theatrical performance.”
In addition to the TDF Wendy Wasserstein Project, TDF's programs for students include Introduction to Theatre, TDF Young Playwrights Programs, TDF Accessibility Program for Students, and TDF Introduction to Dance, as well as special Summer Teacher Seminars that have been accredited by NYC’s Department of Education for their teachers.