Retreat to Broadway, a national non-profit project organization that pairs innovative programming with live theatre, is launching their first national arts education initiative, which focuses on the Tony Award-winning musical Hairspray.
The company aims to provide a unique framework to discuss the important themes Hairspray presents its audiences, including celebrating differences, cultural diversity, bullying, body shaming, conflict resolution, acceptance of self and others, and more.
An Arts Education Resource Guide is currently being developed by Retreat to Broadway that’s intended as a companion piece for Hairspray. More than 20 writers, educators, actors, drama teachers, and consultants from across the country and Canada have submitted lesson plans, games, activities, curriculum, discussion questions, and watch party ideas.
They will be available for a $10 donation, and the guides will be distributed via electronic .pdf documents starting November 23 (two weeks prior to NBC’s live telecast).
In addition to the $10 Resource Guides, Retreat to Broadway’s Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign also includes the following Broadway-related perks at higher donation levels: dinner for two with Hairspray Live! associate director Ioana Alfonso (Wicked, 9 to 5); two tickets to a Broadway show with dinner for two; hair styling by Broadway actor and stylist Marty Thomas (Wicked, Xanadu, The Secret Garden); personally autographed Playbills and show card from Kristin Chenoweth (My Love Letter to Broadway); house seats to Wicked with backstage tour; audition boot camp Skype coachings with Kathy Deitch (Footloose, Wicked); and dinner for two with a Tracy Turnblad from Hairspray on Broadway, Kathy Brier (Hairspray, One Life to Life).
Retreat to Broadway also launched a social media campaign that’s inviting theatre fans to share what arts education and Hairspray mean to them, using one of the hashtags #ArtsEducationIs, #HairsprayIs or #RTBhairspray.
“The timing could not be more ideal for a live telecast of Hairspray, especially given the state of our nation,” said Retreat to Broadway director and founder Brian Reavey. “Since the signs of the times are currently confusing and divisive, let’s hope Tracy Turnblad can remind all of us that mutual respect, racial justice and peaceful dialogue are necessary values to achieve the American Dream.”
All campaign proceeds will help resource guide distribution, future Retreat to Broadway programs, and their scholarship program that assists retreat participants who experience financial hardship. For more information about how to donate and purchase Hairspray Resource Guides, click here.