The Educational Theatre Foundation's fifth annual Broadway Back to School Gala, held September 22 at New York City's Edison Ballroom, raised more than $155,000 in support of theatre programs for underserved schools. Watch highlights from the event above.
The event was so-hosted by Tony winner Laura Benanti and 2019 International Thespian Society Democracyworks essay contest winner Brannon Evans. Along with hosting duties, Evans read from her winning essay, about performing To Kill a Mockingbird at her high school and how the experience impacted and inspired her.
Chita Rivera presented the ETF parent organization the Educational Theatre Association's Standing Ovation Award, recognizing a corporation or organization that makes significant contributions to EdTA, to Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. While accepting the award, BC/EFA Executive Director Tom Viola announced that $10,000 from the proceeds of the 2019 Broadway Flea Market and Grand Auction (also held September 22) would be donated to ETF.
Patti LuPone was on hand to present Hairspray and Catch Me If You Can songwriters Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman with the Back to School Award in recognition of their impact as key leaders in the theatrical industry and education in building access and excellence in school theatre.
"I am proud that Broadway Back to School reflected the diversity and inclusion of school theatre and allowed so many talented artists and students to showcase their love of theatre," says ETF President Julie Cohen Theobald.
ETF's silent auction continues through this week, with Broadway items available for bidding, all supporting ETF.
For more information, visit EDTF.org.