The Educational Theatre Foundation (ETF)'s JumpStart Theatre program, which creates sustainable theatre arts programs in middle schools in areas of need, will expand to Detroit in the 2020–2021 school year, becoming the sixth area in the country to be covered by the program. The expansion, being made in partnership with the University of Michigan, is made possible by a gift from Hamilton producer Jeffrey Seller.
The announcement serves as the kick-off of the 2020 Theatre In Our Schools Month, an initiative led by ETF in March annually that raises awareness of the impact of theatre education through social media and community engagement.
“I know the power of theatre, and I love Detroit,” said Seller. “Theatre is a tool for problem-solving, working together, and finding success. Getting kids involved in theatre will help create our next generation of citizens, no matter whether they become artists, doctors, lawyers, educators, accountants, or whatever else.”
“The power of theatre to shape children’s lives is exactly why we are making this landmark announcement about Detroit, which is engineering an arts renaissance in its schools, in coordination with the national kick-off of Theatre In Our Schools month,” adds ETF President Julie Cohen Theobald.
Following a rigorous application process, schools selected to participate in the program will receive the materials, budget, and training support necessary to produce a full-scale musical production. This support will continue for three years until the program becomes self-sustaining.
“I am thrilled about our new partnership with JumpStart Theatre and the Educational Theatre Foundation,” says University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre, and Dance Dean David Gier. “With aligned missions of bringing the performing arts to our communities and children, this new program will help us amplify the great work of both SMTD and JumpStart Theatre in the greater Detroit area."
For more information about ETF, JumpStart Theatre, and Theatre In Our Schools Month, visit EducationalTheatreFoundation.org.