Tony winners Shuler Hensley and LaChanze—also a 2022 Tony nominee for her performance in Trouble in Mind—hosted The Shubert Foundation’s 2022 High School Theatre Festival for NYC Public Schools at Broadway's Winter Garden Theatre May 23.
Presented by The Shubert Foundation and the NYC Department of Education Arts Office, the festival celebrated five outstanding high school student productions from the 2021-2022 school year, selected from more than 20 productions across the city by professional theatre artists and theatre educators. More than 100 NYC public school theatre artists made their Broadway debuts during the festival, which featured scenes from Into the Woods, with students from Manhattan's Repertory Company High School for Theatre Arts; Indecent, with students from Manhattan's Professional Performing Arts High School; Guys and Dolls, with students from Staten Island's Curtis High School; Rent, with students from Queens' Frank Sinatra School of the Arts; and Dontrell, Who Kissed the Sea, with students from the Brooklyn High School of the Arts.
Check out photos from the festival below:
The evening, returning to an in-person event following two virtual festivals, also featured guest presenters Denée Benton (Into the Woods), K. Todd Freeman (The Minutes), Jessica Hecht (The Price), Antwayn Hopper (A Strange Loop), Mateo Lizcano (Dear Evan Hansen), and Nathaniel Stampley (Paradise Square).
In addition to performances, The High School Theatre Festival also highlights the positive effects of theatre study on skills for the stage and in life: collaboration, artistry, discipline, focus, literacy, student voice, self-awareness, presence, and empathy. The evening focused on the impact a full theatre program can have on students and school communities.
Funding for the Festival and for a range of existing Shubert Foundation programs in New York City public schools comes from a Shubert Foundation grant of $600,000 for 2021-2022. Since 2005, The Shubert Foundation has provided more than $7.2 million to the New York City Department of Education for Theatre and arts education programs.