New Grants Help Theatre Students in Financially Challenged Communities

News   New Grants Help Theatre Students in Financially Challenged Communities
The Educational Theatre Association and Tams-Witmark Music Library are behind the grants that will help theatre programs at six schools during the first phase of the initiative.

The Educational Theatre Association has announced the first six recipients of its New Troupe Charter Grants, which will assist theatre students in financially challenged communities across the U.S.

Funded by Tams-Witmark Music Library, the grants enable schools to fund the charter of an International Thespian Society troupe and induct up to ten students for free. Participating students are eligible for leadership opportunities, college scholarships, and invitations to perform at state and national venues.

Recipient schools include Jurupa Hills High School (Fontana, CA); Mira Monte High School (Bakersfield, CA); Frankfort Community High School (West Frankfort, IL); Russell County High School (Russell Springs, KY); Western Middle School (Louisville, KY); and Benjamin O. Davis Jr. Senior High School (Houston, TX).

“Anyone who has sat in a theatre audience and has been transported beyond the realm of time and space can attest to the power and possibility of drama,” said Sargent Aborn, the president of Tams-Witmark. “In the perpetual fight to keep arts in schools, powerful voices have spoken out for the benefits of providing theatre arts for children, among which are: self-expression, self-knowledge, creativity, social awareness and, of course, education. Tams-Witmark is proud to be a catalyst in bringing theatre to children… especially children who have the most to gain and benefit from its limitless effects.

“Tams-Witmark has been a leader in theatrical licensing for over 90 years, and represents some of the most celebrated titles in musical theatre. Thousands of schools, community theatres and professional organizations present Tams-Witmark musicals each year.”

Julie Cohen Theobald, executive director of the Educational Theatre Association, added, “We are delighted with the immediate response. Educators know this opportunity is valuable for students as an affirmation of the value of their artistic work. Our aim is to grow our funding and encourage more school theatre programs. Theatre provides a home where students can feel accepted, valued, and part of something larger than themselves. We are deeply grateful to Tams-Witmark for pioneering this effort with us.”

The grants are for the 2016-17 school year and limited funding is still available. For more information visit

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