April 27 marks the sixth annual "Teachers' Night On Broadway," a fair geared to bring theatre into the classroom and classes into the theatre. Broadway stars Audra McDonald (Carousel) and Douglas Sills (The Scarlet Pimpernel will take part, via a special discussion.
Sponsored by Theatre Development Fund (TDF) and The League of American Theatres & Producers, in association with the Board of Education, United Federation of Teachers (UFT) and Teachers Insurance & Annuity Association (TIAA CREF), this event again takes place at the Minskoff Theatre on Broadway.
More than 2,000 teachers from 1,100 New York City public and private schools are participating in the event, which begins at 2:30 PM. More than 50 theatre companies, shows and institutions will be represented at the event's "Education Fair," where they will distribute education materials and study guides for use in the classroom.
After the event, participating teachers will be treated to one of 13 participating shows, including, Via Dolorosa, Marlene, Ragtime and Side Man.
The idea of Teacher's Night is to "establish new lines of direct communication between the theatre and the schools," paving the way for more theatre-related programs and more inexpensive opportunities for young people to see theatre. Founded in 1968, Theater Development Fund has as its mission the support of new productions and broadening of audiences bases for commercial theatre. Headed by executive director Jack Goldstein, TDF is now the largest not-for-profit, performing arts service organization in the U.S. Its best-known program is the world-famous Times Square TKTS booth, where theatregoers can buy tickets at a discount of 25 or 50 percent. Other TDF programs include theatre and dance ticket subsidies, the TAP program for the hearing and visually impaired, a voucher program for inexpensive theatregoing, group sales to hospitals and seniors, and a costume collection of more than 75,000 garments and accessories.
The Theater League, founded in 1930, comprises more than 500 theater owners, operators, producers and presenters. Geared toward getting the word out about commercial theater, the League offers such services as The Broadway Line telephone information hotline.