THE SHUBERT FOUNDATION PRESENTS
2023 HIGH SCHOOL THEATRE FESTIVAL
FOR NYC PUBLIC SCHOOLS
ADRIANNA HICKS & J. HARRISON GHEE
Guest Broadway Presenters Include
DANNY BURSTEIN, JUSTIN COOLEY, LATOYA EDWARDS, AMELIA FEI,
BILL IRWIN, MICHAEL ISKANDER, KATRINA LENK, APOLLO LEVINE,
TONY SHALHOUB & BEN JACKSON WALKER
(New York, NY) – More than 100 talented young NYC public school theatre artists will make their Broadway debuts in The Shubert Foundation’s 2023 High School Theatre Festival for NYC Public Schools on Monday, March 20 at 7:30pm at the Broadhurst Theatre (235 West 44th Street). This annual theatre education experience for NYC students is presented by The Shubert Foundation and the NYC Department of Education Arts Office.
Adrianna Hicks (Some Like It Hot) and J. Harrison Ghee (Some Like It Hot) will host this year’s ninth annual event. Additional guest presenters, supporting public school theatre education, will include Danny Burstein (Pictures From Home), Justin Cooley (Kimberly Akimbo), Latoya Edwards (White Girl in Danger), Amelia Fei (How To Dance in Ohio), Bill Irwin (Endgame), Michael Iskander (Kimberly Akimbo), Katrina Lenk (Company), Apollo Levine (MJ the Musical), Tony Shalhoub (The Band’s Visit) and Ben Jackson Walker (& Juliet).
The festival celebrates five outstanding high school student productions from the 2022-23 school year, selected from more than 20 productions across the city by professional theatre artists and theatre educators. Over the course of the festival’s nine-year history, school productions from all five boroughs have performed at the event.
This year, student presentations from the following schools will present excerpted scenes and musical numbers in order as follows:
RENT – Professional Performing Arts High School (Manhattan)
The Band’s Visit – William Cullen Bryant High School (Queens)
The Crucible – Fordham High School of the Arts (Bronx)
School Girls; Or, The African Mean Girls Play – The Beacon School (Manhattan)
Carrie, The Musical – Frank Sinatra School of the Arts (Queens)
The High School Theatre Festival showcases the ongoing excellent theatre work currently taking place in NYC public high schools, as well as highlighting the crucial skills of theatre study for the stage and in life: collaboration, artistry, discipline, focus, literacy, student voice, self-awareness, presence, and empathy. The evening focuses on the impact that a dedicated theatre program can have on students and school communities, enabling students to see theatre and the arts as a potential career path.
“The arts are the lifeblood of our great city, and it is opportunities like this that allow our young people to harness the creative energy that lives within their communities,” said Schools Chancellor David C. Banks. “I am so grateful for our partnership with The Shubert Foundation whose commitment and investment of nearly $8 million has made a profound and lasting impact on theater and arts education in our schools. And I’m especially proud of all the young performers taking part in this year’s High School Theatre Festival. I know I speak for all our school and arts communities when I say, break a leg!”
“Each year the talent of the student actors making their Broadway debuts is outstanding and this year will be no exception” said Diana Phillips, President of The Shubert Foundation. “We are proud to play a part in their journey to Broadway on an evening which spotlights the excellence of theatre programs in our NYC public schools and the importance of theatre education for all.”
Sponsored by The Shubert Foundation, the festival is presented in partnership with the New York City Department of Education (NYCDOE). 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 $645,000 for 2022-23.
Since 2005, The Shubert Foundation has provided close to $8 million to the New York City Department of Education for Theatre and arts education programs.
“When students create theater together, they demonstrate the highest levels of education—applying technique, understanding the context of the play and communicating with others towards a common goal. The Festival serves as a powerful reminder how theatre provides a welcoming place for artists and audiences of all ages to connect, to invest, to empathize…to heal. Tonight, we honor these amazing student artists reminding us of the profound beauty that can happen when we work together,” said Peter Avery, the Festival's Artistic Producer and the Director of Theatre for New York City Schools.
Additionally, the Shubert Theatre Festival and producer Avery are pleased to announce a special cameo event supporting AARP’s Wish of a Lifetime as Nevada resident Howard Shapiro (age 74) fulfills his dream to perform on a Broadway stage. Howard, backed by 26 participating Festival teen artists will perform “To Life” from the Broadway musical Fiddler On The Roof and share his story of overcoming obstacles and perseverance as an older adult and member of the LGBTQ+ community. “The theatre enabled me to feel more comfortable and come out of my shell, I could express myself fully for the first time. I am honored to perform alongside such talented young people and to share my story with them. I want them to know how fortunate they are to have such opportunities that I never even knew existed,” said Howard Shapiro, wish recipient, Wish of a Lifetime from AARP.
The Shubert Foundation, Inc. is the largest institutional funder of theatre education programs throughout NYC public schools and the nation's largest private foundation dedicated to unrestricted funding of not-for-profit theatres, with a secondary focus on dance. In 2022, the Foundation provided $37.6 million to 609 not-for-profit performing arts organizations across the United States. The Shubert Foundation, Inc. was established in 1945 by the legendary team of brothers, Lee and J.J. Shubert, producers of more than 520 plays, musicals and revues, as well as owners and operators of a nationwide network of legitimate theatres. For more information, visit www.shubertfoundation.org.
New York City Public Schools is the largest system of public schools in the United States. New York City Public Schools supports universal access to arts education through school support programs, student initiatives and the ArtsCount initiative, which tracks and reports student participation in arts education according to city and NY Standards. The Shubert High School Festival for New York City Public Schools highlights the impact of a dedicated theater education by showcasing student theater work on a Broadway stage. For more information, visit NYCDOE Celebrate the Arts & Arts Education.
The Shubert Foundation, Inc.
Board of Directors
Robert E. Wankel, Chairman
Diana Phillips, President
Wyche Fowler, Jr.
Richard J. Poccia
Lee J. Seidler
Senior Program Director
Amy Dorfman Wine
234 West 44th Street
New York, NY 10036