The Shubert Foundation’s Second Annual High School Theatre Festival

March 08, 2016

Carmen Farina Alex BrightmanThe Shubert Foundation’s Second Annual High School Theatre Festival

March, 8, 2016 (New York) -  On Monday evening, March 7th, the Second Annual SHUBERT FOUNDATION HIGH SCHOOL THEATRE FESTIVAL FOR NYC SCHOOLS was a high-energy Broadway triumph. More than 100 gifted high school students from five NYC public schools stepped into the spotlight on stage at the Winter Garden Theatre.

The event was hosted by Broadway’s School of Rock star Alex Brightman. In attendance were New York City Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña, Shubert Foundation President Michael I. Sovern, Shubert Organization Chairman Philip J. Smith, and Shubert Organization President Robert E. Wankel, who cheered and applauded the outstanding student performances.

The second annual Shubert Foundation High School Theatre Festival for New York City Public Schools took place Monday, March 7 at Broadway’s Winter Garden Theatre. More than 100 talented students from five select New York City high schools made their Broadway debuts performing excerpts from their winter productions. Students from across the 20-plus schools that participated in the process were in the audience to support their fellow students, along with family members and arts educators.

The Festival is a celebration featuring five outstanding high school student productions from the 2015-2016 school year. The productions were selected from over 20 across New York City by a panel of theatre professionals, arts educators, and representatives of the Public Theater, the Dramatists Guild Fund, and the Theatre Development Fund, among others. Students from the following schools presented excerpted scenes and musical numbers from:

Repertory Company High School for Theatre Arts (Manhattan)

Humanities and the Arts High School (Queens)

LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts (Manhattan)

Brooklyn High School for the Arts (Brooklyn)

MISS SAIGON          
Edward R. Murrow High School (Brooklyn)

“Studying theatre teaches students the importance of revising, editing, and rehearsing in the pursuit of mastery,” said New York City Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña. “These are critical skills both in and outside of the classroom, and we’ve expanded access to theatre and arts education that inspires students and prepares them for college and careers. In particular, we are committed to strengthening our students’ connections to the City’s rich cultural resources and developing meaningful arts partnerships with organizations like Shubert.”

“We are thrilled to present the second annual Shubert Foundation High School Theatre Festival,” said Philip J. Smith, Chairman of the Shubert Organization. “It’s a perfect expression of what we’re trying to accomplish by supporting arts education. It was a pleasure to watch these New York City stars of tomorrow light up the stage at the Winter Garden.” 

The High School Theatre Festival aims to showcase the ongoing and excellent theatre work currently taking place in NYC public high schools, as well as highlight the positive effects of theatre study on skills for the stage and in life: collaboration, artistry, discipline, focus, literacy, student voice, self-awareness, presence, active listening and empathy.  The evening focuses on the impact a full theatre program can have on students and school communities, and enables students to see theatre and the arts as a potential career path.

The Festival is sponsored by The Shubert Foundation 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 this year’s grant of $540,000.  Since 2005, The Shubert Foundation has provided more than $3.7 million to the New York City Department of Education for Arts/Theatre programs.

“Beyond the inspiring student artistic excellence showcased on a Broadway stage, the Festival highlights the broader impact of theatre education on student skills for the stage, for school and beyond,” said Peter Avery, Director of Theater for the NYC Department of Education and the Festival’s producer.

The Shubert Foundation

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 2015, the Foundation provided more than $24 million to 365 theatre companies and 77 dance companies across the country.  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


The Shubert Foundation, Inc.

Board of Directors

Philip J. Smith, Chairman          Michael I. Sovern, President

Wyche Fowler, Jr.                    Diana Phillips

Lee J. Seidler                      Stuart Subotnick

Robert E. Wankel


Executive Director

Vicki Reiss


Program Director

Amy Dorfman Wine

234 West 44th Street

New York, NY 10036



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