As TDF's 27th year of school programs comes to a close, it celebrates having served 10,600 students from over 160 schools. 10,000 of those students participated in the not-for-profit organization's Introduction to Theatre program, and the numbers mark a return for the programs to pre-COVID 19 pandemic levels of engagement.
"During this current school year we have been thrilled to be fully back in person with each other and serving as many students as we had pre-pandemic," said Director of TDF Education Programs Ginger Bartkoski Meagher in a statement. "We look forward to further expansion of our school programs so we can serve thousands more New York City public school students, most of whom have not experienced live theatre and dance.”
Along with its Introduction to Theatre program, TDF offers The Wendy Wasserstein Project, Young Playwrights Programs, and Introduction to Dance, as well as special Summer Teacher Seminars which have been accredited by New York City's Department of Education. The programs are offered at no cost to schools or students.
The Introduction to Theatre program recently partnered with Broadway's SIX to welcome 1,000 public high school students from across New York City and New Jersey. For many, it was their first Broadway show. The program is open to middle school, high school, and college students who receive a total of eight in-class workshops pre- and post-performance from TDF Teaching Artists. TDF’s Introduction to Theatre Program has been facilitating students' exposure to Broadway and Off-Broadway for over two decades.
The Wendy Wasserstein Project served 184 students in 23 schools this past year while 400 students across five schools took part in the Young Playwrights while the Young Playwrights' Group Program had 10-12 students members across 17 individual workshops. The Introduction to Dance served 180 students from six schools.
Major donors for TDF's School Programs include Anonymous, The Honorable Joseph C. Borelli, Con Edison, The Cornelia T. Bailey Foundation, Myrna and Freddie Gershon, The Rona Jaffe Foundation, Angela and Scott Jaggar Foundation, Inc., Phyllis Jo Kubey, The Pierre and Tana Matisse Foundation, The Pinkerton Foundation, Kors Le Pere Foundation, Thomas A. and Georgina T. Russo Foundation, Scenery Bags, The Shubert Foundation, Andrew and Merrill Silver, Sony USA Foundation, and TJX Companies, Inc.
The programs are also partially supported by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and by the National Endowment for the Arts.
Check out photos from TDF's partnership with Broadway's SIX to welcome 1,000 public high school students below.