March 18, 2016
The Educational Theatre Association has selected three schools for the second year of JumpStart Theatre, EdTA’s demonstration program designed to nurture theatre education in middle schools. The schools being added in 2016-17 are: Aiken New Tech High School and Gilbert A. Dater High School, Cincinnati; and Felicity-Franklin Middle School, Felicity, Ohio.
JumpStart, a collaboration between EdTA and New York-based Music Theatre International and iTheatrics, is a three-year pilot initiative designed to bring musical theatre into schools that currently do not have performing arts programs.
The three schools participating in the first year of the program in 2015-16, known as Class I—Holmes Middle School, Gamble Montessori School, and Finneytown Middle School, all in the Greater Cincinnati area—are currently engaged in rehearsals of their shows and will present their first-year public performances in April.
JumpStart Theatre is structured as a scalable program that can be adapted into a sustainable model for underserved schools nationwide. Each participating pilot school is provided three years of support by EdTA, MTI, and iTheatrics, through educator training, mentors, scripts, and study guides.
It is modeled on programs developed by MTI and iTheatrics and embraced in partnerships with The Shubert Organization, the President’s Committee on Arts and the Humanities, New York City’s Department of Education, NBC Universal, the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, and the Blumenthal Center.
JumpStart Theatre is funded by a combination of grants from public and private sources including ArtsWave, The Greater Cincinnati Foundation, The Donald C. and Laura M. Harrison Family Foundation, iTheatrics, The Austin E. Knowlton Foundation, Music Theatre International, Ohio Arts Council, The Daniel and Susan Pfau Foundation, William O. Purdy, Jr. Foundation Fund, and an anonymous donation in collaboration with Community Arts Initiatives.