NBC Entertainment has received the Standing Ovation Award from the Educational Theatre Association. The award recognizes a corporation or organization that makes significant contributions to EdTA in supporting its mission of “shaping lives through theatre education” through philanthropic efforts, programs, and activities.
The award was accepted by NBC’s Senior Vice President and Creative Director Dean McFlicker (pictured) at the Junior Theater Festival West in Sacramento, Calif.
In presenting the award, Jeff Hall—a longtime theatre educator, director of Thespian Troupe 5575, and EdTA volunteer leader—praised NBC for increasing the appreciation of school theatre through a variety of innovative support.
Hall described NBC’s significant leadership and financial support to the organization’s Thespians Go Hollywood benefit gala that honored the late producer Craig Zadan and raised over $250,000 to support school theatre. Hall added that NBC’s broadcast of live musicals, many of which were produced by Zadan and his partner Neil Meron, have made theatre accessible for all. “Many children who would never be able to see a Broadway show are falling in love with musical theatre thanks to their television,” he said.
EdTA Executive Director Julie Cohen Theobald applauded NBC for partnering on 2018’s R.I.S.E. America grant program and contributing $500,000, which funded grants in 50 high schools and communities across the nation. “Thanks to this program,” she said, “high schools are producing theatre for the first time, funding their first musical, giving their students professional experiences, purchasing theatrical equipment that keeps their students safe and educates them in technical theatre, and bringing unprecedented positive attention to their programs.”