JumpStart Theatre Update 49: National Impact

By Ginny Butsch posted 08-02-2019 13:45

A program designed to build sustainable musical theatre programs in underserved middle schools that currently have none.

This is a series of monthly updates about the JumpStart Theatre pilot program launched in Cincinnati, Ohio.
To view previous updates, click here.

National Impact

Here’s a snapshot of the impact of the JumpStart Theatre program on students, schools, and communities last school year, thanks to the support of generous donors, sponsors, and partners. Stay tuned next month for an in depth look at what we achieved together in the 2019 Annual Report!

Congratulations, Coty!

Congratulations to Coty Forno with JumpStart Theatre partner, Mountain City Center for the Arts (Frostburg, Md.), for being awarded a 2019 Freddie G. Fellowship! This exciting honor was created by Music Theatre International Chairman Freddie Gershon, his wife Myrna, and MTI. The Fellowship sends exceptional theatre educators on a complimentary trip to New York for four days of professional development workshops led by Broadway professionals, which took place earlier this month. Coty is in good company as the very first JumpStart Theatre mentor, Dee Anne Bryll, also received the honor in 2015. In 2018, Freddie Gershon, with Dr. Sharon Dunn, received the inaugural Broadway Back to School Award from ETF in recognition of his furtherance of access and excellence in school theatre. 

Coty with Freddie and Myrna Gershon

iTheatrics Method Certification for Julia Cuppy and Dee Anne Bryll 

The JumpStart Theatre program not only trains middle school teachers, but also the JumpStart Theatre mentors. Mentors are experienced theatre professionals who provide support and coaching to the teachers in each JumpStart Theatre school. It takes a unique approach to teach individuals without theatre experience how to produce a musical, but JumpStart Theatre partner, iTheatrics, has embraced the challenge by providing training in the "iTheatrics Method."

Julia Cuppy from La Jolla Playhouse (San Diego) attained Level 1 Certification in the iTheatrics Method earlier this month in NYC. Dee Anne Bryll from The Children's Theatre of Cincinnati attained Level 2 Certification.

Obtaining certification enables JumpStart Theatre partners the ability to lead the training bootcamps for their region, lowering costs and creating a sustainable model for the future.

Julia Cuppy and fellow iTheatrics Level 1 Certification attendees.

Dee Anne Bryll and Level 2 Certification attendees.

ETF, in collaboration with New York City-based companies iTheatrics and Music Theatre International (MTI) has created JumpStart Theatre, a three-year scalable program designed to build sustainable musical theatre programs in underserved schools that previously had none.

ETF operates JumpStart Theatre through a national network of regional theatre company partners who are selected based on their track-record of success in running educational programs for children. JumpStart Theatre partners are: Alliance Theatre, Atlanta, Ga.; La Jolla Playhouse, La Jolla, Calif.; Mountain City Center for the Arts, Frostburg, Md.; Stages St. Louis, St. Louis, Mo.; The Children’s Theatre, Cincinnati, Ohio.

JumpStart Theatre aims to:

  • be sustainable and implemented in underserved middle schools nationwide, engaging as many students as possible in all aspects of theatre, 
  • prepare students for high school, college, and the workforce by instilling the 21st-century skills of collaboration, communication, problem-solving, and creativity.

Thanks to all the JumpStart Theatre Partners and Supporters