A Bronx Tale (Photo: Joan Marcus via The Broadway Blog)
The Broadway League, with the support of the New York City Department of Education (DOE), is launching the first full year of Broadway Bridges. This program is aimed at giving every New York City public high school student the opportunity to see a Broadway show before graduation.
“Broadway Bridges is a program of unprecedented scope made possible by The Broadway League’s unique ability to work with both Broadway producers and the Department of Education,” said Charlotte St. Martin, President of the Broadway League. “We’re thrilled to expand the amazing work of the Broadway community in cultivating the next generation of theatergoers. Our combined efforts will ensure that every New York City public school student has the quintessential New York experience of seeing a Broadway show.”
“The arts are a critical part of a student’s educational experience and this partnership will help ensure that more students have the opportunity to experience and learn from our city’s renowned theater industry,” said New York City Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña. “This is an incredible opportunity for students and we thank Broadway Bridges for their partnership in expanding access to the theater and helping us increase equity across our schools.”
The Broadway Bridges program is offered to public high schools in the five boroughs. It was developed by a group of leading commercial and non-profit industry professionals to build on the significant work the Broadway community already does in bringing New York City students to Broadway. Independently, Broadway-based commercial producers and not-for-profit institutions such as Lincoln Center Theater, Manhattan Theatre Club, Roundabout Theatre Company, and TDF already bring almost 25,000 students to live theatre each year. In complementing the long-standing work of these programs, Broadway Bridges has the ability to reach students who may not otherwise have the chance to attend a Broadway show.
Broadway Bridges offers high schools $10 Broadway tickets for their tenth-grade students. The tickets are purchased based on availability and are timed to coincide with the demands of the school calendar. During the winter 2017 pilot over 1,100 students and chaperones from all five boroughs attended one of eight shows (Aladdin, Come From Away, Kinky Boots, Miss Saigon, On Your Feet! The Story of Emilio and Gloria Estefan, The Lion King, The Phantom of the Opera, and Wicked).
In the fall cycle, participating shows will include A Bronx Tale, Aladdin, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Kinky Boots, Miss Saigon, The Band’s Visit, The Lion King, and The Phantom of the Opera. More will be added in the spring. Broadway Bridges anticipates bringing 7,500 tenth grade students to a show in the 2017/2018 Broadway season and increasing attendance to 17,500 the following season for a cumulative total of 25,000 students through the end of 2019.