Further fulfilling their mission to preserve and advance the art form of Musical Theatre through performance and education, STAGES St. Louis is pleased to announce Executive Producer Jack Lane’s appointment to the Educational Theatre Foundation’s (ETF) National Board of Trustees.

The Educational Theatre Association (EdTA), the nation’s preeminent organization dedicated to enriching lives through performing arts education and home of the International Thespian Society, launched the ETF as its newly established fundraising arm. The ETF will provide essential financial support, enhancing excellence in theatre education and expanding access to school theatre programs for every child, putting them on a more positive life path.

“I am deeply moved to be given the opportunity to work with this nationally renowned group of individuals who share a profound passion for performing arts education,” remarked Executive Producer Jack Lane. “Having witnessed the boundless impact an arts education is capable of, I look forward to shining a spotlight on its importance and impacting students on a national scope.”

One of the key areas this new foundation focuses on is its support of JumpStart Theatre, a three-year program that builds sustainable musical theatre programs in middle schools where none previously existed. Through a generous personal donation by Bob Greenblatt, Chairman of NBC Entertainment, the EdTA now has the initial resources to elevate the JumpStart Theatre program to a national level. Following a national search of dozens of major regional theatres, STAGES St. Louis and La Jolla Playhouse were chosen to launch the JumpStart Theatre model in 2018, as lead partners in the regional unveiling of the EdTA’s expansion

Not only will STAGES support the initiative locally, offering mentorship and developing ongoing relationships with the selected schools in the St. Louis area, but Jack Lane will further serve the program alongside a dynamic team of individuals on the ETF’s National Board of Trustees, raising the funds that make JumpStart Theatre possible.

This National Board of Trustees is comprised of prominent leaders across a diverse range of industries spanning entertainment, finance, hospitality, law, education, and nonprofit theatre, all with a common passion for theatre education. The ETF’s National and Honorary Board members include individuals representing companies such as Disney, iTheatrics, Music Theatre International, NBC, The Broadway League, and more. Notable names such as Hunter Bell, Tony-nominated playwright, Matt Conover, Vice President of Disney Parks Live entertainment, Viola Davis, award-winning actress and producer, Charlotte St. Martin, President of The Broadway League, Freddie Gershon, Chairman and CEO of Music Theatre International and Thomas Schumacher, President of Disney Theatrical Group are just a few of the board members who join Lane in the effort to further the mission of ETF and the JumpStart Theatre program.

In addition to overseeing the JumpStart Theatre program, the ETF will also provide need-based grants to schools, offering teaching and performance resources and equipment in under-resourced schools, as well as merit and need-based grants to individuals, nurturing the next generation of theatre teachers and artists.

Research clearly indicates that students who participate in theatre grow their literacy, empathy, self-discipline, and self-confidence, enabling their success in college, career, and life. The ETF believes every child in America deserves access to theatre education and with the support of its National Board of Trustees, the ETF will strive to serve our nation’s students, making them more well-rounded and prepared to be productive citizens that build our communities and our world.  M

Via Press Release