The cast of Come From Away at Broadway's Schoenfeld Theatre.
The cast of Come From Away at Broadway's Schoenfeld Theatre.
(© Matthew Murphy)

The Broadway League has awarded the New York Education and Engagement Grants to the Broadway productions of Come From Away and August Wilson's Jitney, which recently ended its run at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre.

Each production received a $5,000 grant toward its 2017 educational and engagement initiatives. The grants aid the growth and development of theater education in the city in an effort to encourage Broadway productions to create more opportunities for young people.

Come From Away has launched the "I Am an Islander" project, a multisession cultural exchange program that connects students from New York City and Newfoundland. Similar to how stories were gathered and shared in the creation of Come From Away, students in Collaborative Classrooms conduct interviews using email or video conferencing to learn about each other's neighborhoods, families, friends and experiences growing up in their respective communities. Students will then use these stories to create an art installation that will be shared with their partner classrooms.

The Manhattan Theatre Club engaged a class of about 20 students at Pathways to Graduation, a program in the Bronx that helps students aged 18-21 earn a high school equivalency diploma. MTC worked with these students through WrOTE (Write on the Edge), a playwriting residency built around August Wilson's Jitney. During the 22-session program, an MTC teaching artist led the class through a series of workshops to prepare students to attend a performance of the play, and then guided them in the development of original short plays inspired by the themes and motifs of Jitney.

The Broadway League established the New York Education and Engagement Grants in 2002 to recognize education initiatives and to support related programs for Broadway shows. As the national trade organization for the commercial theater industry, the League also sponsors a grant program supporting education and engagement programs for touring Broadway productions. The two programs combined have, to date, awarded over $1 million to theaters in New York and across the country. Both grants were established by the League with generous additional financial support from the Theatre Development Fund.