Following the recent tragic death of 21-year-old Les Misérables actor Kyle Jean-Baptiste, his former classmates at Baldwin Wallace University and the Mackintosh Foundation were moved to establish a BW Music Theatre Scholarship in his honor.
Together, an alumni-led crowd-funding campaign and a gesture of honor and generosity from the Mackintosh Foundation have raised more than $130,000 for the Kyle Jean-Baptiste '15 Music Theatre Scholarship. The endowed scholarship "has been established at his alma mater to carry forward Kyle's legacy and benefit music theater students."
Kyle Jean-Baptiste made history on July 23 when he became the first African-American actor, and the youngest person ever, to play Jean Valjean in a Broadway production of Les Misérables. A native of Brooklyn and a graduate of the Fiorello LaGuardia High School of the Performing Arts, Jean-Baptiste starred in numerous productions at Ohio's Baldwin Wallace University. The day after his graduation, he was hired to join the ensemble of Les Misérables and understudy the role of Jean Valjean, joining the production on June 23. Kyle was scheduled to depart Les Misérables on September 6 to join the new Broadway production of The Color Purple.
To make a scholarship gift in Jean-Baptiste's memory, checks should be made payable to Baldwin Wallace University with "Kyle Jean-Baptiste MT Scholarship" noted on the memo line and sent to Baldwin Wallace University, c/o Advancement Services, 275 Eastland Road, Berea, Ohio 44017. To make an electronic gift, go to www.b-wcommunity.net/give.
The Mackintosh Foundation was founded by Les Misérables producer Sir Cameron Mackintosh.