Broadway League Announces 2015 Educator Apple Awards on June 29
By: Ellis Nassour
The Broadway League, the co-presenter of the Tony Awards and the national trade organization for the commercial theatre industry, has revealed the recipients of the 2015 League Educator Apple Awards, which acknowledge teachers and advocates who support Broadway or touring Broadway programs.
They are: Cristina Gutierrez-Brewster, program manager, Academy Prep Center of Tampa (nominated by Straz Center for the Performing Arts); Rosa Rocha, board president, Friends of Down Syndrome, Houston (nominated by Theatre Under the Stars); and Bradley Wingate, arts academy specialist, Greenville County [SC] Schools (nominated by the Peace Center for the Performing Arts).
The Educator Apple Awards will be presented at the seventh annual National High School Musical Theatre Awards (NHSMTA) showcase June 29th at the Minskoff Theatre, when 52 nominees from across America will compete for Jimmy Awards for Best Performance by an Actor and Actress. These awards are named in honor of Nederlander Organization chairman and producer James M. Nederlander. James L. Nederlander, Nederlander Organization president, will present winners with a grand cash scholarship package.
"The Broadway League has presented the League Educator Apple Award since 2003," says Broadway League president Charlotte St. Martin. "This year the Apple Awards will recognize educational administrators and advocates for their commitment to arts education and to enriching the lives of their students through theater."
Working to develop new audiences and model projects by supporting education initiatives across the country. Now in its 13th year, the League Educator Apple Awards have honored educators, administrators, and school district leaders nationwide for their commitment to arts education and their work in collaboration with League-member venues that present touring Broadway shows.
At Tampa’s Academy Prep Center, under Ms. Gutierrez-Brewster, there were need-based scholarships and subsidized meals for students, who explored the cultural heritage of Motown music and attended a performance of Motown the Musical at the Straz Center.
Under Ms. Rocha at Houston’s Friends of Down Syndrome, teens and adults experienced touring Broadway at TUTS, forging a lifelong bond between theater and them. High school and college-aged students at the Academy engaged loco motor and spatial awareness skills through creative movement and dance centered on the Rodgers & Hammerstein’s score of Cinderella, attended a performance at the Hobby Center, and performed a waltz for attendees at the Cinderella Ball, a fundraising event for Friends of Down Syndrome.
Mr. Wingate assisted the Peace Center by connecting with arts teachers and school administrators in Greenville County as well as other state arts organizations. Through this partnership, he’s championed a new professional development initiative for arts teachers to engage with touring Broadway productions that have included Once, Pippin, and Wicked.
For information on the League Educator Apple Awards, contact Rachel Reiner at firstname.lastname@example.org. For information on the annual Jimmy Awards, visit www.