Inside Broadway, a youth outreach program that brings live theatre to New York City school children, honored Local 802 President Bill Moriarity in June for his and the union’s support for arts education in the public schools. In the last year alone, 45,000 students were exposed to live theatre through its work.
In 1995 Inside Broadway created the Beacon Awards to honor individuals and organizations “that have helped support the mission of furthering arts education in the public schools.” This year’s awards were presented at a June 6 program at the Loews Hotel.
Accepting the award on behalf of the 10,000 members of Local 802, Moriarity praised the work of Inside Broadway and pledged “to continue our efforts to support arts education and Inside Broadway. We can never advocate enough for arts education in our schools.”
He was introduced by Actors’ Equity’s Executive Director Alan Eisenberg, who said he was honored “to present this award to an individual whose honesty and integrity is known throughout this business. He is not only a wonderful individual but someone who is deserving of this award and this recognition.”
Inside Broadway, which is supported by foundations and corporate grants, brings New York public school students to Broadway theatres and brings its own productions to the schools (a report on the program appeared in the July/August 1999 issue of Allegro). Michael Presser, the organization’s executive director, said that more than 350 schools in all five boroughs were involved in various programs during the past year. These included “Creating the Magic” seminars which were presented at the Imperial and Winter Garden theatres featuring cast and crew members from Annie Get Your Gun, Beauty and the Beast, Les Miserables, Cats, Miss Saigon and Jekyll and Hyde. Two original musicals were created for in-school presentations: All Kinds of People: Oscar Hammerstein II’s Words of Tolerance and a new adaptation of Marlo Thomas’ Free to Be…You and Me.
Other honorees this year included Theodore S. Chapin, president of the Rodgers & Hammerstein Organization, Kristin Chenoweth, star of Broadway’s You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown, and Betty Jacobs, wife of the late Bernard Jacobs, who helped begin Inside Broadway in 1982. The emcee was Pia Lindstrom, journalist and currently theatre critic for Fox5/WNYW’s Good Day New York.