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Area Stars Join Theatre Lab to Raise Scholarship $

17 May 2011 No Comment

Press Release

On May 20, Washington actors Sarah Marshall, Jennifer Mendenhall, Kim Schraf, Craig Wallace, MaryBeth Wise and Deidra Starnes will perform in readings of new plays by favorite Washington playwrights Ari Roth, Norman Allen, Ally Currin, David Emerson Toney, Renee Calarco, Elizabeth Pringle, Pamela Leahigh and Keith Bridges to raise money to send kids to theatre camp.

The Theatre Lab School of the Dramatic Arts will hold its annual Send a Kid to Theatre Camp campaign during April and May. A campaign goal of $49,000 has been established, which would allow 70 disadvantaged children from the DC area to attend The Theatre Lab’s summer drama camps.

As part of the fundraising campaign, The Theatre Lab will be sponsoring a month-long Dramathon competition in April. Participants who raise the most money for the campaign will have the chance to perform alongside some of DC’s most recognized professional actors in an evening of original short plays written by equally esteemed local playwrights. The performance will be held at Theater J on May 20.

In order to compete, participants must register with The Theatre Lab by April 1. Fundraising will go from April 4 to May 6, when the top fundraisers will be announced and cast in the plays. They will have a single rehearsal with a professional director before performing in the staged reading with the professional actors.

“We’re blown away by the generosity of the Washington theatre community,” Theatre Lab Co-Director Deb Gottesman said. “We called the most successful actors and playwrights in town and asked if they would lend their talents to raise money for kids and — without fail — they have embraced this opportunity. So now, anyone who wants to participate can do so alongside people at the very top of their craft.”

“Playwrights will have just 24 hours to complete a brand-new 10-minute play,” Theatre Lab Co-Director Buzz Mauro said. “They’ll write in response to a prompt, and they’ll know which professional will be playing the lead in their play. It’s going to be a blast for everyone involved — especially the audience!”

The Send a Kid to Theatre Camp campaign will involve a variety of fund-raising efforts beyond the Dramathon. Individuals can make contributions for the scholarship fund directly to The Theatre Lab. Additionally, the April 21 performance of the musical “Rags” by The Theatre Lab will be a special benefit performance to raise money.

The Theatre Lab enrolls over 300 young people from across the metropolitan area in its summer drama programs each year. More than one-third of participants receive full or partial scholarships from The Theatre Lab. In 2011, The Theatre Lab will dispense $63,000 in financial aid, $49,000 of which is raised during the spring Send a Kid to Theatre Camp campaign.

The Theatre Lab has been listed in the Catalogue for Philanthropy as one of the best small charities in the Greater Washington region, is the winner of the 2010 Mayor’s Arts Award and has been recognized as one of the 50 top arts- and humanities- based programs in the country serving youth outside of school hours by the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities.

For more information on The Theatre Lab and the Send a Kid to Theatre Camp campaign, visit theatrelab.org.

By: Contributing Author

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