Chita Rivera, Laura Benanti, Cast of Lightning Thief Join Acclaimed Lineup for TheaterWorksUSA Fall Benefit, Joe Iconis and George Salazar to Perform
TheaterWorksUSA presents the Connecting the Dots fall benefit to highlight twin brothers Paul and Peter H. Reynolds who have made outstanding contributions in art and education that exemplify the heart of TheaterWorksUSA's vision: connecting young people to story and art in a way that resonates for generations.
Chita Rivera is one of many significant names to join the acclaimed lineup previously announced for TheaterWorksUSA’s fall benefit, Connecting the Dots, will stream exclusively online on Thursday, October 8, at 7:00 p.m. EST on Broadway On Demand. Along with Rivera, Stephen Schwartz, Laura Benanti, the Broadway company of The Lightning Thief, Alex Timbers, Stephen Brackett, Joe Tracz, Robert Rokicki, Jelani Alladin, Ben Wexler, Becky Ann and Dylan Baker, Susan Egan, Jenn Gambatese, Richard Kind, Pasek and Paul, Schele Williams, Karen Ziemba, stage managers Kenneth J.McGee, Ira Mont and Jill Cordle, and Nell Benjamin and Laurence O'Keefe will join the celebration. The event will honor creativity champions and award-winning author/illustrators Paul and Peter H. Reynolds of FableVision Learning and International Dot Day for their outstanding contributions to the educational and cultural development of young people around the world. The evening will also include appearances and presentations by extraordinary theater artists, as well as noteworthy performances from George Salazar with a special cameo from Joe Iconis, Chuck, Eddie, and Lilli Cooper, Jalynn Steele, Quentin Darrington, Saint Aubyn, Terence Archie, and Cicily Daniels. Admission to the main programming is by donation ($25 per ticket suggested).
VIP tickets to an exclusive pre-show experience are available as well. Benefits for VIP ticket holders include a shared luxury cocktail recipe crafted by sponsor American Whiskey, and a surprise guest from the food and television world who will appear only at the VIP pre-show event. Participants are welcome to live tweet and engage online as they experience each event using the hashtag #TWUSA.
Executive Director Michael Harrington expressed TheaterWorksUSA’s commitment to serving as an artistic home even in the midst of separation, “Creating theater is at the heart of TheaterWorksUSA’s mission. The work we are creating these days looks a little different than it has in the past, but our goals are similar: build community through shared experiences, celebrate the exceptional artists that work with us, and inspire young people and their families to develop a love for theater. This benefit, Connecting the Dots, is our way of joyfully pursuing these goals in our current virtual circumstances.” Barbara Pasternack, Artistic Director, was quick to add, “And the entertainment’s going to be awesome!”
The acclaimed lineup is a testimony the TheaterWorksUSA’s positive impact on the field, according to Heather Arnson, Creative Director of Broadway Virtual, who directs the event, “I am so moved that artists who we love and admire are rallying around TheaterWorksUSA to both support and ensure their work and legacy continue on for generations to come.”
The Connecting the Dots virtual fall benefit at TheaterWorksUSA will stream on the Broadway On Demand platform and is produced by Jim Kierstead, Executive Producer, with Asad Javed as Technical Director/Editor of Broadway Virtual. The benefit has been made possible thanks to the support of Scholastic, BroadwayHD, American Whiskey, and Proscenium. TheaterWorksUSA continues to welcome additional sponsors at various levels of support who can reach out directly.
TheaterWorksUSA has led the Theater for Young and Family Audiences movement in New York City and across North America for over half a century. Since 1961, the 501(c)3 not-for-profit has captured the imaginations of 100 million new and veteran theatergoers with an award-winning repertoire of over 140 original plays and musicals - including a musical adaptation of Peter H. Reynolds’ best-selling storybook about creativity The Dot. Acclaimed alumni include Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez (Disney’s Frozen), Jerry Zaks (The Music Man), Benj Pasek and Justin Paul (Dear Evan Hansen), Joe Iconis (Be More Chill), Daphne Rubin-Vega (Rent), and Kathleen Chalfant (Angels in America). Prior to suspending live production due to the pandemic, TWUSA’s 19-20 season included touring eleven shows around the country, the Broadway premiere of The Lightning Thief: The Percy Jackson Musical, and three world premieres: Warriors Don’t Cry based on the autobiography of Melba Patillo Beals; Dog Man: The Musical off-Broadway; and The Pout-Pout Fish which opened the New Victory Theater’s season in October 2019.
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