The Broadway League is teaming up with the United Federation of Teachers to get every NYC public high school kid to see a show on the Great White Way..
“We have a goal of having everyone of our 70,000 high school students going to a Broadway play before they graduate,” said the United Federation of Teachers president Michael Mulgrew at an event Feb. 2 in which 500 teachers were treated to tickets to Chicago.
Charlotte St. Martinm head of the Broadway revealed on the same night that the teachers were getting tickets to the longest running musical on Broadway, there were also three groups of high school students seeing Wicked, The Lion King or Moulin Rouge.
And last year, she said the see-a-show program got 24,000 high school kids to see a Broadway play.
“It’s a great honor to be standing here. It was not too long ago we were begging people to come to see Broadway plays,” said NYC Councilman Keith Powers, the Democratic majority leader whose district includes the East Side of the Theater District. “Our city depends on you guys,” he said to the teachers.
Councilman Erik Bottcher, whose district includes the West Side of the theater district noted “You always remember the first Broadway play you saw,” he said. “The first play I saw was rent.” And he congratulated the teachers for the work they did through COVID. “They had to invent a whole new way of teaching, and they did it on a dime.”
Mark Levine, the Manhattan Borough President said, “This is only the second hardest job I’ve ever had.” His first? “Back in the day, I was one of you.” He told the teachers that he had taught junior high kids at PS 149.
Despite a night out and the kind words from the assembled politicians, several teachers on the scene told Straus News they are still coping with pandemic related problems. “It is still a struggle some days, after a period of indirect learning due to the pandemic,” said Camille Hatch, who teaches special ed bridge classes at PS 192 in Manhattan.
Lynette Hernandez, a school psychologist at the same school said, “It’s tough to be able to support the community after the trauma of the pandemic and the mental health issues for family and staff.”
It’s tough to be able to support the community after the trauma of the pandemic and the mental health issues for family and staff.” Lynette Hernandez, school psychologist at PS 192 in Manhattan.