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PGT Launches Barbara Whitman Scholarship Fund

From Left to Right: John Ellison Conlee, Celia Keenan-Bolger, Barbara Whitman, Dave Carlyon. Credit Play Group Theatre, Douglas Schneider photographer

White Plains Patch
Jan. 2, 2012

The Play Group Theatre Presented From North Broadway to Broadway: Celebrating Barbara Whitman On MONDAY, DECEMBER 19th

Celia Keenan-Bolger (The 25th Annual Putnam Valley County Spelling Bee, Les Meserables) and John Ellison Conlee (The Full Monty) appeared at The Play Group Theatre’s 6th Annual Holiday Benefit, honoring Broadway Producer and Chair Emeritus, Barbara Whitman, on Monday December 19th at The Play Group Theatre, One North Broadway, White Plains, NY.

From North Broadway to Broadway: Celebrating Barbara Whitman, also featured special performances by PGT Alumni, Daniel & Will Carlyon, and the PGT Senior Class of 2012. All proceeds from the evening went to support the newly created Barbara Whitman Scholarship Fund.

“This is an incredibly exciting time at Play Group Theatre because we are finally in the position to offer less fortunate deserving students the opportunity to experience children’s theatre at the highest level, within this unique community, where acting is only one part of what is learned; a community where children are surrounded by caring, passionate hardworking adults and peers who inspire them to grow into responsible, creative and dynamic young adults,” said Annette Rotter, Chair of Play Group Theatre's Board of Trustees.

From Right to Left: Mayor of White Plains, Thomas Roach, Jill Abusch: Artistic Director PGT; Barbara Whitman: Honoree and Former PGT Board Chair; Annette Rotter: PGT Board Chair; Mille Castro: Girl Scout Leader of El Centro Hispano; Steven Abusch:, Executive Director of PGT. Credit Play Group Theatre, Douglas Schneider photographer

Specifically Play Group Theatre is partnering with Mille Castro at El Centro Hispano and Heather Miller at the Slater Center to identify deserving students from White Plains inner city and offer them scholarships to PGT. These students have begun to participate in PGT summer camp, in the Main Stage Program and in Studio Stage as well.

In addition, the new Community Connections program is also committed to bringing live theatre to students in White Plains who might not otherwise have that opportunity. This past spring, summer and Fall, PGT mounted free community performances of Batboy, Zombie Prom and Charlie Brown, drawing students and families affiliated with El Centro Hispano and The Slater Center, into the PGT audience.

And in fact, some of the very students who enjoyed this past summer’s community performance of Zombie Prom wound up applying for scholarships to the Mainstage and Studio Stage programs this Fall. So the seeds that were planted at these community performances are already taking root and more and more students are getting engaged in the world of PGT.

Annette Rotter ended her remarks that evening saying, “Our hearts are filled with joy as we honor Barbara’s vision of Play Group Theatre as an inclusive community, and establish the Barbara Whitman Scholarship Fund which will help us to offer the PGT experience to all.”

The Play Group Theatre is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization made possible in part by generous donors like you. Thank you for your support!