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ANNUAL SPRING GALA
Celebrating Shakespeare’s Birthday
Monday, June 7, 2021
Virtual Gala and Silent Auction
6:30 PM EDT Pre-Program Virtual Reception
7:30 PM EDT Gala Streaming Program
Featuring the 17th Presentation of the Samuel H. Scripps Award
for Extraordinary Artistic Achievement to
Educator and Artist
Janice Marie Knight School, East Flatbush, Brooklyn
Presented by The Honorable Jahana Hayes, U.S. Representative,
Fifth Congressional District of Connecticut
And the 10th Presentation of the Life in Art Award to
and the Thompson Family Foundation
Presented by Kathryn Hunter
With the participation of friends of TFANA including F. Murray Abraham, Arin Arbus, Bianca Vivion Brooks, Christian Camargo, Bill Camp, Will Eno, Simon Godwin, Kathryn Hunter, Taibi Magar, Michael Rogers, Ashley Tata, John Douglas Thompson, Awoye Timpo and more
The Annual Gala raises significant support for the Theatre’s critically-acclaimed and award-winning productions, as well as for its in-depth education programs that serve public school students in every borough of New York City.
Theatre for a New Audience annually provides 13-week comprehensive arts education programs in New York City Public Schools. One program teaches playwriting and one program introduces Shakespeare and classic drama to 2,000 students from a dozen New York City Public schools city-wide. The Theatre raises approximately 75% of the total program costs. Students participate for free. Philanthropy is essential and complements the schools’ contribution.
ABOUT THE HONOREES
Marie Maignan, Educator and Artist
Marie Maignan, Master of Science, Education, was born in America after her parents emigrated from Haiti in the 1970s. Since 2005, she has taught Social Studies, Math and Science and English Language Arts to 4th and 5th grades at Janice Marie Knight School (P.S. 235), East Flatbush, Brooklyn.
Shakespeare had been a part of the P.S. 235 5th grade curriculum championed by Principal Janice Marie Knight. Though she had never taught Shakespeare, Maignan loved poetry, literature and worked in libraries as a teenager. In 2006, she began a partnership with Theatre for a New Audience and Ms. Erin McCready, teaching artist. Together, they led a process that respected students’ experience, knowledge, and imagination. The work flourished. Maignan and McCready have now explored fifteen different plays of Shakespeare from comedies about love to tragedies about race and the human heart to satires about money and greed. Interpreting Shakespeare with 11- and 12-year-olds, Marie Maignan synthesizes, inspires, and creates. Students now produce their own annual two-day Shakespeare Expo.
After reading his Sonnet 29, Maya Angelou said she thought “Shakespeare must be a black girl.” Angelou wrote, “The poetry has been written for you, each of you – black, white, Hispanic, man, woman, gay, straight.” Marie Maignan’s art expresses this. She also serves on the Board of the Kyle Jean-Baptiste Foundation which supports arts and performance enrichment and learning opportunities to empower and engage youth, families, and community.
Amanda Riegel, The Thompson Family Foundation
Amanda Riegel is president of The Thompson Family Foundation, which funds historic preservation, arts and culture, medical research and community services in and around New York City. Founded by Wade Thompson in 1986, the Foundation has been instrumental in the revitalization of the Park Avenue Armory. In addition to major support for Theatre for a New Audience’s Capital Project for Polonsky Shakespeare Center, the Foundation has been a Principal Supporter of TFANA’s productions and programs since 2014.
Other recent projects include the restoration of Belvedere Castle in Central Park, support of a collaborative cancer research project between Memorial Sloan Kettering, the Weizmann Institute in Tel Aviv and Cold Spring Harbor Laboratories, and support for neurological research at the Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons at Columbia University. The Foundation also provides support for local organizations meeting critical needs for New Yorkers and ongoing support for veterans. Amanda currently serves as co-chair of the Park Avenue Armory board and as a member of the Columbia Women’s Health Care Council.
We would like to thank the following individuals, organizations and companies for their generous donations towards our Silent Auction
Andy Burgess, courtesy of Cynthia Corbett Gallery
Milton Glaser, Inc.
Michele and Kevin Harrington
Lafayette 148, Manhasset
Geoff Stein, courtesy of Cynthia Corbett Gallery
Trips provided by our nonprofit partner, AmFund
Founded 1979 by Jeffrey Horowitz, Theatre for a New Audience (TFANA) is home for Shakespeare and other contemporary playwrights. It nurtures artists, culture and community. As each audience is new and different from the last one, TFANA is dedicated to forging an exchange between artist and playgoer that is immediate and direct, and to the ongoing search for a living, human theatre.
With Shakespeare as its supreme guide, TFANA explores the ever-changing forms of world theatre and builds a dialogue spanning centuries between the language and ideas of Shakespeare and diverse authors, past and present.
TFANA promotes development and experimentation through its Merle Debuskey Studio Program. Arin Arbus, Mark Rylance, Bartlett Sher, Julie Taymor, Darko Tresnjak and John Douglas Thompson are some of today’s most respected artists to whom TFANA provided essential support early in their careers.
TFANA plays for audiences of all ages and backgrounds. The company is devoted to economic access; and promotes a vibrant exchange of ideas through its humanities and education initiatives. TFANA created and runs the largest program to introduce Shakespeare and classic drama in New York City’s Public Schools. Since1984, it has served more than 140,000 students. TFANA’s award-winning productions have played nationally, internationally and on Broadway. In 2001, it became the first American theatre company invited to bring a production of Shakespeare to the Royal Shakespeare Company.
In 2013, TFANA opened its first permanent home, Polonsky Shakespeare Center, in the Brooklyn Cultural District. The flexible, 299-seat Samuel H. Scripps Mainstage is wonderful for Shakespeare and contemporary playwrights and the 50-seat Theodore C. Rogers Studio is an adaptable rehearsal and performance space.
During Covid, TFANA engaged artists and audiences with distinctive programming. Its work in the Public Schools continues virtually serving 2,100 students citywide. And, with a special gift, Julie Taymor’s film, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, is being streamed at no charge to participating students and educators.