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Thursday, March 29, 2007

Wilton's "Voices in Conflict" student actors receive award

Look what I received int he email today!
We wanted to let you know that Music Theatre International, the
Broadway musical licensing agency, has now voiced its support for
the students, as well. MTI was founded by Frank Loesser ("How To
Succeed in Business," "Guys & Dolls") to continue the legacy of the
Broadway musical.

Over the years, the company expanded and formed "Broadway Junior,"
which provides special school versions of shows from "Annie" to
"Schoolhouse Rock" to "Les Miserables" for students. Part of the
program is to educate (learning about the Depression, for example
in "Annie," ways to count in "Schoolhouse Rock" or the French
Revolution in "Les Miserables"), and part is to encourage students
to get involved in the arts.

They certainly don't license anything like "Voices in Conflict,"
but they are stepping out of the 54-year tradition and creating its
first "Courage in Theatre" award for this "non-performance." This
company often hands out awards for singing, dancing, directing,
stage design, costumes or music. "Courage" is a first, though,
just for the students at Wilton High School.

"MTI's very first COURAGE IN THEATER AWARD…goes to the members of
the advanced theater class…not for a performance or a production,
but rather in recognition of your actions in having collaborated in
the creation of a stage piece on a sensitive but germane subject
titled: VOICES IN CONFLICT."

Attached is a copy of the letter being delivered to the students to
salute their achievements. A plaque is also being designed for the
students.

Wilton High School probably won't be the last to face these
challenges as the war progresses. Music Theatre International is
proud to be part of the theatre community that these students have
honored.
Here's a copy of the letter being sent to the students.
Music Theatre International
421 West 54th Street, Second Floor
New York, New York 10019
(212) 541-4684 FAX: (212) 397-4684
Freddie Gershon
Chairman

March 28, 2007

To: The Advanced Theatre Students of Wilton High School,

Congratulations to each of you!

MTI has determined that you collectively and individually receive the MUSIC THEATRE INTERNATIONAL COURAGE IN THEATER AWARD. This is the first such award in the 54 year history of Music Theatre International.

MTI was founded by Pulitzer Prize winning Broadway Composer/Lyricist
FRANK LOESSER in whose honor we have established this award. Frank believed that High School productions keep theater alive in America serving to enlighten, educate as well as entertain. Although Mr. Loesser's musicals were not about war (GUYS &DOLLS, THE MOST HAPPY FELLA, HOW TO SUCCEED IN BUSINESS and others) he and his colleagues in the Broadway community and the company he created to serve the schools of America with theater materials, would be proud of your class's approach to theatre as well as your passion and commitment to the production which you created.

Schools and Theater Departments with outstanding performances or those demonstrating adventuresome spirit, inventiveness and daring through their stage productions have been recognized in different ways by MTI in the past.
However, we are aware that theater is not just about acting, singing, dancing and excelling in performance. It is also about positive risk taking for students, working as a community and utilizing theatre skills, to present points of view on the stage which comment on the world in which we live. In doing so, they provoke discussion, engage an audience and stimulate their colleagues/fellow students/and the audience to reflect on what they saw and heard long after they have left the theater. That, in turn, should result in healthy dialogue of differing points of view.

WILTON HIGH SCHOOL's advanced theater students' "non-performance" of their original theater piece is unique in our experience of licensing over 500,000 high school performances in the last two decades and deserving of special recognition.

MTI's very first COURAGE IN THEATER AWARD therefore goes to the members of the advanced theater class…not for a performance or a production, but rather in recognition of your actions in having collaborated in the creation of a stage piece on a sensitive but germane subject titled: VOICES IN CONFLICT.

Music Theatre International congratulates each of you.
Congrats...you guys deserve it and so much more.