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MTI Honored With Educational Theatre Association’s 2010 Standing Ovation Award

Stage Directions • Theatre Buzz • June 10, 2010

NEW YORK—Music Theatre International (MTI), the agency that created The Broadway Junior Collection, which has enabled thousands of schools to stage productions of Broadway shows and the company that licenses some of the best-known titles from Broadway, Off-Broadway, and London’s West End, is the recipient of the Educational Theatre Association’s (EdTA) 2010 Standing Ovation Award. John Prignano, MTI’s Senior Operations Officer, will accept the award on Tuesday, June 22 during Thespian Festival 2010. The Thespian Festival takes place June 21-26 at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

The EdTA Standing Ovation Award recognizes a corporation or business making significant contributions to promote and strengthen theatre education through its philanthropic efforts or programs and activities. “We have licensed more than 50,000 school productions since we decided to start an education division with school editions and Broadway Junior,” said Freddie Gershon, president and CEO of MTI. “The shows are now part of American pop culture, with more students participating every year. We are very proud to be recognized by EdTA.”

In addition to The Broadway Junior Collection® for elementary and middle schools, MTI produces the School Edition musical for high schools, as well as the RehearScore and OrchEXTRA products. They’ve also created musical theatre programming in underserved schools in the New York City area, demonstrating a further belief in and support for theatre in schools.

MTI’s relationship with EdTA goes back many years, with MTI being especially supportive of the Thespian Festival. Their generosity and partnership in the production of three Thespian National Company musicals—Ragtime, Thoroughly Modern Millie, and Hairspray—made these shows possible.

“We at MTI are very proud and honored to be receiving this award from EdTA,” stated Prignano. “MTI has been working with EdTA for over 10 years, and its support and dedication to theatre and education is vital to keeping theatre in the schools and remains a tremendous asset to young talent around the country. As we know, theatre not only teaches how to ‘act,’ but it builds many life skills needed to be able to succeed in the world. Because one of MTI’s missions is to support initiatives intended to enhance arts and education, EdTA’s parallel goals have made it an ideal partner.”

“MTI has done so much to help schools and EdTA reach students and engage them in musical theatre,” said EdTA Executive Director Michael J. Peitz. “Their support of our Thespian National Company productions and their work publishing teaching materials for Broadway musicals has helped hundreds of teachers and brought the benefits of theatre involvement to thousands of students. It is my pleasure to award MTI the 2010 Standing Ovation Award in recognition of all of their generosity and vision in taking care of the needs of theatre students and teachers.”

MTI takes its place in an illustrious group of past recipients of the EdTA Standing Ovation Award, including the Bravo television network (2001), Camp Broadway (2002), Glencoe/McGraw-Hill (2003), Camp Bravo (2004), Procter & Gamble Productions (2005), Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS (2006), Electronic Theatre Controls (2007), and Interactive Educational Video (2008).

For more information on MTI, visit

For more information on EdTA, visit


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