Friday, April 19, 2024

Rosie O’Donnell to Get Much Deserved Honorary Tony Award


Good news! Rosie O’Donnell will receive a much deserve honorary award at this year’s Tony Awards. She’s getting the Isabelle Stevenson award for her incredible contributions to musical theater– specifically her Rosie’s Theater Kids foundation and Maravel School for theater on West 45th St. This school is such a gem. Kids from all over New York come there on afternoons after school for theater training. The Maravel school has literally changed the lives of hundreds of kids over the last few years!

Congrats Rosie!

Here’s the release:

Rosie O’Donnell will be presented with the 2014 Isabelle Stevenson Award for her commitment to arts education for New York City’s public school children.   In 2003, Rosie’s For All Kids Foundation launched Rosie’s Broadway Kids, which is now known as Rosie’s Theater Kids (RTKids).  Rosie’s Theater Kids is a non-profit arts education organization which continually provides training in dance, music and drama for students attending public school in New York City.  RTKids serves students who otherwise would not have the opportunity to experience theater, positively changing the trajectory of their lives by providing comprehensive classes in music, dance and drama; thoughtful mentoring; and structured academic guidance.   Dedicated to enriching the lives of children though the arts, their goal is to inspire excellence, motivate learning, uplift the human spirit, build confidence, and spark a lifelong appreciation for the arts. 


RTKids provides a number of programs, including:

·         PS Broadway – An in-school program for NYC public school fifth-graders.  During the year, RTKids staff members teach dance and music as part of a 15-week program that serves 22 schools throughout Manhattan.  Every class of students takes a free trip to see a Broadway musical and participates in a question-and-answer session with performers, directors, conductors and members of the production’s technical staff.  Each semester this program is wrapped up with a school assembly where the students perform for their peers, parents and teachers.

·         ACTE II (A Commitment to Excellence) – A scholarship program in which outstanding graduates of PS Broadway have the opportunity to receive further training in free after-school classes in ballet, tap, jazz, voice and drama.   The program includes a Summer Intensive program that provides group classes and private lessons, preparing students for a final performance for family, friends and industry professionals.

·         Spotlight on Fitness (SoFit) – Developed in collaboration with a school-based health care program and the NYC Department of Education, SoFit is a physical education program that fulfills state and local curriculum requirements in both the arts and physical education.

·         A+ (Arts Plus) – This program provides supplementary tools to enhance the academic achievement of the ACTE II Students at the secondary level. A+ includes after-school tutoring, High School admission guidance, private coaching and preparation for performing arts school auditions (both high school and collegiate) and professional PSAT and SAT preparatory classes.  To date, with the individual coaching and assistance from RTKids, 100% of the 8th grade students were placed in competitive New York City performing arts high schools for the past two years.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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