By Marc Malkin // Variety
Tina Fey and Wayne Brady have joined the lineup for this year’s Educational Theatre Foundation Gala.
Theatre Alive!: A Celebration of School Theatre, to be held virtually on Jan. 28, will honor director-producer-actor Kenny Leon with the Craig Zadan Theatre for Life Award. The Shubert Organization will receive the standing ovation award.
Nia Vardalos and John Stamos will emcee the gala. Performers will include Jennifer Hudson, Audra McDonald and Amber Riley. Robert Greenblatt and Neil Meron co-chair the benefit.
The Educational Theatre Foundation is the philanthropic arm of the Educational Theatre Association, which is the home of the International Thespian Society. ETF provides financial support for theater education and to expand access to school theater programs.
Proceeds from Theatre Alive will go toward Thespian Relief Grants to Save School Theatre, which assists theater programs struggling financially from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the new Pathway program to address racial disparity in theater.
“The belief that arts education should be available to all students, and the recognition of the importance of theatre education in preparing students for whatever path they pursue in life, is shared by our celebrity guests and our sponsors,” Educational Theatre Foundation President Julie Cohen Theobald said in a statement. “Research shows theatre education teaches life skills including creativity, critical thinking, communication, and collaboration.”
Tickets are free for the gala, which will stream on Playbill.com, Broadway on Demand and iHeartRadio Broadway.
Presenting sponsors for Theatre Alive include Playbill, Apples and Oranges Arts, Broadway on Demand, The Diller – Von Furstenberg Family Foundation, iHeartRadio Broadway. Additional sponsors include AMDA, Kate Capshaw & Steven Spielberg, NBC Entertainment, Concord Theatricals, Nancy & Kenneth Duffy, Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, Broadway Licensing, Open Jar Studios, Mark Weinstein, California Thespians, Disney Theatrical Group, Dramatists Play Service, Mark Drum, Thomas & Ellen Hoberman, Irene Mecchi, Harley Neuman, and Kevin Yorn.