Coolness Ranking of the American Theatre Wing ....

2:55 PM / Posted by Ashley /

How cool is the American Theatre Wing? I'd say a 15+ on a scale of 1 to 10. Even in these desperate economic times, they recently gave out $125,000 in grants to nonprofit theatres ( That deserves a MAJOR shout out, especially in light of how close to every off-off Broadway company I know is struggling financially. I am so honored to have had the opportunity to have attended the luncheon (as a volunteer- thanks to SBNYC). I was deeply inspired by the humility and gratitude of many presenters and recipients, most of whose work I was familiar with beforehand... but nothing beats meeting the people behind the company name.

So, with that in mind. If you're a college student pursuing theatre, you need to consider applying for another ATW program called SpringboardNYC. The website provides a blurb...

"SPRINGBOARDNYC is a two week concentrated pre-professional training course for college students planning careers in the theatre. We provide the job-seeking skills, insight into the business of theatre and the urban survival tools necessary to translate academic training into a productive career. The curriculum includes a series of workshops, seminars, master classes and field trips, placing participants in the center of New York's theatrical community, with access to influential working artists."

Even as someone who did both undergrad (and grad) in NYC, the program helped me solidify my career goals as a director and performer. More importantly, it allowed me the chance to be rebaptized into the city. I saw things in NYC that I hadn't seen since I first arrived (because after living here for a few years your senses get shot). I recently had dinner with two other ladies that were part of SBNYC '08 and we all agreed that one of the best parts of SBNYC were the friendships and networks that were formed. All 35 students from last year are still in touch (something that happens so rarely in a graduating class). So, whether you're a New York native or from the middle of the country, it's definitely worth checking out. In fact, I would say it's mandatory if you plan on pursuing theatre here.

If money is hard to come by these days, there are scholarships available. Here's a link to the application and SBNYC website:

*** Thanks to the voyeuristic workings of "Google Analytics", I see that many people stumble across this blog searching "SpringboardNYC". If you'd like to hear more about SBNYC or have any questions, feel free to drop me a line.

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