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Bay Street Theater Receives Grant From NEA For "Literature Live!"

Ryan Lappe

The National Endowment for the Arts Acting Chairman Mary Anne Carter has approved more than $80 million in grants as part of the Arts Endowment's second major funding announcement for fiscal year 2019. Included in this announcement is an Art Works grant of $10,000 to Bay Street Theater for the Literature Live! production in 2019 for regional schools. Art Works is the Arts Endowment's principal grantmaking program. The agency received 1,592 Art Works applications for this round of grantmaking and will award 977 grants in this category.

"These awards, reaching every corner of the United States, are a testament to the artistic richness and diversity in our country," said Mary Anne Carter, acting chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts. "Organizations such as Bay Street Theater are giving people in their community the opportunity to learn, create, and be inspired."

Bay Street Theater & Sag Harbor Center for the Arts is a year-round, not-for-profit professional theater and community cultural center which endeavors to innovate, educate, and entertain a diverse community through the practice of the performing arts. It serves as a social and cultural gathering place, an educational resource, and a home for a community of artists.

"We couldn't be more pleased," said Tracy Mitchell, Bay Street Theater's Executive Director. "Literature Live! is one of our key education programs which last year reach over 3,500 students by offering free tickets to them along with their teachers and administrators. Many students have never seen live theater before, much less a professional production about a classic novel they read in school."

Literature Live! was successfully launched in 2009 with the production of The Diary of Anne Frank. Now in its eleventh year, the program brings classic works of literature to life on stage for school groups, families, and the general public for a one month run. Using curriculum-based literature, Bay Street creates a unique learning experience by inviting students, teachers, and administrators to see professional productions supported with teacher-developed lesson plans and reference materials. Each production is followed by a "Q&A" session with the cast and special guests. The program has expanded to allow for teaching artists to work with students and teachers prior to seeing the show should they wish. All students, teachers, and administrators are admitted free of charge.

Past Literature Live! productions include The Miracle Worker, To Kill a Mockingbird, The Crucible, Of Mice and Men, The Scarlet Letter, Death of a Salesman, and The Great Gatsby. This fall's production will be A Raisin in the Sun, with cast and design team yet to be announced.

Teachers or administrators who wish to secure seats for their students should contact Director of Education, Allen O'Reilly at allen@baystreet.org. For more information about Bay Street, visit www.baystreet.org.

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