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Bellevue Selected for Children's Theatre 3-Year Program to Develop Its Own

Bellevue Middle School was one of three schools selected to be part of the three-year JumpStart Theatre Program at the Children's Theatre of Cincinnati.

The theatre conducted a months-long in-person and virtual selection process before selecting Bellevue, St. Bernard Elmwood Place Schools, and Pleasant Ridge Montessori.

The Educational Theatre Foundation (ETF), in collaboration with New York City-based companies iTheatrics and Music Theatre International (MTI) created JumpStart Theatre, a three-year scalable program designed to build sustainable musical theatre programs in underserved schools that previously had none.

Bellevue and the other two selected schools will join the program for the 2020-21 school year. They join Hartwell Elementary, Liberty Bible Academy, and Summit Academy Cincinnati Community School who were selected last year.

The selection process included a formal written application, site visits to the schools, and interviews with administrators and the faculty who would be spearheading the program.

“After a rigorous application and interview process, we are thrilled to welcome Bellevue Middle School, St. Bernard Elmwood Place Schools and Pleasant Ridge Montessori to the JumpStart Theatre Program for the 20-21 school year," said Kim Kern, managing director and CEO of The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati said.  "All the schools that applied were wonderful candidates and will be invited to the boot camp trainings and to apply again for the 2021-22 school year.  We are so excited to see the continued momentum of this program, and to work alongside the Educational Theatre Foundation to continue the growth locally while they expand the reach and impact nationally.”

“We’re deeply grateful for this opportunity to provide options for our students to continue and explore new pathways of performance. We hope to use the transformative power of performance to enrich the lives of our students," said Chris Wheeler, band director and performing arts, Bellevue Middle School

Each selected school will receive services and materials valued at $12,000 in the form of training, mentoring, and production support for a show for their community. Students will be involved in every aspect of the production, and TCT and ETF will also host an annual JumpStart Theatre showcase, bringing all the participants together to share their work.

Three teachers from each participating school are taught the techniques and skills to develop and manage a musical theatre program (everything from casting, to rehearsal schedules, to staging/choreography and technical requirements, to cultivating parent/community engagement, to achieving economic sustainability) through a series of three, full-day professional development “boot camps” each year of the three-year program, plus an ongoing mentoring/coaching relationship with an experienced theatre teaching artist.

-Staff report