Blue Star Theatres Reaches 85 Participating Theatres in 33 States

by TCG News

in Arts and the Armed Forces

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Theatre Communications Group (TCG), the national organization for theatre, and Blue Star Families, a national non-profit for military families, are pleased to announce that 85 theatres in 33 states have now joined the Blue Star Theatres program. In partnership between TCG and Blue Star Families, with support from MetLife Foundation, the Blue Star Theatres program connects a variety of theatre offerings to military personnel and their families across theUnited States.  This initiative recognizes the profound contributions of service families and seeks to build stronger connections between theatres, military families and their communities.

On Thursday, April 18, a press conference will be held at 9:30am (EST) at Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater in Washington, D.C. This event will feature Teresa Eyring, executive director, TCG; Kathy Roth-Douquet, CEO, Blue Star Families; Colonel Anthony M. Henderson, special assistant to the chairman, joint chiefs of staff for warrior and family support; Joan Shigekawa, acting chairman, National Endowment for the Arts; Molly Smith, artistic director, Arena Stage; Douglas Wilson, former assistant secretary of defense for public affairs; and Dennis White, president and CEO, MetLife Foundation. This event will also feature the reading of a scene from ReEntry, a docudrama about returning veterans, written by Emily Ackerman and KJ Sanchez, featuring actor Larry Mitchell.

“To celebrate Blue Star Theatres in our nation’s capital is extraordinary opportunity,” saidTeresa Eyring, executive director, TCG. “Coming on the heels of Arts Advocacy Day, the timing and location of this event will surely renew our shared commitment to welcoming our service members and their families into our theatres through meaningful programs.”

Blue Star Theatres builds on the work already occurring at many theatres nationwide, including: playwriting classes to empower creative expression for veterans; community discussions on plays whose themes resonate with military families; free or discounted ticket programs; job postings and casting notices on military bases; and much more. TCG and Blue Star Families will connect theatres with local bases and military families, and develop and disseminate best-practices for engaging with deployed personnel, veterans and service families.

“Thanks to the generous support of the MetLife Foundation, and the contributions of TCG and the growing number of theatres across the county, military families have even more ways to enjoy time together through the arts in their communities,” said Kathy Roth-Douquet, CEO, Blue Star Families. “TCG and participating theatres have gone above and beyond to offer interactive experiences for service members and their families, creating truly enriching opportunities.”

“MetLife Foundation is proud to expand our partnership with Blue Star Families and support the launch of the Blue Star Theatres program,” said Dennis White, president and CEO, MetLife Foundation.  “Opening doors to theatres across the country is a wonderful way for members of our military and their families to share time together and experience the arts in their communities.  The Blue Star Theatres program is also a way for MetLife Foundation to say ‘thank you’ to our servicemen and women.”

Eighty-five TCG Member Theatres have already signed on to participate in Blue Star Theatres. To find the full list, visit: http://www.tcg.org/pdfs/advocacy/Blue_Star_Theatres_alpha_list.pdf.

For more information about Blue Star Theatres, visit: http://www.tcg.org/advocacy/bluestar/map.cfm.

Blue Star Families is a national, nonprofit network of military families from all ranks and services, including guard and reserve, dedicated to supporting, connecting and empowering military families. With our partners, Blue Star Families hosts a robust array of morale and empowerment programs, including Books on Bases, Blue Star Arts, Operation Honor Corp, Blue Star Careers and Operation Appreciation. Blue Star Families also works directly with the Department of Defense and senior members of local, State and Federal government to bring the most important military family issues to light. Working in concert with fellow nonprofits, community advocates, and public officials, Blue Star Families raises awareness of the challenges and strengths of military family life and works to make military life more sustainable. Our worldwide membership includes military spouses, children, parents, and friends, as well as service members, veterans and civilians. http://www.bluestarfam.org/.

MetLife Foundation was established in 1976 to continue MetLife’s longstanding tradition of corporate contributions and community involvement. The Foundation’s commitment to building a secure future for individuals and communities worldwide is reflected in its dedication to empowering older adults, preparing young people and building livable communities.  Since it was established, MetLife Foundation has provided more than $530 million in grants and $70 million in program-related investments to nonprofit organizations addressing issues that have a positive impact in their communities. For more information, visit www.metlife.org.