Providing a unique opportunity for underserved youth in the Bluegrass community to be introduced to professional Broadway theater at the Opera House is the goal of Broadway Buddies. The program, which was first launched last year, seeks to offer complimentary tickets for a select performance from the Broadway Live series to community youth groups and their chaperones, in addition to backstage theater tours and and an introduction to theater etiquette.
Opera House Fund Board member, and long-time Broadway Live subscriber, Linda Carey inspired this initiative through her donation of her own tickets last year, to the production of Shrek, The Musical. Other subscribers were invited to donate their tickets or purchase additional tickets for the cause. Corporate sponsors also stepped up to offer financial support to buy Broadway Buddy T-shirts for the students to wear to the performance, so they could be identified as special guests at the Opera House.
Last year’s campaign awarded 66 tickets to Shrek, The Musical, targeting middle-school students and serving six organizations, including 4Kids, Chrysalis House, Big Brothers, Sunshine Children’s Services, University of Kentucky Placing Leaders Among Youth and Leestown At Risk Program.
Group leader Carole Gullett from 4Kids said, “Light and life now live in the eyes of several new kids because of the Shrek experience. Not only was the message of the play important, it was the whole experience of being in the theater with the sneak-peek backstage and dressing room tour. They became someone special, even if just for a few nights.”