Nassau BOCES Honors Plaza Theatrical Productions

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Kevin Harrington
Plaza President Kevin Harrington

Plaza Theatrical Productions is being lauded as one of the most devoted supporters of public education on Long Island. The center is among 13 honorees to receive the 2016 Nassau BOCES Education Partner award, bestowed annually on those individuals and organizations whose impact on public education in Nassau County can be measured in tangible ways.

A strategic education partner with school districts since 1967, Nassau BOCES created the awards program to recognize those who share its mission of ensuring a successful, challenging, caring and safe environment that enables students of all ages and abilities to achieve their maximum potential. These outstanding individuals and organizations have made strides to accomplishing key educational goals embraced by Nassau BOCES, such as ensuring student success.

Plaza Theatrical Productions, founded in 1983, will be honored at the awards gala held in April by the Nassau BOCES Educational Foundation. The Foundation is an independent non-profit organization that raises funds for innovative educational programs that fall outside of the agency’s budget.

For more than 30 years, Plaza Theatrical Productions has supported the cultural development of the Long Island school community through its annual series and programs. Research has shown that arts education provides students with essential communication and creative tools that last a lifetime, encouraging important traits like expression, focus, tolerance, perception, openness, articulation, confidence, awareness, motivation and self-esteem.

Plaza’s Arts-in-Education program presents stage adaptations of literary works for elementary, middle and high school students. Each production is followed by a meet-and-greet with the actors, a question-and-answer session, or an interactive workshop. The program includes an education guide that provides pre- and post-theatre lessons for teachers to incorporate into their classrooms. After the show, students are invited to participate in a learning activity, such as becoming one of the characters or performing as an “extra” onstage.

The Performing Arts Academy offers performance workshops for K-12 students. In addition, Plaza partners with Nassau County elementary schools to offer after-school performance workshops that culminate in fully staged productions, as well as intensive musical theatre workshops to enrich summer programs. Plaza also provides scenery and props to local public schools at no cost, to help enhance their theatre programs.

The Community Broadway Series provides quality family theatrical events through live performances in public libraries and outdoor venues in a variety of Long Island parks. On Sunday mornings, Plaza offers a theatrical workshop for adults with disabilities entitled, “Broadway: Our Way.”

“Plaza Theatrical Productions impacts public education by supporting the artistic processes of creating, performing, responding and connecting, thus building better lives for students in Nassau County,” wrote Plaza’s award nominator.

“Some children seem born to entertain, while others simply love to sing, act and express their creativity,” said Plaza President Kevin Harrington. “There is an important place for everyone in Plaza Theatrical Productions.”

Visit www.nassauboces.org/educationpartner for more information about the Nassau BOCES Education Partner awards, including profiles of prior year honorees.

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