Bay Shore School Arts Education Fund honors memory of founder Murray Barbash by taking 180 students to see August Wilson’s autobiographical “How I Learned What I Learned” at the Signature Theater. Actor, Ruben Santiago-Hudson will talk to students after performance.
Eighteen years ago, Long Island philanthropists, Murray and Lillian Barbash took 700 Bay Shore High School students to see the acclaimed Broadway production of Emily Mann’s “Having Our Say,” a two person play that told the story of the barrier breaking Delaney sisters. The field trip inspired the Barbashes to found the Bay Shore Schools Arts Education Fund (BSSAEF), a not-for-profit which brings high quality cultural arts programs to Bay Shore’s diverse student population.
For years Murray Barbash talked about taking the next generation of Bay Shore students to the theater. Barbash died this past March….just a few months before the Signature Theater announced its 2013/14 season, which included Wilson’s autobiographical “How I Learned What I Learned.” The BSSAEF Board and Bay Shore Faculty agreed that the play would be perfect for a young audience and contacted Signature to discuss the possibility of buying out the theater for a performance. And so, on December 5, 180 Bay Shore high school students will make the trip to Signature Theater to see “How I Learned What I Learned.” The trip will be dedicated to the memory of Murray Barbash, a theater lover who was a particular fan of the Signature Theater. For some students, this will be their first New York theater experience. The BSSAEF hopes it will not be their last.
HOW I LEARNED WHAT I LEARNED: Co-conceived with and directed by Todd Kreidler, in collaboration with and featuring Tony Award-winner Ruben Santiago-Hudson. This solo show, featuring Ruben Santiago-Hudson, shares August Wilson’s personal stories about his encounters with racism, music, love, violence, and life-changing friendships as a young poet in Pittsburgh’s Hill District. Directed by the Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright’s long-time collaborator Todd Kreidler, August Wilson’s How I Learned What I Learned charts one man’s journey of self-discovery and what it means to be a black artist in America.
“We are thrilled to have the students from Bay Shore attend a performance of August Wilson’s HOW I LEARNED WHAT I LEARNED. Being able to have student groups attend productions at Signature Theatre is a large part of the reason we developed the Signature Ticket Initiative, our groundbreaking ticket subsidy program that provides $25 tickets for all shows. This New York Premiere by one of America’s most noted playwrights is a very special show for us, and we feel confident the students will have a lot to discuss after learning how August Wilson became the man that he was.” David Hatkoff, Director of Marketing and Audience Services
The Pershing Square Signature Center
Direct: 646-388-8117 www.signaturetheatre.org