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    Posted November 29, 2010

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Event Generated Support for Education and Outreach Programs and Local Artists

(ST. LOUIS) - On Friday, November 12, 2010 STAGES ST. LOUIS hosted the ninth annual APPLAUSE! Gala at the Ritz-Carlton, a benefit which provides significant funding for Education and Outreach Programs and support for the employment of St. Louis artists. APPLAUSE! 2010 raised proceeds of over $280,000, surpassing the money raised in 2009. This year's numbers come on the heels of a successful 2010 Season at STAGES with ticket revenues reaching nearly 1.7 million dollars and the only licensed professional production, outside of New York, of Promises, Promises, became the best selling show in STAGES history. The event was co-hosted by Broadway actress Hollie Howard; star of STAGES 2010 production of Rodgers & Hammerstein's State Fair and recently seen in the National Tour of A Chorus Line at The Fabulous Fox, and STAGES Executive Producer Jack Lane. Judy Kent and Linda Gibson were co-chairs.

In 2010 the Academy and its Outreach Programs will reach over 3,200 students and will award nearly 145 scholarships valued at $25,000 and an additional $25,000 in outreach program underwriting. This is largely made possible because of the money raised at APPLAUSE! 2010. STAGES Performing Arts Academy enrolls nearly 1,000 students each year, with the scope of its Outreach programs reaching into the thousands. The Outreach Program has associations with City Academy, Herbert Hoover Boys and Girls Club, Parkway Central High School, Gateway Academy, St. Louis County Libraries, Marian Middle School and many more.

During the 2010 Season, STAGES issued 52 contracts to local professional actors, providing 320 weeks of employment and a source of steady income for those choosing to live and perform in and around the St. Louis metropolitan area. Today STAGES provides more annual workweeks to local union actors than any other St. Louis theatrical company.

The 2010 APPLAUSE! Gala was attended by 400 supporters. The entertainment The Music Never Ends: A Salute to the Great American Songbook featured Lisa Campbell Albert, Dwayne Estes & The Some Fun Orchestra and Broadway Actress Corinne Melanšon, currently a cast member of the hit Broadway musical Mamma Mia! Whose past STAGES credits include A Little Night Music, Sweet Charity, High Society, Bye Bye Birdie and No, No, Nanette. Teen a cappella group TeamSTAGES provided additional musical enjoyment.

Notable attendees included:

  • Judy & Jerry Kent
  • Marilyn & Don Ainsworth
  • Lynne Turley
  • Dan & Lynn Dolan
  • Kathy & Paul Higgins
  • Debra Hollingsworth & Mark Stacye
  • Mark & Mary Knoy
  • Arnold & Hazel Donald
  • Merry & Jim Mosbacher
  • Gary & Diana Rich
  • Ellen & Rick Stream
  • Susan & George Solovic
  • Jill & Harold Lewis
  • Laura & Paul Shaughnessy
  • Sharon & Dale Fiehler
  • Lisa & Greg Nichols
  • Pat Whitaker & Dick Miles
  • Gwen Packnett
  • Cynthia Prost
  • Mary & Mike Harris
  • Lynne & Ed Higgins

Executive Producer Jack Lane stated "I am continually amazed at the generosity of the people of St. Louis and their overwhelming support for the unique niche filled by STAGES, especially in such hard economic times. These much needed dollars will enable us to continue providing the region with the highest quality educational opportunities and musical theatre performances."

STAGES will celebrate its 25th Anniversary season in 2011, with productions of A CHORUS LINE (June 3 - July 3), THE SECRET GARDEN (July 22 - August 21), VICTOR/VICTORIA (September 9 - October 9) and the 2011 Theatre for Young Audience production of Disney's 101 DALMATIANS (June 22 - July 3).

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