Katherine Nolan Brown; email@example.com | 212.921.1227
HONORED BY TRANSPORT GROUP THEATRE COMPANY
ON FEBRUARY 6th
Founder of ASTEP Honored with Performances by Tituss Burgess,
Raúl Esparza, Debra Monk, Melissa Errico,
Sierra Boggess, and More
February 7, 2017 – The Transport Group Theatre Company – which last night celebrated their 2017 Annual Gala with “An Evening with Mary-Mitchell Campbell and Friends” – honored the accomplished Broadway musical director and arranger with an evening of songs featuring the pianist herself at The Times Center.
Several of Campbell’s Broadway collaborators lent their talents to the evening, including Tituss Burgess; Raúl Esparza; Debra Monk; Melissa Errico; and Sierra Boggess. Video greetings were sent from Kristin Chenoweth and Jonathan Groff, who were unable to attend. Each performer told a short story to honor their friend, citing not only her musical talent but more importantly, her giving and loving nature and “for bringing so much love, music and grace into the world” through her efforts with ASTEP (Artists Striving to End Poverty) the non-profit arts organization founded by Campbell in 2006.
Jack Cummings III, The Transport Group’s Artistic Director, choked up when speaking of Campbell’s involvement of their first-ever project, the 2002 production of Thornton Wilde’s Our Town, for which Campbell composed, arranged, and directed the music. Citing her contribution as having arranged an entire score incorporating the Shaker song “Simple Gifts,” he said she created an expanded universe of sound for the production, and as this was the inaugural effort for The Transport Group, she was in effect their “birth mother” and they her baby, with her music ushering forth a brand new theatrical entity.
Mary-Mitchell, on accepting the award, thanked all her teachers who guided and supported her, and all the artists and directors with whom she had worked. Referring to ASTEP, she said “art has the power to transform lives …..” and that now, more than ever, “we need to make art.”
ASTEP was conceived by Broadway Musical Director Mary-Mitchell Campbell and Juilliard students to transform the lives of youth using the most powerful tool they had: their art. Today, ASTEP connects performing and visual artists with underserved youth in the U.S. and around the world to awaken their imaginations, foster critical thinking, and help them break the cycle of poverty. For more information, please visit www.ASTEP.org.