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NBC Donates $500,000 to High School Theater Programs Ahead of ‘Rise’ Premiere

NBC is committing $500,000 to support high school theater in honor of the upcoming drama series “Rise,” the network announced Tuesday at the Television Critics Association winter press tour.

The initiative is called R.I.S.E (Recognizing and Inspiring Student Expression) America, which will award 50 high schools a $10,000 grant that will enable them to enhance or revitalize their theatre programs. The winning schools can use the grant money to cover various critical needs, including master classes and production expenses.

To administer the grant applications and award process, NBC has partnered with the Educational Theatre Foundation (ETF), an organization dedicated to shaping lives through theatre education. Eligible high schools can apply starting this morning at NBC.com/Rise. Applications will close on Feb. 6 with winning schools announced in March.

“This program is incredibly personal to me as someone whose own life was changed by a high school theatre program,” said Robert Greenblatt, chairman of NBC Entertainment. “I wholeheartedly support the work of the ETF and have seen the effect of their initiatives on thousands of students. I’m proud that ‘Rise’ will be more than just an uplifting show about a high school drama program, but, through this initiative, will also have an impact on the lives of real students in 50 high schools.”

From “Friday Night Lights” and “Parenthood” executive producer Jason Katims and “Hamilton” producer Jeffrey Seller, “Rise” follows a teacher (Josh Radnor) who takes over a high school’s theater program. The cast also includes Rosie Perez, Auli’i Cravalho, Damon J. Gillespie, Marley Shelton, Rarmian Newton, and Ted Sutherland.

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