NBC has committed $500,000 to support high school theater ahead of the upcoming drama series “Rise,” which follows a teacher who takes over a school’s theater program. The R.I.S.E. (Recognizing and Inspiring Student Expression) America initiative will award 50 high schools a $10,000 grant to revitalize their theater programs. NBC partnered with the Educational Theatre Foundation (ETF), an organization dedicated to shaping lives through theater education. Winning schools will be announced in March.
“This program is incredibly personal to me as someone whose own life was changed by a high school theatre program,” said NBC Entertainment Chairman Robert Greenblatt. “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.”