If you’re searching for free ways to experience the magic of Broadway, look no further than our own office of Student Involvement. Critically acclaimed actress Tovah Feldshuh, a Sarah Lawrence alumna, has created the Tovah Feldshuh Broadway Ticket Fund, which allows easy and free access for the Sarah Lawrence community to travel and see performances in New York City. According to the Sarah Lawrence website, Feldshuh created the fund in honor of her parents with the purpose of giving students an opportunity to attend “live professional theatre, including Broadway, off-Broadway, opera, and ballet.”
Just this past semester, students were given tickets to see two major Broadway shows. The first show was “Waitress,” based on the film of the same name, the creation of singer/songwriter Sara Bareilles and playwright Jesse Nelson. The second was the theater adaptation of the five-time Oscar-nominated film “Amélie,” starring Tony nominee Phillipa Soo.
Joanne Vrignaud, a visiting graduate student from the Sorbonne and a French language teaching assistant, was one of the students who saw “Waitress.” She recalled the opportunity as an “amazing experience.” The musical follows a woman whose passion for baking offers an escape from an abusive marriage. “They even had the smell of pie! I still have the ticket; I’m going to hang it somewhere,” Vrignaud continued. This being her first time seeing a Broadway production, Vrignaud recognized the importance of such a fund, and remarked that “donations like this do a great deal for the SLC community.” As a foreign student, Vrignaud said she was desperate to check off seeing a Broadway show from her New York City bucket list, and felt the trip gave her a unique opportunity to achieve this dream. “We live so close the city, but I don’t think we get to experience it as much as other universities,” she said. “The Tovah Feldshuh fund gives us a great opportunity to get there and actually experience the ‘New York’ lifestyle.”
Like Vrignaud, many of us would like to experience professional productions, but find it hard to come up with the funds to do so. Including the price of the Metro North and subway tickets, a trip to see Broadway headliners such as “Waitress” or “Amélie” would cost you upwards of $150 – not to mention the hassle of organizing train times. However, the Tovah Feldshuh Broadway Ticket Fund makes this process easy— and more importantly, free. The Fund not only provides you with a ticket for the show, but a shuttle from Andrews Parking Lot that takes you there and back, saving you a long walk to Bronxville or Fleetwood and the stress of travelling through Grand Central.
On the Notable Alumni page, Feldshuh credits Sarah Lawrence College for teaching her to respect the artistic process, and more importantly, to dare. Since her graduation, she has starred in numerous films, television shows, and theatre productions, making a name for herself as an actress, singer, and playwright. Feldshuh’s accolades include four Tony nominations, four Drama Desk awards, a Lucille Lortell award for her portrayal of Golda Meir in the play “Golda’s Balcony,” as well as two Emmy nominations for her work as Helena on the miniseries “Holocaust” and as defense attorney Danielle Melnick on “Law and Order.” With over 30 years on Broadway and on screens big and small, it is not hard to imagine why she would want to donate to the place that taught her to cherish “results [as a reflection] of the journey taken.”
Details on shows and dates are periodically sent out by Student Involvement. The next show is “Anastasia” on Tuesday, May 9. As Vrignaud put it, “Just do it! There’s no excuse not to!”
Christian Lutz (‘18)