16 Additional U.S. High Schools Awarded $10,000 Unsinkable Molly Brown Grants

16 Additional U.S. High Schools Awarded $10,000 Unsinkable Molly Brown Grants

Sixteen U.S. high schools will receive $10,000 each to perform a new, revised version of The Unsinkable Molly Brown.

They are the second group of schools to receive the grants from The Educational Theatre Foundation (ETF), The Music Man Foundation (TMMF) and MTI, which partnered in 2023 to provide accredited high schools with the opportunity to produce Dick Scanlan's updated version of the Meredith Willson musical in 2024 or 2025.

The newest grant recipients:

  • Baldwin High School, Baldwin, N.Y.
  • Cambridge High School, Cambridge, Wis.
  • Christian Heritage School, Trumbull, Conn.
  • Decatur Central High School, Indianapolis
  • Everett High School, Lansing, Mich.
  • Hickory High School, Chesapeake, Va.
  • The Weber School, Atlanta
  • Montrose High School, Montrose, Colo.
  • Mount Carmel Academy, New Orleans
  • Pittsburg High School, Pittsburg, Kan.
  • Randolph High School, Randolph, N.J.
  • Rowlett High School, Rowlett, Texas
  • Salmon Junior/Senior High School, Salmon, Idaho
  • Shorewood High School, Shoreline, Wash.
  • Terre Haute North Vigo High School, Terre Haute, Ind.
  • Valley Regional High School, Deep River, Conn.

The Unsinkable Molly Brown Grant seeks to enhance the capacity of school theatre programs to impact students, educators, and their communities-at-large. Like the initial recipients, these schools were selected for their plans to use the show to engage their school and surrounding population in themes present in the musical, including women's and immigrants' rights, community-building, and the civic-minded “share-the-luck spirit” embodied by Molly Brown.

“Using theatre as a means to promote racial equity and spark social activism in underserved populations is a key part of ETF's mission,” said Matt Conover, chair of ETF’s board of trustees. “We’re thrilled that these schools and their communities will have the opportunity to engage with this revised classic in new and empowering ways.”

“This announcement comes in time for the 122nd birthday of Meredith Willson, who wrote the music and original lyrics for The Unsinkable Molly Brown and in whose honor The Music Man Foundation was established,” says Tom Camp, president of the Foundation. "We can't think of a better way to celebrate Meredith’s legacy than by offering many more high schools across the country the opportunity to delve into The Unsinkable Molly Brown’s new book.”

The Unsinkable Molly Brown is the rags-to-riches love story of Molly and James Joseph “JJ” Brown, owners of the richest mine in the United States at the turn of the 20th century. The show features music and lyrics by Meredith Willson, and a book and additional lyrics by Tony-nominated author Dick Scanlan (Thoroughly Modern Millie, Everyday Rapture) based on the original book by Richard Henry Morris.

“Dick Scanlan's work updating this classic for new performers and audience members is outstanding,” said John Prignano, MTI's chief operating officer and director of development and education. “The result is a fantastic new show that resonates today while maintaining the heart and spirit of Willson's and Morris' original golden-age masterpiece.”

The revitalized version of The Unsinkable Molly Brown is currently available for licensing. A free read of the revised script as well as selections from a new cast recording are available on MTI’s website.