Passing It On to Rosie's Theatre Kids                                                                                          

by Tom Coppola

Rosie O'Donnell's achievements are ubiquitous: star of screens big and small, life-long Broadway champion and an outspoken activist. In 2003, Rosie added another feather in her cap--child educator. 

Inspired to give underserved NYC kids an opportunity to be exposed to theater, Rosie, along with Artistic and Executive Director Lori Klinger, founded PS Broadway (a training ground for singing and dance training). Through the years, what started off as a performing arts program blossomed with a larger mission to give those same kids the added value of thoughtful mentoring and assistance in any area they may be lacking from their world outside "Rosie's", thus providing a strong foundation for life long achievement. And just like that, Rosie's Theatre Kids was born.

RTK annually produces its "Passing It On" showcase where the kids perform along side Broadway luminaries. At this year's event, hosted on April 23rd, Jessie Mueller (Beautiful, Waitress), Adrienne Warren (Shuffle Along), and Chris Jackson (Hamilton) joined 60 students on stage to perform songs, scenes and dances taught by RTK mentors BD Wong (M. Butterfly), Chase Brock and Camille Brown. 

With loads of talent dripping off the stage, the level of pride and confidence the kids displayed during the performance was off the charts! The organization is truly inspiring and proof of their mission that Rosie's kids are "rehearsing for life".

Photos by Rosalie O'Connor