Lifestyle Reader Contributed

Bring Your ‘Pencils for Puerto Rico’ to Playhouse on Park

Playhouse on Park in West Hartford is holding a pencil and crayon drive for schools in Puerto Rico through July 29, during the run of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s ‘In the Heights.’


Following Hurricane Maria last September, volunteers traveled to Puerto Rico in an effort to provide relief to survivors of the storm. Even though this disaster is no longer as prevalent in the mainstream media, and in a society where time, distance, and over-saturation of information can cause us so easily to forget others in need, our fellow citizens in Puerto Rico are still rebuilding.

In an effort to make a difference in a small way, Playhouse on Park is running a pencil and crayon drive for select schools in Puerto Rico during the entire run of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s “In The Heights,” June 13-July 29. In addition to presenting Broadway-quality productions, we at the Playhouse have made it our mission to be a resource to young artists who desire to learn and create in their formative years. We hope to extend our reach beyond our immediate community with this effort because we believe in the importance of arts education.

“In The Heights” tells the universal story of a vibrant Latino community in New York’s Washington Heights neighborhood on the brink of change, full of hopes, dream,s and pressures, where the biggest struggles can be deciding which traditions you take with you, and which ones you leave behind. “In The Heights” is the winner of the 2008 Tony Awards for Best Musical, Best Score, Best Choreography and Best Orchestrations.

The schools/students that will benefit from this pencil and crayon drive are: Escuela José Robles Otero, Barrio Ingenio, in Toa Baja (Director Marcos Rivera), Instituto Loaiza Cordero in Santurce, PR (a specialized school for kids with disabilities), and teacher Keila Torres Nieves a fourth and fifth grade English teacher who lost everything herself but was conducting classes out of shelters now helping wherever she can within public schools.

The Playhouse will receive assistance in delivering the supplies from subscriber and U.S. Navy Veteran, Raquel Santiago, who has tirelessly traveled to and from Puerto Rico providing help many times since last fall. We ask that you bring only pencils and crayons, as these basic materials are what’s most needed as schools reopen.

Bring your donations when you come for the show, or feel free to stop by whenever we’re open: TuesdayFriday 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m -2 p.m., and two hours prior to every performance.

Tickets for “In The Heights” range from $40-$50, with senior, student, and Let’s Go Arts discounts available. For more information on Pencils for Puerto Rico, or “In The Heights,” call the box office at 860-523-5900 x10 or visit www.playhouseonpark.org. Playhouse on Park is located at 244 Park Rd., West Hartford, CT 06119.

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