proctors.jpgSchenectady, N.Y. -- Broadway's most talked about new musical, Spring Awakening, is also one of its biggest Tony Award® winners in years. The show will play from the main stage for Proctors Winter Recess salute to educators, and will give them lots to see, talk about, and share with students once back in the classroom.  Educators are eligible for special discounts to attend the show The New York Sun has hailed as "The most thrilling rock musical of the last decade." Spring Awakening has stirred Broadway like no other musical in years. The show depicts the unforgettable angst that intersects the passage from youth to adulthood with power, poignancy and passion. The play's directness, depictions of sex and frank language can be a challenge for some, but its authenticity, spirit and ability to spark seminal debate on difficult to broach topics are undeniable.   Winter Recess: Opportunity to Learn and Socialize Among Peers As a special tribute to professional educators and all they do for the region's schools and communities throughout the year, Proctors, NYSUT and Schenectady are rolling out the red carpet to Educators and their families with A+ events.  The fun begins on Saturday, February 13 and runs through Saturday, February 20.  Winter Recess is chock a bloc with family friendly activities, entertainment, dining discounts, shopping promotions, and special events throughout the city of Schenectady - all week!  The weeklong celebration also includes two theatre camps for children. "It seemed only natural to facilitate attendance to Spring Awakening by educators," says Proctors Education Director Christine Sheehan.  "These professionals often are bellwethers of changing social trends -- even as they witness and deal with the impact of changing mores and behavior each day in the classroom." On one level, Spring Awakening draws us into a haunting love story between two young people: they find each other, fall in love, and passionately yearn to be together despite a system that might ultimately defeat them. Above all, this is their story. At the same time, we find ourselves spectators in a cautionary tale about what can happen in the absence of adult guidance, compassion and courage. Spring Awakening entertains and lifts the spirit with its unique set, energetic cast, and authentic score. But it also provokes thought and opens the door to conversations between parents and their sons and daughters and teachers and students.  Just as important, the show draws attention to some of the many pressures placed upon teens to both grow and develop as individuals even as they are required to respond to the societal demands to conform. VIPS Get the VIE Winter Recess is open to educators, district employees and their guests. The Recess bell welcomes teachers, secretaries, professors, cafeteria workers, bus drivers, administrators, maintenance workers, paraprofessionals and crossing guards.  Private school and home school educators also are welcomed. To qualify for Winter Recess, all participants are required to sign up for the VIE (Very Important Educator) Pass - their personal key to activities and discounts throughout the week.  (www.proctors.org/winter_recess ) All Public School educators and employee will receive their VIE passes directly from NYSUT in the mail this winter. Specially designated locations at Proctors and the Schenectady Chamber of Commerce will have maps and a schedule of Winter Recess events.  These range from wine tastings, ice skating, performances, storytelling, African dance and drumming, floral design workshops, dining discounts, spa and salon packages to hotel discounts and special events. The list continues to grow as Winter Recess approaches. Private school and home school educators also are invited to register for a VIE Pass online at www.proctors.org/winter_recess)  and to get their VIE at Proctors Box Office between 10 AM- 6 PM, February 15 - 19.  All other Winter Recess guidelines apply. Teamwork, Team play Makes Annual Rite of Recess "This is an event we work toward for 11 months of the year," says Christine Sheehan, Proctors Director of Education.  "Creating the impact of Winter Recess takes the coordinated efforts of scores of people and businesses throughout the area. It's a labor of love to honor those who do so much for our region and our schools. "This year, we have an opportunity to heighten the excitement for participating educators with discounted tickets to Spring Awakening - one of Broadway's biggest Tony Award® winning shows." Sponsors Rally to Honor Educators Winter Recess takes place in multiple locations throughout Schenectady. These include restaurants, hotels, retail locations and entertainment facilities.  In fact, many city organizations have come together to support this innovative salute to teachers and other school employees.  Don't Delay; Register Today According to Proctors Education Program Manager, Jessica Gelarden, a key facilitator of the Winter Recess event, "the number of stores, business, and lodging venues participating in Winter Recess continues to increase.  We urge everyone to visit the Proctors' Winter Recess Web pages (www.proctors.org/winter_recess) to sign up early for the exciting annual event." An enthusiastic Sheehan adds: "The sponsors of Winter Recess are mindful of the stress that the economy has placed on our schools and our educators.  Winter Recess enables us to share evolving developments within Schenectady and to provide welcomed value - by offering more to do at carefully managed price points targeted for educators.  We also hope that Winter Recess will provide some sorely needed fun!"  Ongoing Commitment Proctors remains committed to providing innovative opportunities for transforming teaching and learning through the arts with a variety of programs that integrate the arts into school curriculum, build community partnerships, foster creativity and promote a lifelong appreciation for the arts. Proctors aspires to provide for the needs of our community through a dynamic education program for young people, with a particular focus on school partnerships and the underserved. In addition to offering children's performances, Proctors collaborates with teaching artists and teachers to develop and implement effective programs that improve academic performance, teach discipline and create an overall appreciation for the arts.  For More Information Spring Awakening will be included in offerings associated with the upcoming Winter Recess (February 13 - 20), sponsored by Proctors, the City of Schenectady and NYSUT to honor NYS educators and the work that they do. NYSUT is a federation of more than 1,200 local unions, each representing its own members. NYSUT is affiliated with the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) and the National Education Association (NEA). NYSUT is also part of organized labor - the AFL-CIO - and of Education International, with more than 20 million members world wide. To learn more about the extensive education programs at Proctors, to discover more about Winter Recess or how your school or organization can become involved with educational initiatives at Proctors, visit http://www.proctors.org/ or contact Education Director Christine Sheehan (csheehan@proctors.org; 518.382.3884, ext 112) or Education Program Manager Jessica Johndrew Gelarden (jgelarden@proctors.org), ext 150) or subscribe to Proctor's Education email list (http://www.proctors.org/email_form/email_list_sign_up). 

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Press can access all images for Proctors shows by going to http://fileshare.proctors.org/Pressinfo/ Press will then be able to download images for any of the 2009-2010 season shows.   CONTACT: Thom O'Connor (518) 382-3884; ext. 166                                                                                    toconnor@proctors.org