The Howard Ashman Trust for Theater Arts

The Howard Ashman Trust for Theater Arts advances theater arts and techniques as educational tools to encourage the development of creativity, compassion and empathy in young lives. The trust seeks to encourage and support young artists involved in all aspects of theater – performance, writing, direction and design. The trust was established to honor the memory of writer, lyricist and director Howard Ashman.

Our projects include:


A Child’s Rehearsal for Life:

Using Theater to Cultivate Creativity and Empathy

Through group activities including storytelling, creative play, pantomime and improvisation, students activate and expand their imaginations and learn to work collaboratively and empathetically while developing self-confidence and their own individual voices. Currently in development.

Young Audiences New York

The Howard Ashman Trust is pleased to fund and partner with Young Audiences New York.

Young Audiences New York (YANY) has been giving children in New York City's under-resourced schools and neighborhoods a chance to experience and create art for 66 years. Each year, YANY serves about 45,000 children. Their arts residencies are all taught by practicing, professional artists.

With support from the Howard Ashman Trust, Young Audiences New York is engaging multiple elementary school classes in the production of a musical theater performance.  Over the course of one and a half semesters, students learn art skill-building during residencies in musical theatre, music, dance and visual arts.  They work together on all the elements of a musical theater production — from learning lines and exploring characters to singing songs and learning blocking, to creating props and sets.  All culminates on opening night, when they perform on stage in front of an appreciative audience.