Theatre Lab’s Cabaret Benefit to Honor Jane Pesci-Townsend
The Theatre Lab School of the Dramatic Arts will honor the late Jane Pesci-Townsend with a Cabaret Benefit Dinner & Auction on Monday, November 8th. Jane Pesci-Townsend, who was not only a favorite local musical theatre performer, and a friend to many readers of our site, but also a beloved teacher at The Theatre Lab succumbed to cancer in August, 2010.
Jane Pesci-Townsend was an active participant at The Theatre Lab for many years, teaching theatre classes to all ages. Among her accomplishments was the creation of the Musical Institute for Teens in 2001. Jane’s last production was a Musical Institute for Teens’ production of Rent which she began directing in August and which opened on the night of her funeral.
The benefit will help establish the new Jane Pesci-Townsend Fund for Excellence in Musical Theatre Education. This fund will help continue the excellent work of the Musical Institute for Teens through acquiring performing rights for socially relevant works with special benefits for teen performers, providing need-based scholarships, and supporting the faculty of the Institute.
Theatre Lab co-directors Deb Gottesman and Buzz Mauro will host the cabaret, which will feature a tribute to Jane, including a performance from the teen cast of Rent.
The benefit is expected to attract a bright array of luminaries from the local theatre community who worked with Jane Pesci-Townsend on stage and in the classroom. Signature Theatre Artistic Director Eric Schaeffer will co-host the benefit along with Board Member Diane Willkens. Schaeffer was one of the earliest board members of The Theatre Lab and currently serves on the Advisory Board. He was pleased to cast Jane in a numerous shows, including Sweeney Todd at the Kennedy Center’s Sondheim Celebration where Jane went on as Mrs. Lovett.
The benefit will be held on Monday, November 8th at the Sphinx Club at Almas Temple, 1315 K Street NW. The evening will begin at 6 PM with a silent auction and cash bar, followed by dinner, cabaret entertainment, and a live auction. Deadline for reservations is Nov 1, 2010. To learn more about the benefit or make a direct donation in Jane’s name, call (202) 824-0449 or visit the Theatre Lab site.