Bucks County Playhouse Education Funding Doubles

Friday, March 22, 2024.

Pictured Above: A scene from the 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee production in 2015. Photo Credit: Mandee K. Hammerstein

Bucks County Playhouse Doubles Education Funding Received
through the Pennsylvania EITC Program



New Hope, PA – Bucks County Playhouse recently announced the receipt of $67,500 in funding through the Pennsylvania Educational Improvement Tax Credit (EITC) Program. Seven local corporations committed to support the Playhouse’s educational programs with gifts ranging from $2,500 to $25,000.

The EITC grants came from the following corporations: Fred Beans Family of Dealerships, Megawholesale, Inc., Waste Management, PECO, Brotherston Homecare, Inc., Sentex Settlement Services, Inc., and Meridian Bank.

By providing a creative space for artists, teachers, and students, the education programs at Bucks County Playhouse integrate mainstage performances and the classroom — demonstrating that art is education. From pioneering workshops that pair theater professionals and arts educators, to classes and performance opportunities for all ages, Bucks County Playhouse serves the needs of students, teachers, and artists through a wide range of programs that foster community engagement, critical thinking, and a passion for the arts.

“The Fred Beans Automotive Group has annually participated in the EITC Program for more than a decade, recognizing the many benefits of directing funds back into the community to specifically support education,” said Beth Beans Gilbert, vice president. “The educational programs we support through the Bucks County Playhouse specifically foster a passion for the arts and the endless learning and greater awareness of the world that come from experiencing the arts.”

Administered through the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the Educational Improvement Tax Credit Program offers tax credits for approved corporations and qualifying individuals through contributions to the following non-profit organizations: scholarship organizations (SOs), which provide private school scholarships; educational improvement organizations (EIOs), which support innovative programs in public schools; or prekindergarten scholarship organizations (PKSOs). The Playhouse participates as an educational improvement organization (EIO) — working directly with students and Pennsylvania school districts from around the region to provide innovative arts education programming.  EITC can also be used by individuals with a certain tax obligation. Relatively new for individuals.

Funds from EITC support the enrichment and enhancement of Playhouse education programs including BOUNCE, The Playhouse Youth Company and the Bucks County Playhouse Student Theater Festival. The BOUNCE program is a theater-education residency with the Morrisville School District that serves students in 4th and 5th grades. This year, in addition to in-school sessions, BOUNCE participants took a trip to see “Irving Berlin’s White Christmas” on the Playhouse stage. The Playhouse Youth Company — a conservatory-style program comprised of 17 local young performers — takes to the Playhouse stage every summer. In 2023, the Company presented the new musical, “ALiEN8.” In its 55th year, Bucks County Playhouse’s Student Theater Festival served 768 students from 24 regional schools. The annual event provides students with opportunities to learn not only from each other but to participate in workshops and master classes with professional, working theatre artists.

“We are honored to contribute to the cultural wellbeing of our local area. At Megawholesale, we believe in investing in the future, and supporting the EITC program aligns perfectly with our commitment to community enrichment,” said Saumil Ambani, President. “The positive impact on Bucks County Playhouse youth education programs is a testament to the transformative power of the arts in fostering creativity, critical thinking, and community engagement.”

Approved businesses can convert tax dollars into support for Bucks County Playhouse initiatives by enrolling in the Educational Improvement Tax Credit (EITC) program. EITC provides companies with a 75% state tax credit for donations to an approved non-profit educational improvement organization that enhances the lives of children in their immediate communities. For more information, visit the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development website.


Steeped in a theatrical history that stems back to its founding in 1939 by a roster of theatrical royalty, Bucks County Playhouse is celebrating the eleventh anniversary of its 2012 re-opening and restoration. With more than 75,000 patrons walking through its doors every year, the Playhouse is leading the economic resurgence of New Hope and the surrounding community. In 2014, Tony Award-winning producers Alexander Fraser, Robyn Goodman and Josh Fiedler took the helm of the Playhouse, reclaiming its reputation of attracting Broadway and Hollywood artists. Playhouse productions of “Company” starring Justin Guarini, and William Finn’s “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” were named by Wall Street Journal to its “Best of Theatre” list for 2015. In 2018, the Wall Street Journal again hailed the Playhouse and Artistic Associate Hunter Foster in its Best of the Year listings for its production of “42nd Street” and in 2019 labeled the Playhouse “one of the best regional theaters on the East coast.” Recent critically acclaimed productions include “Tick, Tick .. Boom!” with Andy Mientus and “The Bridges of Madison County” with Tony-nominee Kate Baldwin and Nicholas Rodriguez JOIN PAST SUCCESSES INCLUDING signature productions of “Steel Magnolias” directed by Marsha Mason, “Mamma Mia!” directed by John Tartaglia and “Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story,” “Million Dollar Quartet,” “42nd Street,” and “Guys & Dolls” (all directed by Hunter Foster). In 2021, the team developed and presented Candace Bushnell’s “Is There Still Sex in the City,” which the Playhouse then partnered to move to New York. The creative teams who come to create new productions at the Playhouse are among the most talented artists working in the professional theatre today and relish the opportunity to work on the historic stage where Grace Kelly, Robert Redford, and Jessica Walter began their careers.

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