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Paper Mill Playhouse to Be Honored

The playhouse will receive the national 2009 MetLife Award Winner for Innovation and Excellence in Access in a ceremony Monday.

The Paper Mill Playhouse will be honored as the national 2009 MetLife Award Winner for Innovation and Excellence in Access Monday.

The award will be presented at the Association of Performing Arts Presenters' Awards Luncheon during the 52nd Annual Members Conference at the New York Hilton.

The MetLife Award is in recognition of Paper Mill Playhouse’s innovative programming, community engagement and commitment to accessability, according to a playhouse press release. The award reaffirms Paper Mill’s national stature as an outstanding example of innovation and excellence in access for the arts, playhouse officials said in the release.

“After 25 years of presenting accessible programming and services, Paper Mill is honored to receive this prestigious award for excellence.  We hope always to serve as a role model in the area of cultural arts access – both for audiences and for artists alike,” said Michael T. Mooney, Outreach and Access Programs manager, in the press release.

In 2003, the playhouse received the MetLife/VSA Award for Innovation in Access presented at the Kennedy Center during the Leadership and Education in Arts and Disability (LEAD) Conference.

Paper Mill’s production of The Miracle Worker in the 2007-2008 season was the first time the entire scope of access programming was featured on press opening night, the release states.  The classic drama that explores the themes of accessibility and communication showcased a pre-show sensory seminar, sign-language interpretation, open-captioning, audio-description, braille programs and large print programs along with Paper Mill’s ongoing access services, the release states.

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