Broadway stars, community leaders to attend Vanguard gala on Nov. 3

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

MONTCLAIR, NJ — Vanguard Theater Company will celebrate its mission of DREAM — diversity, reciprocity, education, awareness and mentorship — with TeeRico by Lin-Manuel Miranda, Montclair Film, GrassROOTS Community Foundation, First Congregational Church and Nassan’s Place at a gala on Saturday, Nov. 3, at 7 p.m. at The Loft, 8 Lackawanna Plaza in Montclair. This event will raise funds to address the lack of diversity in traditional theater casting and training by producing original and reimagined theater.

Recently awarded a program grant by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, and an increased general operations commitment from TeeRico, Vanguard has much to celebrate.

“We look forward to raising the funds needed to extend quality mentorship and education opportunities to all students interested in the performing arts, while thanking our collaborators and sponsors for their support of artistic excellence,” co-founder and Artistic Director Janeece Freeman Clark said.

In addition to enjoying plentiful appetizers, drinks and dinner, gala attendees will have the opportunity to participate in an auction, which will include items such as house seats for “Hamilton,” “Frozen” and “The Lion King” on Broadway followed by backstage tours by cast members, a variety of items autographed by Lin-Manuel Miranda, plus an exclusive in-home dining and wine-tasting experience for eight catered by MishMish Cafe and Amanti Vino of Montclair, with Vanguard performers as sous-chefs and staff. Broadway performers who were mentors in Vanguard’s signature Broadway Buddy Mentorship Program will be surprise guests, and the evening will culminate with “Vanguard After Dark,” a celebratory dance party.

“There has never been a more important time to emphasize diversity. Diversity involves more than just race — it includes culture, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, gender identity, sexual orientation and so much more,” Freeman Clark said. “Even though we know that diversity and inclusion inject a wider range of skill sets, experience, cultures and abilities into our lives, it doesn’t come easy. At Vanguard, we do the work required when you bring people together from all walks of life. By truly practicing the art of inclusion, we are changing lives person by person. On stage and off, our participants feel free to be themselves, unapologetically, and they truly appreciate and celebrate each other’s gifts and differences.”

“Above all, we know how to put on a good show,” Managing Director Jessica Sporn said. “For this special event, we’re pulling out all the stops. It will be a night to remember.”

To purchase tickets to the gala, send an email to