An AAT programming area poised for explosive growth is outreach programming. Current outreach efforts feature free-of-charge tickets to targeted audiences and scholarship/tuition underwriting for deserving students experiencing financial barriers to participation in AAT programs. More than 20 scholarships are distributed each season, each valued at approximately $300, with more than $25,000 worth of performance tickets distributed to local schools, senior centers, churches and other community centers. These efforts really concentrate on removing barriers to theatre attendance, and while they create greater access for constituents, the development of offsite programming, including workshops and performances, is expanding the geographical reach of the theatre in a way that comp tickets simply cannot.
The Education Series, Page and Stage and the Drama Residency Program all provide offsite activities to schools and organizations that are participating in student matinee programming. Using a similar model of hands-on education programming, AAT is taking a series of arts-based workshops to organizations like the Boys and Girls Clubs of Monmouth County to provide arts participation opportunities for children and youth facing financial or geographical barriers to participating. While the current model generally involves a one-time workshop experience with a teaching artist, the availability of additional resource may allow for the development of longer-term, outcome-oriented programs in a number of offsite venues.
"On the Road" is a musical performance piece, often including excerpts from the Broadway Series titles contained in the season, that travels to senior centers and nursing homes throughout Monmouth and Ocean Counties. Originally envisioned as something of a marketing vehicle, it quickly became apparent that many of the program constituents would never visit the theatre due to health issues. However, it was also clear that these events were deeply meaningful to those unable to travel and often constituted the sole contact that some patients had with the outside world. The program has existed on an ad-hoc, voluntary basis for several years, administered by a combination of education, artistic and development staff. During the 2016-2017 season, AAT will be moving toward formalizing the structure and staffing of the program and adding it as a component to outreach programming.
AAT has long-standing relationships with many charitable and service-oriented organizations with which the organization collaborates to serve the region, including Monmouth Cares, Asbury Park Technical School of Dance, PreventionFirst, Prevention of Teen Suicide, the Red Cross, the Samaritan Center, The Boys and Girls Clubs, the Elks and the Ocean Harbor House.