Bay Ridge

Narrows Community Theater helps young performers with scholarships

June 16, 2017 By Paula Katinas Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Dawn Barry Hansen (right), chairperson of the scholarship committee, congratulates winner Kristen Kupper. Photo courtesy of Narrows Community Theater
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Two eighth grade students who have shown a strong interest in the performing arts have been chosen by leaders of the Narrows Community Theater (NCT) to receive scholarships to help them share their talents in high school.

Kristen Kupper, who is graduating from Saint Patrick Catholic Academy, and Liam Specht, who is graduating from Lutheran Elementary School of Bay Ridge, are the 2017 winners of the NCT’s Betty Kash Memorial Scholarship Award.

Kash, a founding member of NCT, died in 2012. Kash had directed many of the theater company’s productions over the years. Upon her death, her family requested that mourners show their support for NCT by making donations to the theater company. Narrows Community Theater is a Bay Ridge-based theater company founded in 1971.

Following Kash’s death, NCT leaders decided to create a scholarship for young people with an interest in the performing arts.

“We here at NCT and her family decided to take those funds and form a scholarship for graduating eighth graders who have an interest in theater, dance, music and performing and are furthering their education in theater and performance. In her years as a performer and director, Betty worked with children and shared her talents and love of theater with them. Her unbounding energy and bubbly personality always brought joy to anyone that had the pleasure to be in a show with her or see her perform. This scholarship is one way to let her work continue,” NCT leaders said in a statement.

Kristen Kupper caught the performing bug early, according to a NCT spokesperson, who said she performed in shows while a student at St. Patrick’s Catholic Academy. She plans to attend Fontbonne Hall Academy in the fall, where she hopes to become part of the Fontbonne Hall Academy Drama Club.

Specht is heading to Edward R. Murrow High School, where he plans to join he school’s vocal program. He performed in several shows produced by NCT, as well as productions mounted by the Park Slope Performing Arts organization. 

The two Kash Scholarship winners were chosen from among students who submitted applications with essays and proof of community service, according to NCT. Each applicant had to write an essay about their memorable theater, singing or music experience.    

“This neighborhood has so many talented students and we look forward to honoring many others in the years to come,” NCT leaders said in a statement. 

For more information on the Betty Kash Memorial Scholarship, visit


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