Jane Lynch Is Trying To Save Arts Funding in Dallas Schools

Jane Lynch is at Music Hall at Fair Park this weekend.
courtesy Jane Lynch
Jane Lynch is at Music Hall at Fair Park this weekend.

Sue Sylvester would be horrified at Jane Lynch’s fight for the arts in schools and communities. Or so we think.

Lynch, who played Sylvester, the musical-hating cheerleading coach in the hit show Glee, is hosting Dallas Summer Musical’s Best of Broadway Gala. Lynch is joined by none other than Matthew Morrison, who played the glee club teacher, William Schuester, along with Idina Menzel’s successor as Elpheba in Wicked, Shoshana Bean. Together with other special guests, this trio is raising funds for the nonprofit Dallas Summer Musicals and its community and education programs.

“Let me tell you what Sue Sylvester said, which of course she didn’t mean because deep down she loves music and loves theater. But she said ... ‘Loving musical theater doesn’t make you gay, it makes you awful,’” Lynch says.

“Oh, she would love it,” Lynch says, talking about her infamous Glee character. “Sue Sylvester deep down inside was a softie. And I think if you saw that one episode where — actually, they cut the scene — where I relived the memory, but apparently when I was a student at McKinley High I auditioned for Annie Get Your Gun and I didn’t get it. And it destroyed me.”

As for herself, Lynch says she is passionate about the arts.

“The arts were what grabbed me as a kid," she says. "Music, theater, drawing, the whole fine arts area. And I know how wonderful it was for me as a kid to go to choir and to go to play practice and to sing with my friends and even listening to the radio — my mom always played musicals. It was such a part of my food as a human being."

Lynch recently played Ms. Hannigan on Broadway in Annie, but she also grew up loving The King and I, Funny Girl, My Fair Lady and so much more.

“I was brought up on musicals, so I understand how much joy they can bring to humanity," Lynch says. "And DSM has all these programs; they have a great outreach."

“I was brought up on musicals, so I understand how much joy they can bring to humanity." – Jane Lynch

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She now fights for arts funding in schools nationwide.

“In Los Angeles we have cut the arts programs because of budget concerns," Lynch says. "The first things to go are art programs. So one school at a time we are bringing the arts to Los Angeles. So anyone doing that, in Dallas or wherever, I support you.

“I think we as a society have been cutting out the arts for a long, long time now and people don’t see that it gives them anything tangible. Most people don’t make money out of it. … It’s never going to be valued the way the bottom line, the god almighty dollar is … That seems to be our lot. And it is what it is and I accept it. And I will just be part of the saving committee.”

Glee fans will see the parallels between what Lynch is doing today and what the glee club fought for in that fictional high school.

“Exactly, yeah! But it’s for real,” Lynch says.

The event is 8:30 p.m. tomorrow at Music Hall at Fair Park. Tickets start at $45.