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Huntington Theatre Company provides urban teens with summer theatre experience.

(Boston) — Huntington Theatre Company and the Codman Academy Charter Public School unite this July for a sixth summer to create the Huntington-Codman Summer Theatre Institute, a four-week program for Codman students and alumni. A Tribute to August Wilson, the culminating performance of this summer's educational program, celebrates the students' multi-year relationship with Wilson's material.

The Summer Theatre Institute extends academic year lessons into the summer, providing participants the opportunity to explore the theatrical production process in depth and instilling the values of individual focus and commitment necessary for success. Equally important, the Institute also provides a safe environment for the participants who come from some of Boston's most challenging urban neighborhoods, particularly significant during this summer's wave of urban youth violence.

The public is invited to join family and friends for A Tribute to August Wilson, which is comprised of selections from all ten plays of Wilson's Century Cycle exploring the twentieth century African-American experience. The piece is directed by Associate Director of Education Lynne Johnson and will be performed on July 28 at 7pm and July 29 at 2pm and 7pm at the Huntington's Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA. Student groups are asked to RSVP to DJGlick@huntingtontheatre.bu.edu. RSVPs and tickets are not required for individuals.

The Huntington Theatre Company is a founding partner of Codman Academy and collaborates to create and teach its innovative, interdisciplinary Humanities curriculum. The curriculum routinely incorporates analysis and performance of Wilson's work, as well as sophomore participation in the national August Wilson Monologue Competition.

"Our work with Codman Academy students deepens each summer," says Huntington Associate Director of Education and Institute Director Lynne Johnson. "While we work with students year-round, their theatrical growth and connection to the Huntington is most evident during this program when they can focus wholeheartedly on the production we're creating together. Each summer, the students reveal more talent, creativity, knowledge, and depth in their acting and production contributions. The community we build during the Summer Theatre Institute is an invaluable complement to their academic-year artistic work with the Huntington. Most rewarding, it is clear that our collaboration is enriching their lives.

Now in its 11th year, the Huntington's partnership with Codman Academy is the showcase of the Huntington's acclaimed and wide-reaching youth, education, and community initiatives. The co-created Humanities program has been recognized both locally and nationally as a model for improving urban students' reading, speaking, writing, and presentation skills. The partnership was awarded the Commonwealth Award, the state's highest award in arts and culture given by the Massachusetts Cultural Council. Codman Academy is the only public school to receive this recognition.

Each year, Codman students study texts being produced by the Huntington in the classroom and attend productions at the theatre. In addition, ninth and tenth graders work with Huntington staff and teaching artists two full days each month to immerse themselves in the workings of a professional theatre.

The partnership engages and inspires students from neighborhoods often excluded from Boston's dynamic cultural life, enabling them to develop both an understanding of and appreciation for the theatre by studying and attending Huntington performances, observing behind-the-scenes activities of the theatre, and participating in hands-on work in the theatre arts. The program leverages that engagement and inspiration to improve performance in academic areas, particularly literacy, and in the development of social capital by building core skills such as teamwork and priority-setting.

Thanks in part to the programs designed and administered by the Huntington, 99% of Codman Academy's tenth graders pass the English Language Arts portion of the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS) exam, a requirement for graduation. Since the first graduating class, 100% of Codman Academy studnets have been accepted to four-year colleges and universities.

ABOUT THE HUNTINGTON

The Huntington Theatre Company, in residence at Boston University, is Boston’s largest professional theatre company. Led by Artistic Director Peter DuBois and Managing Director Michael Maso, the Huntington creates world-class productions, runs nationally renowned programs in education and new play development, and serves the local theatre community through its operation of the Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA. For more information, visit huntingtontheatre.org.



ABOUT CODMAN ACADEMY CHART PUBLIC SCHOOL

Codman Academy Charter Public School opened in September 2001 on the site of one of its primary partners, Codman Square Health Center. The school was created to fill a need for a college preparatory high school in the Codman Square/Four Corners area of Boston. To date, 100 percent of its graduates have been accepted to four-year colleges. For more information, visit codmanacademy.org.



A TRIBUTE TO AUGUST WILSON PRODUCTION STAFF

 

Program Director . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Lynne Johnson
Guest Directors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Daniel Morris, Shamara Rhodes,
Amanda Ventura, Meg Wieder
Stage Manager & Choreographer . . . Meg Wieder
Assistant Stage Manager . . . . . . . . . . Martin L. Willis, Jr.
Costume Design . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Barbara Crowther
Lighting Design . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Mercedes Roman-Manson
Music Director . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Anneke Reich
Sound Board Operator . . . . . . . . . . . . Sharron Smith
Props Master . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Amanda Ventura
Assistant to Lynne Johnson . . . . . . . . Shamara Rhodes

 



A TRIBUTE TO AUGUST WILSON CAST

    From Boston:

    Luci DiSilva
    Diamantino Depino
    Nikera Jordan
    Denise Lawrence
    Judeas Mosby
    Samantha Nicholson
    Curtis Spears
    Nia Tomlinson
    Mark Vidal
    Ibi Wanu
    Martin Willis

    From Dorchester:

    Kyle Depina
    Samuel Eyong
    Asisa Harrison
    William Henderson
    Kershalee Levy
    Derek Lindesay
    Jenny Lucero
    Lakhala Muse-Curry
    Keith Nance
    Brandan Niles
    Thammy Pierre-Louis

    From Egleston:

    Shawntell Usher

    From Hyde Park:

    G'Zharia Lynch
    Sharron Smith
    Carlea Odige

    From Mattapan:

    Jaida Montegomery
    Malik Anderson
    Midley Theork

    From Roxbury:

    Chris Wideman
    Muse Lakhala
    Sekani Senghorr

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