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68 MASSACHUSETTS HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS TO COMPETE AT STATE SEMI-FINALS OF “POETRY OUT LOUD” FEBRUARY 28 & MARCH 1

(BOSTON) The Huntington celebrates the tenth anniversary of the national Poetry Out Loud competition, having facilitated the competition in Massachusetts since 2006. Sixty-eight high school students from across the Commonwealth of Massachusetts will participate in four regional semi-final competitions February 28 and March 1. Semi-final competitions will be held in Boston (sponsored by Brookline Bank), Framingham, Springfield, and on Cape Cod. All upcoming competitions are free and open to the public.

More than 20,000 students from 86 Huntington Theatre Company-supported high schools across Massachusetts competed in recent months in classroom and school-wide competitions. A complete list can be found at the end of this release.

Each student participating in the Semi-Finals recently won his or her individual school’s competition. Semi-Final winners will advance to the State Finals on Sunday, March 8 at 9:30am at Boston’s Old South Meeting House. The Huntington facilitates the Massachusetts competition with support from the Massachusetts Cultural Council. The program is facilitated nationally by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation.

Semi-Final Competition Information:
Boston: Saturday, February 28, 9:30am

Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA
527 Tremont Street, Boston 02116
Sponsor: Brookline Bank

Framingham: Saturday, February 28, 9:30am
Framingham Temple Association
404 Concord Street Framingham 01702

Springfield: Sunday, March 1, 10am
Community Music School of Springfield
127 State Street, Springfield 01103

Cape Cod: Sunday, March 1, 1pm
Cultural Center of Cape Cod
307 Old Main Street, South Yarmouth 02664

Poetry Out Loud  is a national recitation competition that celebrates the power of the spoken word and a mastery of public speaking skills while cultivating self-confidence and an appreciation of students’ literary heritage as they take poetry from the page to the stage. Poetry Out Loud has inspired hundreds of thousands of high school students to discover and appreciate both classic and contemporary poetry.

The Massachusetts Poetry Out Loud winner receives an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, DC this coming spring to compete in the national finals.

Semi-Final judges include: Laurin Macios (Program Director of Massachusetts Poetry Festival), Christina Roberts (Community Organizer for the Junior League of Worcester), Justin Hurst (Springfield City Councilor), and Massachusetts poets Sam Cha, Charles Coe, Gregory Hischak, and Gabrielle Guarracino (Poetry Out Loud Champion 2007 & 2o08). Guarracino will also perform at the State Finals.

About Poetry Out Loud: poetryoutloud.org
Recitation and performance are major trends in poetry. There has been a recent resurgence of poetry as an oral art form, as seen in the slam poetry movement and the immense popularity of hip-hop music. Poetry Out Loud builds on that momentum by inviting the dynamic aspects of slam poetry, spoken word, and theatre into the English class. The NEA and the Poetry Foundation have partnered with state arts agencies to support the expansion of Poetry Out Loud, which encourages the nation's youth to learn about great poetry through memorization and performance. This exciting program helps students master public speaking skills, build self-confidence, and learn about their literary heritage. The Massachusetts Cultural Council and the Huntington sponsor the Massachusetts contest; the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the Poetry Foundation sponsor the competition on the national level.

Learn more about Poetry Out Loud at huntingtontheatre.org/pol.

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About the Huntington Theatre Company: huntingtontheatre.org
Recipient of the 2013 Regional Theatre Tony Award and named Best of Boston 2013 and 2014 by Boston magazine, the Huntington Theatre Company has developed into Boston’s leading professional theatre and one of the region’s premier cultural assets since its founding in 1982. Bringing together superb local and national talent, the Huntington produces a mix of groundbreaking new works and classics made current to create award-winning 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. Under the direction of Artistic Director Peter DuBois and Managing Director Michael Maso and in residence at Boston University, the Huntington cultivates, celebrates, and champions theatre as an art form. For more information, visit huntingtontheatre.org.

About the Massachusetts Cultural Council: massculturalcouncil.org
The Massachusetts Cultural Council is a state agency that promotes excellence, access, education, and diversity in the arts, humanities, and interpretive sciences, in order to improve the quality of life for all Massachusetts residents and contribute to the economic vitality of our communities. The MCC is committed to building a central place for arts and culture in the everyday lives of communities across the Commonwealth. The Council pursues this mission through a combination of grants, services, and advocacy for cultural organizations, schools, communities, and artists.

About Brookline Bank (Sponsor: Boston Semi-Final Competition): brooklinebank.com
Brookline Bank is a subsidiary of Brookline Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ: BRKL) and is headquartered in Brookline, Massachusetts. A full-service financial institution, Brookline Bank provides individuals and businesses with deposit and lending services, residential mortgages and home equity lending, commercial and CRE banking, cash management, merchant services, and access to investment services. Brookline Bank operates 23 branches in Greater Boston. Member FDIC / Member DIF.

2015 Participating High Schools:
Abington High School
Acton-Boxborough Regional High School
Advanced Math & Science Academy Charter School
Algonquin Regional High School
Amherst Regional High School
Avon Middle High School
Barnstable High School
Bartlett Junior Senior High School
Billerica Memorial High School
Bishop Feehan High School
Boston College High School
Boston Latin School
British International School of Boston
Brookline High School
Burlington High School
Claremont Academy
Codman Academy Charter Public School
Dartmouth High School
Dennis-Yarmouth Regional High School
Dexter Southfield School
Dracut Senior High School
Elizabeth Seton Academy
Falmouth High School
Framingham High School
Franklin High School
Groton-Dunstable Regional High School
Hanover High School
Haverhill High School
Holyoke High School
International School of Boston
John D. O’Bryant School of Mathematics and Science
Leominster High School
Lexington High School
Lincoln-Sudbury Regional High School
Malden High School
Mansfield High School
Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School
Masconomet Regional High School
Match Charter Public High School
Melrose High School
Meridian Academy
Minnechaug Regional High School
Monument Mountain Regional High School
Mt. Everett Regional High School
Needham High School
Newburyport High School
Norwell High School
Oliver Ames High School
Peabody Veterans Memorial High School
Pembroke High School
Pioneer Valley Performing Arts Charter Public School
Pittsfield High School
Ralph C. Mahar Regional High School
Randolph High School
Revere High School
Rockland High School
Salem Academy Charter School
South Hadley High School
Springfield Central High School
Springfield High School of Commerce
Sturgis Charter Public School East
Sturgis Charter Public School West
Swampscott High School
Taunton High School
Urban Scholars Program at UMass Boston
Wayland High School
Westfield High School
Wilbraham and Monson Academy

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