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10TH ANNUAL HUNTINGTON-CODMAN SUMMER THEATRE INSTITUTE WILL PRESENT FREE PERFORMANCES OF “MACBETH” JULY 30 & 31

(BOSTON) – Huntington Theatre Company and Dorchester’s Codman Academy Charter Public School’s ten-year collaboration, the Huntington-Codman Summer Theatre Institute, will culminate in two public performances of William Shakespeare’s Macbeth on Thursday, July 30 and Friday, July 31 at 7pm at the Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA. The public is invited to the free performances and encouraged to RSVP online.

Through the four-week program, Codman Academy students explore the full theatrical process, extending lessons from the school year in literacy, teamwork, and priority-setting. Over the past 10 years the Huntington-Codman Summer Theatre Institute has become a valuable resource to Codman students. Additionally, the Summer Theatre Institute is a free program for teens, and students are paid a modest stipend for participating in the program. To celebrate the 10th year of this program, past Summer Theatre Institute participants have been invited to attend the July 30 performance.

“What I love most about Shakespeare is how frighteningly honest he is in his observations of human behavior,” says Huntington Manager of Education Operations and Macbeth Director Meg O’Brien. “With Macbeth, we are going to explore ambition and power, the various types of love, and the fragility of man’s moral compass. How much of ourselves are we willing to set aside to get further up the proverbial ladder? What are the known and unknown consequences of our actions? Shakespeare’s work is an incredible tool for young people to explore these themes and issues within themselves. With Macbeth specifically, we’ll do so with large doses of witchcraft, stage combat, and poetry.”

The program was started 10 years ago as a creative response to an increased risk of violence for teens between 4pm -7pm during the summer. The Summer Theatre Institute provides a safe environment for participants who come from neighborhoods in the Boston area. Students participating in this summer program range from rising sophomores to recent graduates of Codman Academy.

Demetrious Moore-Tolbert, a third time participant playing the titular role says, “Each summer I have grown more comfortable with being in front of crowds. It is an honor to play characters — putting myself into people's shoes makes me humble. I try to apply the same lessons that I have learned in these stories to my everyday life. Life is much easier when your eyes are open to seeing its intricacies.”

Marquis Knight-Jacks, a recent graduate of Codman Academy also participating in the program for the third time says, “This program has really helped me grow not only as an actor but as a human. It has helped me learn that I need more than just myself in life — I need to be able to depend on other people. This experience has made me a better person.”

“I considered myself talentless until I worked with the education department at the Huntington,” says Latanya Simpson, a second time participant in the Summer Theatre Institute program. “I enjoy this summer program because it’s about more than just acting. It’s really about understanding and inhabiting the characters.”

First time participant Tre-Jon Carrasquillo says, “Life is full of opportunities. This play is an opportunity for me to become a better actor and a better team player. It’s an opportunity to open myself up to a new environment.”

ABOUT THE HUNTINGTON AND CODMAN ACADEMY CHARTER PUBLIC SCHOOL PARTNERSHIP

The Huntington is a founding partner of Codman Academy Charter Public School and collaborates with Codman year-round to create and teach its innovative, interdisciplinary Humanities curriculum. Now in its 15th year, the partnership with Codman Academy showcases the Huntington’s wide-reaching youth, education, and community initiatives.

The program has been recognized locally and nationally as a model for improving urban students’ reading, writing, speaking, and presentation skills. The partnership between the Huntington and Codman Academy was awarded the Commonwealth Award, the state’s highest award in the arts and culture, by the Massachusetts Cultural Council; Codman Academy is the only public school to receive this recognition.

Through the program, students study poetry, plays and the playwrights who wrote them, and attend Huntington productions. Additionally, ninth and tenth graders work with Huntington staff and teaching artists two days every month, immersing themselves in the workings of a professional theatre. The partnership engages and stimulates students from neighborhoods often excluded from Boston’s dynamic cultural life and enables 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.

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 students have been accepted to four-year colleges and universities.

The Huntington Theatre Company’s Department of Education and Community Programs is one of the most extensive, impacting, and admired theatre education departments in the country. Over the past 33 years, its nationally recognized programs have served more than 529,000.                      

2015 SUMMER THEATRE INSTITUTE CAST LIST

in alphabetical order:

Tashiana Charles

Lady Macduff/Hecate

Mattapan

Jayrelle Fairweather

Macduff

Dorchester

Cheyenne Harris

Servant/Messenger

Dorchester

Marshall Harrison

Donalbain

Dorchester

David Helas

Duncan

Roxbury

Demetrious Moore-Tolbert

Macbeth

Mattapan

Ariel Mullings-Bent

Third Witch/Gentlewoman/Young Siward

Dorchester

Daysha Murray

Banquo

Dorchester

Tia Murray

First Murderer

Dorchester

Brandon Niles

Malcolm

Roxbury

Marla Rhuma

Angus/Second Murderer

Stoughton

Latanya Simpson

Second Witch/Doctor

Dorchester

Ave'Zakai Taylor-Kelley

Lady Macbeth

Roxbury

Zachery Taylor-Kelley

Porter/Mentieth

Roxbury

Miriam Unaegbu

Fleance

Dorchester

Antoinette Webster

Ross

Dorchester

Shermiah Woods

First Witch/Macduff's Son/Seyton

Dorchester

ABOUT THE HUNTINGTON

Recipient of the 2013 Regional Theatre Tony Award and named Best of Boston 2013 and 2014 by Boston magazine, the Huntington Theatre Company is 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

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