BOSTON) –  The Huntington Theatre Company celebrates the 11th anniversary of the national Poetry Out Loud competition, having facilitated the competition in Massachusetts since its inception in 2006. This year, seventy-six high school students from across the Commonwealth of Massachusetts will participate in four regional semi-final competitions March 5 and March 6. Semi-final competitions will be held in Boston, Framingham, Springfield, and on Cape Cod. All upcoming competitions are free and open to the public. 

With support from the Huntington Theatre Company, more than 21,000 students from 87 high schools across Massachusetts competed in recent months in classroom and school-wide competitions. A complete list of participating schools can be found at the end of this release.

Each of the students participating in the upcoming semi-final competition recently won his or her individual school’s competition. Twenty-four of the semi-finalists will advance to the state final competition on Sunday, March 13 at 9:30am at Boston’s Old South Meeting House. 

The Huntington facilitates the Massachusetts state-wide 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, March 5, 9:30am
Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA
527 Tremont Street, Boston 02116

Framingham: Saturday, March 5, 10am
Framingham Temple Association
404 Concord Street, Framingham 01702

Springfield: Sunday, March 6, 10am
Community Music School of Springfield
127 State Street, Springfield 01103

Cape Cod: Sunday, March 6, 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: Ann Herzog (Dean of Arts, Science & Professional Studies at Springfield College), Justin Hurst (Springfield City Councilor), Cheryl Perreault (Co-Founder of the Women’s Arts Forum), and Massachusetts poets Danielle Georges (Boston’s Poet Laureate), Anthony Febo, and John Bonanni.

About Poetry Out Loud:

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

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About the Huntington Theatre Company:

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

About the Massachusetts Cultural Council:

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.

2016 Participating High Schools:

Academy of the Pacific Rim Charter School
Acton-Boxborough Regional High School
Advanced Math & Science Academy Charter School
Agawam High School
Algonquin Regional High School
Amherst Regional High School
Avon Middle High School
Barnstable High School
Bartlett High School
Billerica Memorial High School
Bishop Feehan High School
Blackstone-Millville Regional High School
Boston Adult Technical Academy
Boston College High School
Boston Latin School
British International School of Boston
Brookline High School
Burlington High School
CATS Academy Boston
Claremont Academy
Codman Academy Charter Public School
Dartmouth High School
Dennis-Yarmouth Regional High School
Dexter Southfield School
Dracut High School
East Boston High School
Elizabeth Seton Academy
Falmouth High School
Foxborough Regional Charter School
Framingham High School
Franklin High School
Groton-Dunstable Regional High School
Hanover High School
Haverhill High School
Holyoke High School
Hull High School
International School of Boston
Ipswich High School
John D. O’Bryant School of Mathematics & Science
Leominster High School
Lexington High School
Lincoln-Sudbury Regional High School
Lunenburg 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
Methuen High School
Minnechaug Regional High School
Monument Mountain Regional High School
Mt. Everett Regional High School
Nantucket High School
Needham High School
Newburyport High School
Norwell High School
Old Rochester Regional High School
Oliver Ames High School
Peabody Veterans Memorial High School
Pembroke High School
Pittsfield High School
Presentation of Mary Academy
Ralph C. Mahar Regional High School
Randolph High School
Revere High School
Rising Tide Charter School
Rockland High School
Salem Academy Charter School
Saugus High School
Silver Lake Regional High School
Sizer School, a North Charter Essential School
South Hadley High School
Sparhawk 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
Wayland High School
Westfield High School
Whitman-Hanson Regional High School
Wilbraham & Monson Academy
Willow Hill School
Wilmington High School

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