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11TH ANNUAL HUNTINGTON-CODMAN SUMMER THEATRE INSTITUTE WILL PRESENT FREE PERFORMANCES OF “ROMEO & JULIET” JULY 28 & 29

(BOSTON) – Huntington Theatre Company’s Department of Education and Community Programs and Dorchester’s Codman Academy Charter Public School’s collaboration, the Huntington-Codman Summer Theatre Institute, will culminate in two public performances of William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet on Thursday, July 28 and Friday, July 29 at 7pm at the Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA. The public is invited to the free performances and encouraged to RSVP online.

The Summer Theatre Institute is a free program for Codman students. Through the five-week program, students explore the full theatrical process, extending lessons from the school year in literacy, teamwork, and priority-setting and are paid a modest stipend for participating. Over the past 11 years the Huntington-Codman Summer Theatre Institute has become a valuable resource to Codman students.

“At the heart of this play is true love,” says Huntington Manager of Education Operations and Romeo and Juliet Director Meg O’Brien. “This love is formed amidst extreme hate and prejudice. Love is what ends the feud. Love is what endures. The hate is defeated and new friendships and loyalties are created. Romeo and Juliet chose love over hate at every turn, and that inspires me. I find this play as important as ever given the nature of our world today. Hate never wins.”

The program began 11 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.

“The Huntington Theatre Company has given me an outlet for the past few years,” says four-time participant and recent Codman Academy graduate Demetrious Moore-Tolbert (Adam in As You Like It and titular roles in Julius Caesar and Macbeth). “I love the opportunities they have given me to bloom. I like that they’ve taught me real life skills that I need to be successful in the world.”

Emily Mora, a rising junior and first-time participant playing Juliet says, “Acting allows me to become something better than myself. Participating in theatre has become something more than an obligation. It’s an escape from reality.”

“I not only love being onstage, but also love becoming a different character,” says Rachelle Brown-Mitchell a rising sophomore and first-time participant in the Summer Theatre Institute program. “I love comparing my character’s personality to my own and finding the differences. I love the opportunity to connect with my character on a deeper level.”

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 16th 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, 9th and 10th 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 10th 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, impactful, and admired theatre education departments in the country. Over the past 34 years, its nationally recognized programs have served more than 560,000.

2016 SUMMER THEATRE INSTITUTE CAST LIST
in alphabetical order:

Student

Rachelle  Brown-Mitchelll

Character

Lady Montague

Hometown

Mattapan

Tre'Jon Carrasquillo

Apothecary

Dorchester

Shakya Davis-Witkowski

Friar John

Roxbury

Solomon Dubose

Montague

Dorchester

Jayrelle Fairweather

Prince

Dorchester

Shannon Guppy

Sampson

Dorchester

David Helas

Paris

Dorchester

Medgene Joseph

Capulet

Randolph

Shameka Joseph

Ensemble

Hyde Park

Emily Mora

Juliet

Dorchester

Demetrious Moore-Tolbert

Mercutio

Mattapan

Ariel Mullings-Bent

Balthasar

Dorchester

Desiree Reed

Ensemble

Hyde Park

Jaylen Settles

Peter

Weymouth

Jalanae St. Fort

Lady Capulet

Dorchester

Ave'Zakai Taylor-Kelley

Benvolio

Dorchester

Zachery Taylor-Kelley

Romeo

Dorchester

Sheriaha Teixeira

Friar Laurence

Dorchester

Antoinette Webster

Nurse

Dorchester

Adonis Woods

Tybalt

Dorchester

ABOUT THE HUNTINGTON THEATRE COMPANY

The Tony Award-winning Huntington Theatre Company is Boston’s leading professional theatre company and a cornerstone of Boston’s theatre community. The Huntington helps drive the local economy, enhances education for youth in Boston and across the Commonwealth, and helps build a vibrant, thriving community on the Avenue of the Arts and in the South End. The Huntington Theatre Company draws 200,000 audience members a year to its two venues – the BU Theatre on Huntington Avenue and the Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA in the South End. The Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA was Boston’s first new theatre complex since 1925, and in addition to serving as the Huntington’s home for new plays, it services as an artistic hub for dozens of smaller theatres, performing groups, and community organizations each year.

 

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