(BOSTON) – The Huntington-Codman Summer Theatre Institute – a collaborative project of the Huntington Theatre Company Education Department and Dorchester’s Codman Academy Charter Public School – culminates in two public performances of William Shakespeare’s King Lear on Thursday, July 25 and Friday, July 26 at 7pm at the Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA. The public performances are free; attendees are encouraged to RSVP online.

Nineteen Codman students from the Boston neighborhoods of Dorchester, Hyde Park, Jamaica Plain, Mattapan, West Roxbury, Chelsea, as well as from the city of Randolph, Mass., will play roles in this tragedy that follows the events that befall the aging King Lear when he decides to pass on the cares and responsibility of the monarchy to his three daughters.

Participants in the Summer Theatre Institute receive modest stipends for participating in the five-week program. In it, students explore the theatrical process, including broadly applicable lessons on literacy, teamwork, time management, and public speaking. The program began 13 years ago as a response to an increased risk of violence among Boston area teens during the summer, especially between the hours of 4pm -7pm. The Institute provides a safe environment for Codman Academy participants who range in age from sophomores to recent graduates. Students say the program encourages camaraderie, creativity and fun.


A full list of the students in the Summer Theatre Institute is below (alpha by last name):

Christian Bonilla ’22 (King of France/Messenger), Chelsea

Rachelle Brown-Mitchell ’19 (Goneril), Dorchester

Joanna Casimir ’21 (Captain), Randolph

Jordyn Davis ’20 (Regan), Dorchester

Karel Deller ’20 (Edgar), Jamaica Plain

Arie Dowe ’20 (King Lear), Dorchester

Jonathan Joassaint ’20 (Gloucester), Dorchester

Eddy Morency ’20 (Cornwall), Hyde Park

Malcolm Mora ’21 (Duke of Burgundy/Doctor/Herald), Dorchester

Nelphie Myers ’22 (Oswald), West Roxbury

Ikechukwu Nwokeji ’21 (Albany), Randolph

Dayseanda Paul, ’22 (Kent), Dorchester

Nayeli Pimentel ’22 (Servant), Dorchester

Jason Pruitt ’20 (Edmund), Dorchester

Carlos Rodriguez ’22 (Old Man), Dorchester

Shaun-Dee Scott ’22 (Knight), Mattapan

Kelvin Sisa ’20 (Fool), Jamaica Plain

Amber Taste-Suite ’21 (Gentleperson), Dorchester

Taya Thompson ’22 (Cordelia), Hyde Park



The Summer Theatre Institute is a five-week program for Codman students interested in exploring the full theatrical process by rehearsing a full-scale production of a classic play, usually by William Shakespeare. Students engage in a process that closely mirrors that of professional theatre productions; Daily rehearsals include warm-ups, acting exercises to help students delve deeper into their characters and the world of the play, and blocking and scene work. Technical and dress rehearsals that include lights, sound, and costumes prepare the cast for final performances at one of the Huntington Theatre Company’s professional venues.

The program leverages the enthusiasm of self-selecting students who are seeking opportunities to further develop performance skills they learned during the academic year. Beyond introducing students to advanced acting and ensemble work, the Summer Theatre Institute instills the values of individual focus, commitment, and accountability that are necessary for success in any field. Equally important, the Institute also provides a safe environment for the participants who come from some of Boston’s most challenging urban neighborhoods, as urban youth violence tends to increase during the summer.



Founded in 2001, Codman Academy Charter Public School was the first charter school to serve the Codman Square/Four Corners neighborhood of Dorchester, one of Boston’s most economically challenged inner-city areas.

Codman Academy’s rigorous academic program includes a 43-hour school week that runs Monday-Friday is 9am-5pm, Fridays and Saturdays are 9am-noon. It is an Expeditionary Learning School, which requires students to participate in weekly off-campus fieldwork where students engage in meaningful learning experiences in real-world contexts. Before Codman Academy opened, the Huntington’s Education Department was asked to be one of the school’s founding partners and to help develop Codman’s humanities curriculum by incorporating study of the Huntington’s productions. Today, theatre work with the Huntington’s Education staff and teaching artists serves as one of the core fieldwork learning experiences in which all Codman students participate. The partnership has evolved and grown significantly over the last 19 years, and has been instrumental in helping students achieve academic success and personal growth.  This school-wide partnership features three major access points:

  • The 9th and 10th Grade Humanities program helps students develop their literacy, public speaking, and group collaboration skills through the study of performance, dramatic literature, and poetry. This program serves as the required Humanities fieldwork for all 9th and 10th grade students and is an essential component of the Humanities curriculum at Codman.
  • The Summer Theatre Institute and Saturday Classes provide additional performance opportunities for self-selecting students. In the Summer Theatre Institute, as many as 25 students from grades 9-12 rehearse a full-scale production culminating in public performances (see below for more information on this program). The Saturday Shakespeare Class (Fall) is an elective for sophomores, juniors, and seniors where they explore approaches to performing Shakespearean monologues and other challenging solo-performance texts. The Saturday Scene Study Class (Spring) is an elective for all students in grades 9-12  that allows students to dive deeper into their collaboration and characterization development. Both offerings build upon skills taught in the 9th and 10th Grade Humanities program.
  • Full-school engagement opportunities such as attendance at the Huntington’s Student Matinees, internships in the Education Department, and additional project-based performance coaching and consultation from the Huntington’s Education staff have resulted in the deep integration of theatre and performance work into Codman Academy’s approach to teaching and learning. 

In addition to the productions they attend with their Humanities class or as a school, all Codman students receive at Student Club Card that entitles them to two free tickets to every Huntington production until they turn 21. Throughout the history of the partnership, Codman students have also participated in many of the Huntington’s other Education programs.



The Huntington Theatre Company is Boston’s leading professional theatre and one of the region’s premier cultural assets since its founding in 1982. Recipient of the 2013 Regional Theatre Tony Award, the Huntington brings together superb local and national talent and produces a mix of groundbreaking new works and classics made current to create award-winning productions. The Huntington 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. The Huntington has long been an anchor cultural institution of Huntington Avenue, the Avenue of the Arts, and will remain so on a permanent basis with plans to convert the Huntington Avenue Theatre into a first-rate, modern venue with expanded services to audiences, artists, and the community. Under the direction of Artistic Director Peter DuBois and Managing Director Michael Maso, the Huntington cultivates, celebrates, and champions theatre as an art form. For more information, visit


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MEDIA NOTE: Student participants in the Huntington-Codman Summer Theatre Institute, and organizers of the program are available for interviews. For more details contact Danielle Morales at 617 273 1518 or

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