Huntington - Codman Square Theatre Institute
Engages 24 Students With Shakespeare
For Free Performance On July 27

The Huntington Theatre Company and Dorchester’s Codman Academy Charter Public School have reunited for the 7th Annual Huntington-Codman Summer Theatre Institute. The four-week program allowing Codman students and alumni to explore the full theatrical process extends lessons from the academic year to the summer and instills the values of individual focus and commitment necessary for success. 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.

On Friday, July 27, at 7 p.m. at the Huntington’s Calderwood Pavilion at the Boston Center For The Arts, the cast of 24 students from Dorchester, Mattapan, Roxbury, West Roxbury and the South End will present a 1980s-themed production of "A Midsummer Night’s Dream," Shakespeare’s comedy about love and identity. The performance is free and open to the public.

The production is co-directed by Huntington staff members Meg O’Brien and Daniel Morris. O’Brien commented, “As the students apply the skills and techniques they learn from scene study and monologue competitions during the school year to a full production, they revel in the challenge and opportunity to follow their character’s story from beginning to end. This summer’s cast of 24 extremely talented and funny students are each deeply invested and engaged in our process. It is a real treat to be working with them each day.”

A founding partner of Codman Academy Charter Public School, the Huntington collaborates with Codman year-round to create and teach its innovative, interdisciplinary Humanities curriculum.

The partnership engages 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. The program leverages this engagement and inspiration to improve performance in academic areas, particularly literacy, and in the development of social capital by building core skills such as teamwork and priority-setting.

Beginning its 12th year, the partnership is the showcase of the Huntington’s acclaimed and wide-reaching youth, education and community initiatives. The co-created Humanities program has been recognized both locally and nationally as a model for improving urban students’ reading, speaking, writing, and presentation skills. The partnership was awarded the Commonwealth Award, the state’s highest award in arts and culture given by the Massachusetts Cultural Council. Codman Academy is the only public school to receive this recognition.

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.

-- OnStage Boston



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