The American Repertory Theater (A.R.T.) at Harvard University, 826 Boston, and Boston Public Library (BPL) announce the fourth annual WORDplay Program, a summer theater and writing intensive for Boston Public School (BPS) students entering the 8th and 9th grades in 2016. It takes place Monday through Thursday, 11:30 – 5:30pm, in the newly unveiled Kirstein Business Library and Innovation Center at the Boston Public Library’s Central Library in Copley Square, one of the centerpieces of the Library’s extensive renovations.
WORDplay 2016 will be the Kirstein Business Library and Innovation Center’s very first residency.
This summer, the A.R.T. and 826 Boston have expanded their partnership to include not only the Boston Public Library, but also the support of Boston After School and Beyond (BASB), a public-private partnership within BPS that leverages the public school system’s resources to enhance after school engagement for high-risk student populations and English Language Learners. Through A.R.T’s partnership with BASB, WORDplay has been designated an official Boston “Summer Learning Site” and, for the first time, will provide each of our young artists with a generous stipend upon completion of the program.
Twenty-five BPS students from Allston/Brighton, Dorchester, Roslindale, and Roxbury have been chosen by lottery to participate in a five-week program from July 18 through August 19. Over five weeks, students will conceptualize and write a script for a play inspired by the A.R.T.’s upcoming production of Anna Deavere Smith’s Notes from the Field: Doing Time in Education, a new one-woman show about the “School-to-Prison Pipeline” crisis facing our education system, opening on August 20 at the A.R.T.’s Loeb Drama Center. Echoing Ms. Smith’s method of gathering source material, the students will conduct interviews with local government officials (including William Morales, Commissioner of Boston Centers for Youth and Families), school administrators, teachers, parents, education reform advocates, and their peers on the subject of education and mass incarceration. The campers will create their production under the guidance of writing tutors from 826 Boston and professional theater artists from the A.R.T. They will also have the opportunity to visit the A.R.T.’s Mainstage as part of the curriculum.
The camp will culminate in a free public performance by the students on Thursday, August 18th (time and location TBD). The resulting script will be published by 826 Boston and provided to each camper at a special book release party later in 2016. Read more »