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Boston Conservatory At Berklee And SpeakEasy Stage Company Announce Exclusive Partnership

Boston Conservatory at Berklee and SpeakEasy Stage Company announce an exclusive artistic and academic partnership between the two institutions, beginning in the spring of 2020. This alliance will enhance the hands-on experiences of the next generation of theater artists at one of the most respected theater companies in New England.

The partnership solidifies a long creative relationship between the two organizations, with scores of Boston Conservatory students, faculty, and alumni contributing to SpeakEasy productions since the company's founding in 1992. Through this partnership, students in Boston Conservatory's Theater Division will gain artistic opportunities and professional credits, in addition to performance and audition experiences. They will learn about the nonprofit theater model as well as the auxiliary skills needed in theater administration and producing for successful careers in the performing arts. Each spring semester, SpeakEasy will hold auditions on the Boston Conservatory campus; if students are cast in productions, they may receive academic credit from the Conservatory and compensation from SpeakEasy. The two institutions will unite at a BCB@SpeakEasy opening night celebration starting with SpeakEasy's presentation of Bright Star in May 2020, which will feature two current students and faculty member Laura Marie Duncan. Earlier this season, four Boston Conservatory students appeared in SpeakEasy's production of Choir Boy.

"SpeakEasy Stage Company is an ideal partner because, like our two B.F.A. programs, its focus is on both musical and contemporary theater. By producing premieres, the company helps define the future of theater-not only in Boston, but at a national level," said Boston Conservatory at Berklee Dean of Theater Scott Edmiston, who has directed 13 SpeakEasy productions since 2000. "The opportunities SpeakEasy can provide for our students to shape their professional identities-as well as their résumés-with a company that shares our artistic values and aesthetic is thrilling. This partnership will benefit not only our two institutions, but the cultural life of New England."

As part of this collaboration, SpeakEasy and Boston Conservatory will create student internships, allowing at least one student to work in the artistic administration programs at the company for credit each year. Additionally, the Conservatory will encourage recent graduates and alumni to apply to the SpeakEasy Fellowship Program, a paid opportunity for aspiring arts administrators and producers that acts as a bridge between their academic and professional lives.

The institutions will also collaborate to bring guest artists, including composers and playwrights associated with SpeakEasy productions, for master classes with students, in addition to post-show discussions at SpeakEasy. Conservatory faculty will also incorporate SpeakEasy productions into their curriculum when appropriate, encouraging students to attend relevant productions.

"As producing artistic director for SpeakEasy Stage Company and professor of theater at Boston Conservatory at Berklee, I am overjoyed to see these two worlds join together in an artistic alliance," said Paul Daigneault. "The Conservatory cultivates the future of theater right here in Boston, while SpeakEasy is a home to some of the country's most boundary-pushing and innovative productions. This partnership is a valuable and important one for our city, and I look forward to the tremendous results to come."

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