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The Front Porch Arts Collective and Commonwealth Shakespeare Company Announce CO-LAB

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The Front Porch Arts Collective and Commonwealth Shakespeare Company Announce CO-LAB

The Front Porch Arts Collective (a Black theatre company committed to advancing racial equity in Boston through theater) and Commonwealth Shakespeare Company (CSC) are partnering in the piloting of Co-Lab, an online training program focused on and taught by artists of color, linking the heightened language of William Shakespeare, August Wilson, and other contemporary writers of color. The program runs August 10th - August 15th and is being presented digitally in this first iteration. It is free of charge to invited participants.

Guest artists participating include John Douglas Thompson, Ruben Santiago-Hudson, Cote de Pablo, Seth Gilliam, Nikkole Salter, Nehassaiu deGannes and Pascale Florestal with masterclasses and artist Q&A's.

The program is a six-day intensive for BIPOC actors to activate their authentic voices focusing specifically on the works of William Shakespeare, August Wilson, and Black Women playwrights and poets. The program, held over Zoom runs Monday, August 10 to Saturday, August 15, 2020.

The program consists of voice and text classes; facilitated conversations with highly esteemed BIPOC theater professionals; coaching sessions with nationally recognized BIPOC actors; and optional participation in a recorded showcase of the actors that will be made available to industry professionals, friends and family, and others interested in supporting future iterations of this program.

"This is an experiment to see if we can simultaneously deepen our practice of performing Shakespeare while addressing how this work has been used to uphold Eurocentric ideologies, oftentimes preventing BIPOC actors from being able to fully show up in the work. By exploring Shakespeare's text in conversation with August Wilson's and other BIPOC writers, we hope to create a space where BIPOC actors can explore breathing fully into language of a playwright who wrote without us in mind alongside playwrights who did." - Maurice Emmanuel Parent, Executive Director, The Front Porch Arts Collective

"CSC was founded to provide people from all walks of life access to great theater. Moving forward, we are committed to understanding how 'classical theater' - and specifically CSC - has excluded BIPOC artists; to transforming the existing structures that perpetuate that exclusion; and to collaborating with artists, artisans, and administrators who will advance our work and our community. We are so honored to be partnering with Front Porch on Co-Lab, an integral part of our efforts to make CSC a stronger, more equitable company." - Steven Maler, Artistic Director, Commonwealth Shakespeare Company.

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