The Huntington Theatre Company presents Know the Law!, a play of interwoven dramas by and about urban youth performed by Boston teenagers, at Jamaica Plain's English High School on Friday, June 19th at 7pm. Developed through a collaboration between the Huntington Theatre Company's Education Department, the Boston Police Department, and community leaders, the 45-minute Know the Law! is comprised of real-life vignettes of potentially compromising situations that teens might experience in their own neighborhoods and depicts the consequences of making the right and wrong choices. A discussion among the actors, the audience, and a Boston Police Officer follows the performance.
The Huntington's Education Department developed Know the Law! 11 years ago and now runs the program as a collaborative effort with and Youth and Police in Partnership (YPP), a program of Children's Services of Roxbury, Inc., which brings teens and police together to collaborate on solving problems in the community that stresses value-based solutions and conflict resolution skills. Know the Law! tours Boston community centers, high schools, and middle schools with teen actors who are especially effective at reaching their peers.
Each year a group of 25 teenaged peer leaders hired by YPP receive free acting training and direction over six months from the Huntington teaching artists with whom they work to mount the touring production. Beyond the coaching that they receive in acting and speech, this group of Boston students participate in writing and vocabulary programs and work collaboratively with the Huntington's teaching artists to improve and update the production. In 2008-2009, Know the Law! reached over 1,000 teens at performances at the Huntington's Stanford Calderwood Pavilion at the Boston Center for the Arts, Roxbury Community College, and the Avon Middle/High School. The current company of actors includes residents from Dorchester, Roxbury, Mattapan, the South End, and other Boston neighborhoods.
"Many Boston teens encounter legally compromising or dangerous situations every day," says Naheem Garcia, Huntington Theatre Company Education and Community Associate and co-author of Know the Law! "The teens we work with consistently report that this program helps them be better prepared for their everyday life." Garcia's co-author is Amanda Pyne.
Adds William Codinha, a Huntington Trustee, Partner at Nixon Peabody and a Know the Law ! fan, "KTL is community outreach and education at its most meaningful. Young people are engaged and made to think about their lives, and the consequences of their actions in real life/real world situations. The students are the actors, but the world they live in is their stage. It is very real, very perceptive and a learning experience for the actors and the audiences."
Know the Law! is supported by Wilmer, Cutler, Pickering, Hale and Dorr LLP. Additional support for the Huntington's youth and education programs comes from Bank of America, Esther B. Kahn Charitable Foundation, Ludcke Foundation, The Sam Spiegel Foundation and Yawkey Foundation II.
The Huntington Theatre Company's Department of Education and Outreach is one of the most extensive and admired theatre education departments in the country. For the last 27 years, the Huntington's nationally recognized education programs have served more than 200,000 middle school and high school students.
WHEN: Friday, June 19, 2009, 7pm
WHERE: English High School, 144 McBride Street, Jamaica Plain
TICKETS: Free. Open to the public. No reservations required.