Using the arts to engage students, leadership and social change
About Roxbury Repertory Theater
Marshall Hughes and Robbie McCauley founded the Roxbury Repertory Theater in 2005, a theater company of Roxbury Community College. The founders wanted to build a company made of non-union artists, performers and technicians who could bring their unique backgrounds and new opinions to theater. This collaboration of talent resulted in an organization formed with individuals of diverse age, race and experience that extends the presence of the College’s Media Arts Center into Greater Boston and surrounding communities.
It is the mission of Roxbury Repertory Theater and Roxbury Community College to work with its students and faculty, and the community at large to connect live theater to the college classroom and provide a free or “deeply discounted” high-quality theater experience for young audiences in Greater Boston and beyond. Roxbury Rep carries out this work in partnership with the Boston Public Schools, suburban school districts in Massachusetts, private schools and community organization’s serving the educational, cultural and social development of youth. The company strives to serve the community by engagement and interaction with school-aged youth, college students and the broader adult community, with a particular focus on serving youth ages 9 – 21. Through its productions it is able to initiate important discussions around issues of special significance to the community and inspire learning for all involved.
Since its inception, the Roxbury Repertory Theater has hosted a menu of signature programs: “The Endless Knot:” Dance, Theater and Creative Arts After-School Program is the RRT’s flagship initiative made possible through its collaboration with The Boston Public Schools; RCC Summer Arts Intensive, a Dance and Theater Program: in addition to its school-year work with the BPS, the Roxbury Rep’s Summer Arts Intensive (SAI) is designed as a four-week intensive experience for elementary, middle and high school students age 8-16; and
“Talk Back” Student Matinees: the company gears its Mainstage Theater season around the reading and language arts curriculum mandated for Massachusetts schools. From that flows at least two major productions per season, with “Talk Backs” included, to engage young audiences. Through these programs, each year the Roxbury Rep serves over 2000 secondary school students from elementary through high school. The company also provides a full schedule of Mainstage Theater Productions for the entire community that are free or offered at deeply discounted rates.
Other signature projects include 6 Playwrights in Search of a Stage, six new 10-minute plays by playwrights local and international. This event attracts audiences from the greater community. Each year the event names a Playwright Laureate the list of honored playwrights include Jon Lipsky, Michelle A. Gabow, Kate Snodgrass, Wendy Kesselman, and Elizabeth Falk. The inclusion of their work to the evening of performances increases audience capacity.
About the Resnikoff Gallery
In 2004, a generous gift was given to the Media Arts building by artist and longtime contributor to the college Joan Resnikoff. The funds were used to create the President’ GreatRoom, The Green Room, and to refurbish the lobby of the Media Arts building to a formal gallery space. Under the guidance of architect George Anastapalo, walls and lights were installed to be both utilitarian and art-enhancing. With the natural light by day, improved evening lighting, and the very visible location of the space, the gallery became a focal point for college, community, and attracts viewers both by invitation and pedestrian traffic.
The mission of the gallery is to give the viewer a sampling of art and design by students, rising and established artists. It encourages critical thinking and visual simulation from both audience and artist. Included in the curated gallery are student exhibits, and professional artist such as Gail Bos, Carol Daynard, Mary Harvey, Lou Jones, and Don West. Included in the seasonal art exhibits, the gallery also serves as a reception area and lecture hall.