(Cover Photo: Anya Barrett, Kayla Turner and Andrew Shapiro. Photo Credit: David Marshall)
ANYA BARRETT FROM
WORCESTER TECHNICAL HIGH SCHOOL
NAMED MASSACHUSETTS 2020
POETRY OUT LOUD CHAMPION
(HUNTINGTON THEATRE COMPANY PRESS RELEASE)
(BOSTON, MA) – Worcester Technical High School senior Anya Barrett was named Massachusetts’s 2020 Poetry Out Loud (POL) Champion Sunday, March 8, 2020 at Boston’s Old South Meeting House.
She bested 21 other finalists to earn the top honor. Placing second was Andrew Shapiro, a junior from Innovation Academy Charter School in Tyngsborough, followed by Kayla Turner, a senior from Sacred Heart High School in Kingston in third place.
Barrett receives an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, DC where she will compete in the National Finals on April 27 – 29.
The Huntington Theatre Company’s Department of Education has facilitated the Massachusetts chapter of this national contest in partnership with the Mass Cultural Council since its inception 15 years ago. The program is facilitated nationally by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation.
The top five finalists also included Samhita Modak, a senior from Franklin High School and Eliza Keenan, a senior from Monument Mountain Regional High School.
23,293 students and 568 teachers in Boston, Cape Cod, Hopkinton, Newburyport, and Springfield on February 29, March 1, and March 2. The 22 finalists were the top-scoring contestants at their respective semi-final locations.
The Huntington’s Education Department facilitates the Massachusetts contest, one of the largest POL chapters in the nation, in partnership with the Mass Cultural Council. Poetry Out Loud Massachusetts has ranked nationally in participation statistics for the tenth year in a row, this year ranking second nationally in student participation (behind California) and third in teacher participation (behind California and Georgia.)
ABOUT POETRY OUT LOUD:
Poetry Out Loud (POL) is a national recitation contest run by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation that celebrates the power of the spoken word and a mastery of public speaking skills while cultivating self-confidence and an appreciation of students’ literary heritage as they take poetry from the page to the stage. Since its inception, POL has inspired more than 4 million high school students from 16,000 schools across the country to discover and appreciate both classic and contemporary poetry. The NEA and Poetry Foundation partner with state arts agencies in all 50 states, DC, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands to support POL. Poetry Out Loud is a free program for schools, and all state contests are free and open to the public.
Learn more about Poetry Out Loud Massachusetts at huntingtontheatre.org/pol.
ABOUT THE HUNTINGTON THEATRE COMPANY
The Huntington Theatre Company is Boston’s leading professional theatre and one of the region’s premier cultural assets since its founding in 1982. Recipient of the 2013 Regional Theatre Tony Award, the Huntington brings together superb local and national talent and produces a mix of groundbreaking new works and classics made current to create award-winning productions. The Huntington runs nationally renowned programs in education and new play development and serves the local theatre community through its operation of the Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA. The Huntington has long been an anchor cultural institution of Huntington Avenue, the Avenue of the Arts, and will remain so on a permanent basis with plans to convert the Huntington Avenue Theatre into a first-rate, modern venue with expanded services to audiences, artists, and the community. Under the direction of Norma Jean Calderwood Artistic Director Peter DuBois and Managing Director Michael Maso, the Huntington cultivates, celebrates, and champions theatre as an art form. For more information, visit huntingtontheatre.org.
ABOUT THE MASS CULTURAL COUNCIL:
The Mass Cultural Council is a state agency that promotes excellence, inclusion, education, and diversity in the arts, humanities, and sciences to foster a rich cultural life for all Massachusetts residents and contribute to the vitality of our communities and economy. massculturalcouncil.org