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The Young Critic's Institute This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   The Young Critic's Institute

The Huntington Theater is helping teenagers discover the magic and brilliance of theater. The Young Critic's Institute is an eight to 10 week program that goes beyond introduction to theater. In an informal, roundtable environment, teenagers discuss the production of the play, the research, and the play itself. Because there is no cost, anyone can enjoy this program. Whether it's behind the scenes or talking to fellow classmates, there is a lot to be learned. Besides becoming friends with your classmates and learning how to accurately critique a play, you come out of this experience with an appreciation for theater.

The play produced while I was a student was Oscar Wilde's "The Importance of Being Earnest." In the first two weeks, we took a tour of the theater and discussed different interpretations of the play. As an experiment, the students were told to write a synopsis. They were all varied because each person focused on what they felt was important. Such exercises help students acquaint themselves with the play and their own characteristic writing styles.

For the duration of the program, we became very familiar with the theater, met with many guests, and learned how to critique a play of this caliber. In my opinion, there are two purposes: to become more familiarized with the process of production and to be able to review a play professionally. Both goals are met, completely, within those short weeks.

The two coordinators of the program are the dramaturge of the play and Donna Glick, the educational director. Through their leadership and direction, each person develops their writing for theater and to become more concise and coherent. But they can't take all of the credit. They arrange for the students to meet with many people essential to the process of production. These include scholars, setting managers, lighting directors, and executive producers. The wealth of knowledge and information is extremely helpful to the students.

What makes the class interesting is that it is informal and the directors support expressing yourself. Whatever you've got to say ... say it. There are no weekly, boring assignments, but further research into the final project of writing a review on the play. The entire procedure is very interesting and extremely profitable for future knowledge. Most of all, it's fun!

It is not often that a student is given the chance to experience theater first-hand in a professional theater. Equally as interesting as a performance is the method of how that was accomplished. The Young Critic's Institute provides that window into theater that few people see, much less experience. If anyone is interested in this program, please contact Donna Glick at (617) 266-7900 ex. 2548 for detailed information. .



Review by K. M., Grafton, MA




This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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