The Picasso Project
Thanks to a $5000 grant from Public Citizens for Children and Youth’s Picasso Project, Quintessence Theatre and Parkway Northwest High School for Peace & Social Justice launched an exciting new partnership this year. This amazing opportunity included a student matinee of QTG’s Waiting for Godot for 10th and 11th graders, followed by a powerful, seven-week Acting Studio in Parkway’s speech and drama elective with Barrymore-Award winner Johnnie Hobbes, Jr., which culminated in a student presentation for the community at the Sedgwick Theater. Students loved the Acting Studio experience: some described the work with Johnnie Hobbes, Jr. as life-changing. For the 9th and 12th graders, the project included a student matinee and talkback of QTG’s Julius Caesar, along with a series of Shakespeare workshops, led by classically trained Quintessence performer Michael Gamache. Through these workshops, students reached a new level of engagement with the play: grappling with questions of trust and betrayal, enjoying the superb quality of the production, gaining heightened interest in the characters whose roles they played in class, and responding intensely to the brutal assassination of Caesar. As one Parkway Northwest student exclaimed, “What did you do to my man, Brutus?” Everyone is now buzzing about what we can do next year to keep this incredible momentum going!