Boston Conservatory at Berklee and SpeakEasy Stage Company have announced an artistic and academic partnership beginning this spring that will see theatre students from the performing arts conservatory have opportunities to perform with the regional theatre for academic credit and compensation.
The partnership comes after a long and creative relationship between the two institutions; Bonston Conservatory students, faculty, and alumni have been mainstays on SpeakEasy's stage since the New England company's founding in 1992.
Through the program, Boston Conservatory students will learn about the nonprofit theatre business model, auxiliary skills needed for theatre administration, and producing for successful careers in the performing arts. Newly created internships will allow at least one student experience working with SpeakEasy's administrative staff for college credit each year, and the conservatory will encourage recent graduates and alumni to apply for SpeakEasy's Fellowship program for aspiring arts administrators and producers. Performance students will audition for SpeakEasy productions on Boston Conservatory's campus each spring, offering audition experience and feedback along with the possibility of performance opportunities.
The program will have a public launch with a BCB@SpeakEasy opening night celebration—held in conjunction with SpeakEasy's upcoming production of Bright Star, which will feature two current Boston Conservatory students in the cast along with faculty member Laura Marie Duncan. Four conservatory students appeared in SpeakEasy's production of Choir Boy earlier this season.
“SpeakEasy Stage Company is an ideal partner because, like our two B.F.A. programs, its focus is on both musical and contemporary theater, says Boston Conservatory Dean of Theater Scott Edmiston. "By producing premieres, the company helps define the future of theatre—not only in Boston, but at a national level. The opportunities SpeakEasy can provide for our students to shape their professional identities—as well as their résumés—with a company that shares our artistic values and aesthetic is thrilling. This partnership will benefit not only our two institutions, but the cultural life of New England.”
“As producing artistic director for SpeakEasy Stage Company and professor of theatre at Boston Conservatory at Berklee, I am overjoyed to see these two worlds join together in an artistic alliance,” adds Paul Daigneault. “The Conservatory cultivates the future of theatre right here in Boston, while SpeakEasy is a home to some of the country’s most boundary-pushing and innovative productions. This partnership is a valuable and important one for our city, and I look forward to the tremendous results to come.”