The Flynn is excited to partner with the Vermont Arts Council to present Poetry Out Loud. Created by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation, the program provides pathways for students to explore, memorize, and recite great works of poetry. Contestants choose and learn about poems from an extensive online anthology of classical and contemporary poetry while mastering public speaking skills as well as building self confidence. The national Poetry Out Loud recitation competition engages thousands of Vermont high school students every year.
Participation in Poetry Out Loud begins at the classroom level around the country. Teachers engage students through instruction in poetry and performance and organize contests involving one or more classes. Winners advance to the state finals, and the state champion advances to the national finals in Washington, D.C.
The Flynn's education department will be administering the statewide Poetry Out Loud program, working with schools and students through the school year. The Vermont state finals will be held at the Flynn in Flynn Space in March 2024. Questions about Poetry Out Loud? contact email@example.com.
Pictured below (left to right): runner up Anne Hauze, Woodstock Union High School; Vermont Poetry Out Loud champion Greer Kennedy, St. Johnsbury Academy; and third-place finalist Grace Bruley, BFA – St. Albans
John Hadden has worked happily in the theater for 50 years. He was a founding member of Shakespeare & Co.; ran Hubbard Hall Theater Company in Cambridge, NY; and directed, acted, wrote, and/or produced over 100 plays here and abroad, in professional and university settings. He has taught in numerous conservatories and schools, and is a Vermont teaching artist. He has received a variety of grants and awards, and holds a BFA (theater arts) from SUNY Purchase, and an MFA (writing) from Goddard College. He has a deep interest in seeing great work happen in small places.
Geof Hewitt writes and performs poems wherever he can find an audience. He has served as a POL coach since the program started, and is happy to meet with individual classes or with larger groups. Geof uses guided, whole-group, cacophonic (!) choral recitations to ensure that everyone in the room has multiple opportunities to rehearse their chosen poems. The noise of multiple voices reciting different poems gives cover for every student to experiment with tone, pacing, facial expression, and gesture. Students are then invited to solo and receive brief suggestions from the group. Geof loves this work, and promises, "I'll make it fun!"
Born and raised in New Mexico, Quinn worked as an actor in NYC for 7 years, including at the Classic Stage, Signature Theatre Center, and Roundabout. After two years in Burlington, he’s been lucky enough to work with Middlebury Acting Company, Vermont Shakespeare Festival, Spotlight Theatre and Dance Academy, and with Vermont Stage's latest two shows, Women In Jeopardy and The Pitmen Painters. With the help of BCA he adapted and produced Shakespeare's Much Ado in City Hall Park as a fundraiser for BHS Drama, and with his virtuosic wife, Gina, will be performing their third annual Front Porch Follies for BCA's Highlight NYE! He also specializes in teaching voice work for actors, and is on track to be the only certified Linklater Voice teacher in Vermont. MFA in acting, Columbia University.
Gina Stevensen is an award-winning playwright, performer, and teaching artist with an MFA in Playwriting from Columbia University and a BFA in Drama from NYU Tisch. Before moving to Burlington, she spent 13 years in New York City, where she taught theater and creative writing at Tribeca Performing Arts Center, The Brooklyn College Community Partnership, Leave Out Violence, The Writer’s Rock, Writopia Lab, and more. She is a 2023 Vermont Arts Council/NEA Creation Grant recipient. Her plays have been developed in NYC, London, and across the country. Since moving to Vermont, she's worked as a performer and dramaturg with Vermont Stage, Middlebury Acting Company, and Vermont Shakespeare Festival, and is the co-creator of the Front Porch Follies.