News Feature

Originally published in Castine Patriot, May 2, 2019 and Island Ad-Vantages, May 2, 2019 and The Weekly Packet, May 2, 2019
Voice.2.Voice students take to Opera House stage

Voice.2.Voice Poetry Project

Opera House Arts Education Associate Joshua McCarey leads a Voice.2.Voice Poetry Project workshop.

Photo courtesy of Opera House Arts

Opera House Arts (OHA) has announced in a release the annual Voice.2.Voice Poetry Project performance on May 9 at 6:30 p.m. at the Stonington Opera House. This free event is the culmination of month-long collaborations with area schools and OHA’s education program. Guest poet Christian Barter will kick off the evening with a reading of his own poems.

In honor of National Poetry Month, Voice.2.Voice Poetry Project, now in its third year, offers middle school students across seven local schools the opportunity to engage with poetry through performance. Over the course of April, visiting teaching artists Sylvia Kates, Alek Sayers, Esther Williamson, and OHA Education Associate Joshua McCarey led performance-based workshops across Deer Isle and Blue Hill Peninsula classrooms.

Voice.2.Voice Poetry Project challenges students to investigate, interpret, memorize, and perform a poem of their choice from an anthology curated by McCarey. These workshops offer the tools to tap into one’s authentic voice and use it fully to express that of the published poet. Together students, teachers, and Opera House Arts staff have created a culture of deep listening, risk-taking, critical thinking, and an exploration of what it means to communicate with excellence.

OHA Education Associate Joshua McCarey says in a release, “It’s been a joy to collaborate with ELA teachers, using spoken poetry as an arena for social and emotional literacy. There is something both precious and gripping in hearing a twelve-year-old speak with focus and courage as they bring the voice of the poem to life.”

A panel of community judges from diverse life experiences were invited to evaluate every student’s performance in order to choose three winners from each partner school. A total of 16 students have progressed to the final rounds at their home schools and will step onto the Opera House stage together to perform their poems publicly for the first time

Friends, family, and community members are invited to this special showcase where guest poet Christian Barter will kick off the evening with a reading of his own poems.

Voice.2.Voice Poetry Project school partners include Deer Isle-Stonington Elementary, The Brooklin School, Sedgwick Elementary, Brooksville Elementary, The Adams School, Blue Hill Consolidated School, and Explorations Learning Center.