Codman Academy students showcase their talents

By 
Shaquille Alberts, Special to the Reporter
Dec. 14, 2012

Codman Academy Charter Public School is unique because it’s open six-days-a-week. Students were initially against the idea of Saturday classes, but they soon realized that it does more good than harm.

Saturdays are different from the academic week because varied elective courses are offered for juniors and seniors, including A capella, Philosophy, Visual Arts, etc.  Freshmen and sophomores attend individual tutoring sessions from 9a.m.-12pm. Being a part of the Codman community is a big commitment, so at the end the first Trimester of Saturday classes the school holds a showcase in celebration of the students’ talents and hard work.

Last Saturday’s showcase was split into two sections: Visual Arts and Sciences and Performing Arts. Students from the electives of Visual arts, Computer programming, and Robotics held demonstrations and displayed the fruits of their labor, such as the creation of computer games and a gallery walk, which included constructed second and third images. Electives that focused more on theory and concepts, and less on creating including Philosophy and I Am My Brother’s Keeper (a Black men empowerment group) presented what they learned from the course.

The second portion of the event focused on performance electives including a capella (Codman Chaos) a partnership with the Be the Music, Rhythmic and Resilience, an Afro-Caribbean drumming class focused on the art of storytelling taught by Nisha Purushotham. The day also featured the Shakespeare Monologue competition of the English Speaking Union.  The drama class was taught by the Director of Education at the Huntington Theatre, Donna Glick. These diverse performances kept the audience deeply engaged, but the main attraction was the school-wide English-speaking Union Shakespeare Monologue competition.

In front of an audience, these students embodied characters from The Merchant of Venice, A Midsummers Night Dream and others. Contestants were scored by a panel of judges. The outcome of the competition was suspenseful and close, but the winner was Kyle Depina,16, who delivered an incredible monologue as Bottom from the play A Midsummers Night Dream. Depina will now advancing to regionals at Emerson Theatre. However, everyone did amazing and should be proud.

At Codman, the Arts has been embedded into the curriculum since the founding of the school. Every student along their four years engages with artistic expression in the forms of poetry, monologues, and plays. Current Codman students, Brandon Niles (18) and Kyle Depina (16) both reiterated the importance of art in their community.

When asked their favorite part of the competition, Niles said, “The food they give us is bomb and it taught me to embrace what I like to do.”

Depina added: “It taught me how to articulate my ideas better. I love becoming new characters while finding ways to incorporate my own personality.”

Codman has set a tremendous example for the Dorchester community by making creative expression a priority in an urban environment where it is often overlooked.

Shaquille Alberts of Dorchester is a senior at Codman Academy. His articles about life and events at the school and the Codman Square community will appear regularly in the Reporter as part of an internship with the newspaper that begins this week.