Why is Colum McCann coming to speak at Waynflete?

Many of you have already noted with great excitement that Colum McCann, the widely read and highly acclaimed Irish author of six novels and three collections of stories, is coming to speak at Waynflete during the evening of February 6, and again to an Upper School assembly on February 7. Not surprisingly, given his stature as a writer, the public event on the 6th is already sold out.

While Waynflete’s interest in hosting such an important writer would seem self-evident, you may be wondering why Mr. McCann is interested in coming to Waynflete, particularly since his public appearances are rare these days. It turns out that he has another mission in life besides creating great art. He is a co-founder and president of Narrative 4, an organization dedicated to equipping tomorrow’s leaders “to use their stories to build empathy, shatter stereotypes, break down barriers, and—ultimately—make the world a better place.” The Narrative 4 motto is “Fearless hope through radical empathy.” Check out the video on the Narrative 4 web page describing their signature program, “the story exchange” (linked here).

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Real World Performing Arts

“Real World Performing Arts” was piloted as a new class in Upper School this past semester. Mary Jane Pagenstecher and Tiki Fuhro co-taught this hands-on journey through performing arts for social change. Students explored dramatic literature through the ages, became familiar with a variety of protest songs, and were exposed to the work of dancers, musicians, and theatre artists who have used their art form as a platform for social change. Monologues were learned for performance, and students learned several techniques for making dances and understanding songwriting structures. Students also worked with a set of questions for analyzing performances so that (using non-judgmental language) they could be more articulate about what they found effective.

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Upper School students participate in “Poetry Out Loud”

The “Poetry Out Loud” national recitation contest was created by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation. The contest is administered in partnership with arts agencies in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico. Waynflete’s English Department has taken part in Poetry Out Loud for 12 years.

Ninth-grader Blythe Thompson won this school round. She will continue to the regionals for the next round of competition.