The Argo Foundation, the philanthropic arm of international property casualty insurer Argo Group, announced today that it is partnering with teachers in the public and private school system to present Bermuda Glee, a 10-day performing arts intensive this summer modeled on the hit TV series Glee.
At a press conference at The Berkeley Institute, the venue for the summer intensive, Argo Foundation member Bruce Barritt explained that Bermuda Glee has been prompted by the Foundation’s desire to invest in the Island’s young people through an initiative that promotes partnership and collaboration.
“After considering a variety of ways that we could make a difference in the lives of Bermuda’s young people, The Argo Foundation met with teachers from Bermuda’s secondary schools to discuss a proposal,” said Mr. Barritt. “Working off the huge popularity of the TV series glee, and tapping into the keen interest Bermuda’s young people have in the performing arts, we suggested the following:
Students would work together during a 10-day intensive running from July 1 to July 10 to create an original piece of musical theatre (using themes from episodes of glee as their motivation) that would be performed for the public
Students would be placed in mixed groups that represent all participating schools, providing them with opportunities to see beyond artificial divisions (for example, between schools, or between the public and private systems) with the objective of breaking down some of the barriers that are contributing to the social ills plaguing Bermuda. Performing arts teachers would work together to coach and mentor the students, modeling the collaboration and partnership that is the essence of Bermuda Glee
“We are delighted with the enthusiastic reception that this idea has received from Bermuda’s performing arts teachers, in particular from The Berkeley Institute, Bermuda High School, CedarBridge Academy, Saltus Grammar School, Somersfield Academy and Warwick Academy,” said Mr. Barritt. “We are honoured that Minister of Education the Honourable Dame Jennifer Smith has agreed to be our patron, and we are enormously grateful for the support we have received from The Berkeley Institute where master class workshops and rehearsals will be held.
“Auditions for Bermuda Glee will be held on Friday, April 15 at Berkeley. Students aged 14-18 may audition as actors, singers, dancers (or all three, if they feel they’re a triple threat!) or they can sign up to be a member of the tech crew. Students can get registration forms for the audition from their teacher or visit our Facebook page, Bermuda Glee for more information. There is a $10 fee to register and the deadline is Wednesday, April 13.
“While this is not a competition, we will have a VIP panel to offer constructive comments at the end of each group’s performance. We’re pleased to announce that Bermudians Rebecca Faulkenberry, currently starring on Broadway in the hit musical Rock of Ages, and Daren Herbert, who has established an award-winning stage and film career that includes the upcoming McG film This Means War, have agreed to be members of this panel.
“We’re also pleased to announce that we are partnering with Digicel Bermuda to provide Bermuda Glee students with an opportunity to create an original song that will be offered by Digicel as one of their popular InTunes. Digicel InTunes is a service that allows customers to use ring back tones to personalize the tone that is played to their callers. Digicel has offered to produce an original InTune to be created by Bermuda Glee students and premiered at the Bermuda Glee performance on Sunday, July 10. We are very grateful for Digicel’s support for Bermuda Glee and the Island’s young people.
“All of us at The Argo Foundation and the teachers with whom we are partnering are looking forward to the auditions on Friday and to the summer intensive in July. Most of all, we are looking forward to working with Bermuda’s teachers and students to present a model of collaboration and partnership that, we hope, inspires more of the same throughout Bermuda.”