Earlier this summer, the Bronx Theatre High School (BTHS) Class of 2019 celebrated their graduation and a 16-year partnership with Roundabout on stage at Studio 54. Located in the Marble Hill area of the Bronx, the school was co-founded by Roundabout in 2003 with New Visions for Public Schools with a focus on preparing students for higher education and professional careers in theatre and its allied industries.
Roundabout has been hosting the BTHS graduation ceremony since 2007 and this year was packed with the students' family, friends, and the school community all coming together to celebrate the 81% graduation rate.
This year every single student at BTHS worked with a Roundabout Teaching Artist through in-class or after school residencies funded in part from a grant through New York State Council on the Arts and the Department of Education's Office of Arts and Special Projects.
During their four years in school, the Class of 2019 attended the Roundabout productions of True West, Too Heavy for Your Pocket, Holiday Inn and Noises Off as part of our partnership. They also performed their own productions of Black and Blue, A Raisin in the Sun, RENT, Alice in Wonderland, and In the Heights throughout their tenure.
The ceremony was filled with speeches from the school's principal Dan Albetta, Salutatorian Jarred Smith, Valedictorian Kymbally Perrier and actress April Matthis, currently appearing in Roundabout's production of Toni Stone. The speeches focused on looking toward the future, making sure to enjoy every moment and taking whatever life throws their way with grace and strength.
“I’m excited for what you’ll do next. Whether it’s writing your first play, starring on a Netflix show, or becoming a WNBA first draft pick, I wish you well, colleagues. Be true to yourself, be kind to yourself and stay open to what’s possible. I’ll see you out there.”— April Matthis
Armed with great advice and excitement for the future, the students then walked across the stage at Studio 54 to receive their diplomas and continue the celebration with dance performances and a party!
Thank you the Education at Roundabout staff and the crew and house staff at Studio 54 for making the day a huge success.