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Florida Rep Appoints New Director of Education

After a months-long nationwide search, the Florida Repertory Theater is pleased to name Monique Caldwell its new Director of Education. Starting this summer, Caldwell will take over Florida Rep’s vibrant education department, which reaches more than 34,000 young people in Southwest Florida each year.

Monique Caldwell is a performer, arts advocate, director, and acting coach from the Washington, DC metro area. She is also a Certified Theater Educator with a BFA in Musical Theater from Howard University and a Masters in Theater Education from Catholic University.

“I am thrilled and honored to join the staff of Florida Repertory Theater as Director of Education,” said Caldwell. “I look forward to continuing the mission to educate, excite and enlighten our students through advanced-level training and quality programming – and also to create new opportunities for more community outreach and exposure to the arts to a more diverse group of people.”

Caldwell’s work with young people in the arts spans twenty years. She has a passion for the arts and strives to create top-notch programming and quality productions for all students, regardless of background or training. She served for ten years as an arts supervisor and project manager for The Soul Factory, a nonprofit community outreach program outside of DC. There she directed touring productions, supervised performing arts summer camps, taught acting workshops and directed productions. Currently, she is in her sixth year as a drama teacher and principal for Swanson Middle School in Arlington, Virginia.

His youth directing credits include “The Show Must Go On – Online”, “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”, “The Wiz”, “Cinderella”, “Once on This Island”, “The Lion, the Witch and wardrobe”, “Legally Blonde Jr.”, “12 Angry Men”, “Gotta Have Glee”, “Seussical Jr.”, “The Odd Couple”, “15 Reasons to Not Be in a Play”, “A Wrinkle in Time”, “”High School Musical Jr.” and “Anne of Green Gables”.

Monique’s passion is to expose young people to the world of performing arts while helping to shape their personality on and off stage. Monique works every day to help develop the next generation of leaders in the arts who will use their gifts and talents as tools for positive change.

“We are delighted to welcome Monique to our staff in this important role,” said Artistic Director Greg Longenhagen. “Her impressive resume and passion for future leaders in the casting arts make her the ideal candidate to lead Florida Rep’s education department in its next phase of growth. Since our founding, Florida Rep has committed to reaching out to our community to expose young people to theater and complementing the arts education students receive in school. The future of the program is bright as we plan our 25th anniversary, and we look forward to its continued growth under Monica’s direction.

Monique Caldwell succeeds outgoing Director of Education, Kody C.Jones, who announced his departure earlier this year. Jones’ tenure with the company began in 2016, and under his leadership the program has grown in both scope and reach. Jones focused on improving the professionalism of the popular Conservatory program and expanding the repertoire of the annual touring theater program by producing Shakespeare for middle and high schools. His notable work includes the Conservatory productions of Disney’s “Metamorphoses,” “Spring Awakening,” “Newsies,” and this season’s site-specific adaptation of “Lord of the Flies” at the Calusa Nature Center & Planetarium.

Jones also continued Florida Rep’s tradition of producing new work in its Theater for Young Audiences series, and he oversaw and directed world premiere adaptations of Alan Gratz’s novel “Refugee” for the theater’s TYA program, and a world premiere commission for the Conservatory’s program on gun violence in schools, “Bulletproof Backpack”, both written by the Broadway playwright, Eric Coble.

“We are grateful to Kody and his immense contributions to the Department of Education,” Longenhagen continued, “and with his leadership the program is strong. We wish him well in his next endeavor and look forward to working with Monique to lead the program and its loyal students into the future.”

Monique Caldwell takes over as head of the Florida Rep’s education department in July as the popular intensive summer arts camp gets underway. Registration for summer camp is now open and more information on titles, dates, prices and how to register can be found at www.FloridaRep.Education.org.

Learn more about the Florida Repertory Theater and Florida Rep Education

The Florida Repertory Theater is a fully professional regional theater company that performs at the Historic Arcade Theater and the ArtStage Studio Theater on Bay St. between Jackson and Hendry streets. Visit Florida Rep online at FloridaRep.org and by following the company on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

Memberships for the 2022-2023 season are on sale now and offer the best seats at the biggest savings. Packages for 9, 8, 7 and 6 shows start at $216 for 6 shows. Tickets and information are available at the box office at 239-332-4488 or toll-free at 877-787-8053.

Tickets are also on sale for the Spring 2022 Conservatory production of “The SpongeBob Musical,” the Florida premiere of the popular musical adaptation of the Nickelodeon cartoon series. Performances begin May 19 at the Historic Arcade Theater, and tickets are $15 for students and $30/$25 for adults.

The Florida Rep Education Department continues to educate, excite, and enlighten Southwest Florida audiences as its popular programs thrive and new ones take shape. The five programs that act as pillars of Florida Rep’s educational programming are: The Theater for Young Audience Series, Camp Florida Rep, Conservatory Productions, Class for Youth & Adults, and In-School Residency Programming.

Together, these programs fulfill the educational mission of bringing theater into schools to create a spark in students, whether by seeing a performance or connecting to the curriculum through the integration of the arts, giving children and teenagers with a more advanced interest an outlet. for their creativity and to create a community that creates a dialogue with young people and adults with access to quality theatre.