Florida Repertory Theatre names Monique Caldwell its next Education Director.April 13, 2022
Relocating from the Washington, D.C. metro area, Caldwell comes to Florida Rep with an extensive background as a theatre educator and regional theatre professional.
FORT MYERS, FL – After a months-long national search, Florida Repertory Theatre is pleased to name Monique Caldwell its new Education Director. Beginning this summer, Caldwell will take over Florida Rep’s vibrant education department which each year reaches over 34,000 young people in Southwest Florida.
Monique Caldwell is a performer, arts advocate, director, and acting coach from the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. She is also a licensed theatre educator with a BFA in Musical Theatre from Howard University and MA in Theatre Education from Catholic University.
“I am thrilled and honored to be joining the Florida Repertory Theatre staff as Education Director,” Caldwell said. “I’m looking forward to carrying on the mission of educating, exciting, and enlightening our students through advanced-level training and quality programming – and also creating new opportunities for more community outreach and arts exposure 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 their background or training. She served for ten years as arts overseer and project manager for The Soul Factory, a non-profit community outreach program outside of D.C. There she directed touring productions, oversaw the performing arts summer camps, taught theatre workshops, and directed productions. Currently, she’s in her sixth year as a drama instructor and director for Swanson Middle School in Arlington, Virginia.
Her directing credits for youth include “The Show Must Go On – Online,” “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” “The Wiz,” “Cinderella,” “Once on this Island,” “The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe,” “Legally Blonde Jr.,” “12 Angry Men,” “Gotta Have Glee,” “Seussical Jr.,” “The Odd Couple,” “15 Reasons Not to Be in a Play,” “A Wrinkle in Time,” “High School Musical Jr.,” and “Anne of Green Gables.”
Monique’s passion is exposing young people to the world of the performing arts while helping to build their character both on and off the 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 thrilled to welcome Monique to our staff in this important role,” said Artistic Director Greg Longenhagen. “Her impressive resume and her passion for molding arts leaders of the future make her the perfect candidate to steer Florida Rep’s education department into its next phase of growth. Since our founding, Florida Rep has been committed to reaching into our community to expose young people to theatre and supplementing the arts education that students receive at school. The program’s future is bright as we plan our 25th anniversary, and we look forward to its continued growth under Monique’s leadership.”
Monique Caldwell takes over from outgoing Education Director, Kody C Jones, who announced his departure earlier this year. Jones’ tenure with the company began in 2016, and under his leadership, the program grew in both its reach and its scope. Jones focused on enhancing the professionalism of the popular Conservatory Program and expanding the repertoire of the annual touring theatre program by producing Shakespeare for middle and high schools. His notable work includes Conservatory productions of “Metamorphoses,” “Spring Awakening,” Disney’s “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 Theatre for Young Audiences Series, and he oversaw and directed world premiere adaptations of Alan Gratz’s novel “Refugee” for the theatre’s TYA program, and a world-premiere commission for the Conservatory Program about gun violence in schools, “Bulletproof Backpack,” both written by Broadway playwright, Eric Coble.
“We are grateful to Kody and his immense contributions to the education department,” Longenhagen continued, “and because of his leadership, the program is strong. We wish him well in his next endeavor and we look forward to working with Monique to lead the program and its loyal students into the future.”
Monique Caldwell takes the helm of Florida Rep’s education department this July while the popular Summer Arts Intensive Camp is underway. Enrollment for the Summer Camp is now open and more information about titles, dates, pricing, and how to register is available at floridarepeducation.org
More About Florida Repertory Theatre & Florida Rep Education
Florida Repertory Theatre is a fully professional regional theatre company that performs in the Historic Arcade Theatre and the ArtStage Studio Theatre on Bay St. between Jackson & Hendry Streets. Visit Florida Rep online at FloridaRep.org, and by following the company on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.
Subscriptions for the 2022-2023 Season are on sale now and offer the best seats at the most significant savings. Packages for 9, 8, 7, and 6 shows start at $216 for 6 shows. Tickets and information are available through the box office at 239-332-4488 or toll-free at 877-787-8053.
Tickets are also on sale for the 2022 Spring Conservatory production of “The SpongeBob Musical,” the Florida premiere of the popular musical adaptation of the Nickelodeon cartoon series. Performances begin May 19 in the Historic Arcade Theatre, and tickets are $15 for students and $30/$25 for adults.
Florida Rep’s 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 Theatre for Young Audience Series, Camp Florida Rep, Conservatory Productions, Classes for Youth & Adults, and In-School Residency Programming.
Together these programs fulfill the education mission by bringing theatre into schools in order to create a spark in students, whether it be by seeing a performance or creating a connection to curriculum through arts integration, giving children and teens with more advanced-level interest an outlet for their creativity, and creating a community that creates dialogue with youth and adults with access to high-quality theatre.
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