Lex Theater’s Story Cycle welcomes artist-in-residence Michelle J. Rodriguez 

Free online workshop empowers high school students to find and raise their voices through musical theatre songwriting

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ/Press Release) – The Lexington Theatre Company (The Lex) has begun its second year of Story Cycle, a new program empowering the next generation of storytellers to find and raise their voices through musical theatre songwriting.

Area high school students meet weekly to hone their skills in storytelling and musical composition. Story Cycle is sponsored by the Murry Foundation and offered at no charge to the participants, in an effort to promote equity, diversity and inclusion.

This year, the student artists also have the opportunity to study with Artist-in-Residence, Michelle J. Rodriguez, an accomplished artist who performs and writes in the worlds of music and theater.

Raised in the Pacific Northwest and Kentucky by Puerto Rican parents, she is a graduate of Henry Clay High School in Lexington.

Rodriguez was trained in voice as a high school student at the University of Kentucky under Dr. Noemi Lugo, is a proud public-school-trained violinist and received her BA in Theatre and Arabic Studies from Williams College.

Her work explores kids-of-immigrants stories, divine femininity, intuition, joy as resistance, healing and spaces in-between. Ms. Rodriguez is a commissioned artist at Portland Center Stage, a Van Lier Fellow at Ars Nova, a member of Ars Nova’s 2020-21 Makers Lab, and has received support from New York Theater Workshop, The Public Theater, SPACE on Ryder Farm, The Sol Project, Kentucky Governor’s School for the Arts, Salonathon and the University of Chicago.

Rodriguez will conduct three virtual master classes with the group during their workshop.

On April 22, 2022 the Story Cycle class will present their original songs in concert, and will be joined by Ms. Rodriguez, who will also present some of her original compositions.  This marks the beginning of The Lexington Theatre Company’s efforts to present theatre new works in a professional setting.  Tickets go on sale March 1 for the event which will be held at Transylvania University’s Carrick Theater.

Story Cycle is conceived and directed by Joseph Wrightson (Outreach Coordinator/Creative Media Designer at The Lex).

No prior songwriting experience is required, allowing artists at all levels to be led by their willingness to learn and a desire to tell their story.  2021-22 participants include Dawson Akers (Woodford County HS), Madison Case (Harrison County HS), Mya Gibbs (Tates Creek HS), James Gillispie (Harrison County HS), Kyle Hart (Henry Clay HS), Cameron Jones (Harrison County HS), David Lin (Homeschool), Whitney Powers (Anderson County HS), Selena Ramirez (Bryan Station HS), Alura Schaum (Harrison County HS), Eli Schwartz (Paul Laurence Dunbar HS) and Mia Smith (Homeschool).

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