Providing advocacy & resources for the field of theatre for young audiences.

Cortney McEniry & Lily Junker


About Cortney & Lily:

Cortney McEniry is a community-based theatre artist and facilitator currently in the Drama and Theatre for Youth and Communities MFA program at The University of Texas at Austin. Her research is focused on the role of artists as neighbors and asset-based approaches to community-engaged arts. In Greenville, SC, she co-founded and serves as the Executive Director of Front Porch Arts Collective, a community-based performing arts company dedicated to bringing artists and communities together to develop new works about the Southeast. As a teaching artist and applied practitioner, she has worked with the Performing Justice Project, Conspire Theatre Company, McCarter Theatre Center, Barrington Stage Company, and Synchronicity Theatre Company’s Playmaking for Girls program. She is dedicated to envisioning and enacting new futures alongside communities and artists of all ages.

Lily Junker is a director, educator, and theater-maker with a fondness for ensemble and movement-based work. She has worked in a variety of capacities for theatre and arts organizations throughout Pennsylvania, New York, Florida and New Jersey. Lily’s current home is with McCarter Theatre Center, supervising curriculum and instruction for their many after school, summer camp, and in-school residency programs. In October 2015, Lily traveled to St. Louis and Ferguson, MO as McCarter’s representative for the #Every28Hours One-Minute Play Festival, in collaboration with Oregon Shakespeare Festival. In August 2015, she participated in the three-day professional development series, National Seminar for Teaching Artist, at the John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. Prior to joining McCarter in 2013, Lily spent two years at Asolo Repertory Theatre where she worked as a teaching artist for their award-winning Kaleidoscope program serving students and adults with disabilities, directed community-based documentary theatre pieces exploring the Civil Rights Movement in Sarasota and Bradenton, developed a number of engagement programs to enhance audience members’ experience with the main stage works, and ultimately served as interim Education & Outreach Director. Lily is a proud graduate from the University of Pittsburgh, where she studied Theater and Writing. Upon graduating, Lily became producing artistic director of Bakerloo Theatre Project, producing and directing shows in Troy, New York City, and Pittsburgh for four seasons.


About Their Project:

In July 2015, 20 high school students will begin a three-week Summer Intensive at McCarter Theatre Center in Princeton, New Jersey. Beginning with a source text from McCarter’s main stage season, this ensemble of young artists will create an entirely new play using inspiration from their stories and the stories of people in their community. This play will have a fully-staged production at McCarter Theatre Center, with audiences of young people from Princeton and the surrounding communities. This project will merge existing practices and explore new approaches for encouraging agency, activism, and artistry in relation to both a dramatic text and community stories.

The Ann Shaw Fellowship will enable the project’s facilitator Cortney McEniry and McCarter’s Curriculum and Instruction Manager Lily Junker to attend Cornerstone Theatre Company’s Two Day Intensive in February of 2016. Cornerstone Theatre Company’s community-based theatre methods explore theatre and social change, community engagement, and script development with and for communities. This training from experts in the field of community-based theatre will provide valuable insight for the facilitation team as they prepare young artists to devise an original play with, for, and about their communities. Junker and McEniry will incorporate these ideas in a concentrated manner during the summer intensive and consider how Cornerstone’s practices can influence McCarter’s education and engagement programming as a whole.