Photo courtesy of Delaware Shakespeare/Alessandra Nicole.
For Theater Arts and Gateway/ACT 101 alumnus Wilfredo “Freddy” Amill ’18, community, justice, and performance are inextricable.
This year, Amill toured with Delaware Shakespeare, a professional theater company focused on educational programming for diverse audiences that can explore their shared humanity through works of the famed playwright. Amill—the youngest of nine actors featured in The Merchant of Venice—traveled to homeless shelters, correctional facilities, community centers, libraries, schools, and veterans organizations, performing in makeshift spaces and hosting discussions about anti-Semitism.
“Following our first performance at a prison, we learned about the synagogue shooting in Pittsburgh,” said Amill, who will star as Romeo in the company’s production of Romeo and Juliet this fall. “It was hard to hear after the work we’d been doing, but [that] made it that much more important.”
Since graduating, Amill has performed in Flying Quilt Productions’ Day of Absence, a satire on race and prejudice; Philadelphia Young Playwrights’ monologue festival, through which he helped elevate student voices; and Simpatico Theatre’s RED BIKE, a reflection on youth change agents that inspired a middle school workshop series.
This fall, Amill will also join the cast of Power Street Theatre’s Minority Land, a production examining gentrification in his hometown of North Philadelphia. An activities coordinator for Hunter Elementary School and a member of Norris Square Community Alliance, Amill facilitated a collaboration with After School Activities Partnerships (ASAP) to ensure theater is accessible for youth in his neighborhood.
“My kids won medals at ASAP Drama’s end-of-year festival,” Amill said. “Watching them step out of their comfort zones was unbelievable. I hope they continue to find the joy I saw when they performed for the rest of their lives.”