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YMCA Theatre Program Hits Milestone with Carbonneau

August 30, 2018

Sun Staff Report

LOWELL -- The Greater Lowell YMCA summer Theater Leadership program recently reached a milestone: 20 shows over the last 20 years, all produced and directed by Reilly School English language learner teacher Carolyn Carbonneau.

Greater Lowell YMCA Chief Executive Officer Kevin Morrissey was effusive in his praise of Carbonneau, saying her commitment to the program and those who participate in it remains stronger than ever.

“Through the support of her mother and father, Frank and Linda Elliott, her sister Catherine, her husband Joe, and grandfather Jim Hill, and other family and friends, Carolyn is able to continue to run the summer theater program for the YMCA keeping with the tradition of being for youth development, healthy living and social responsibility,” Morrissey said.

Carbonneau’s grandfather, by the way, builds out the sets.

A 2004 graduate of Northeastern University, Carbonneau earned a bachelor’s degree in theater as well as elementary education.

After graduation, she completed an internship at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida, where she also enrolled in business classes through Disney University.

In the summer of 1999, Carbonneau wrote and directed her first production for the YMCA, with her sister as her assistant director.

Since then, Carolyn’s productions have included plays like “The Wizard of Oz,” and some she has written herself including “A Place Called Home.”

“The Lowell YMCA Youth Theater Program is built on the foundation of offering kids the opportunity to be a part of a team, explore the theater arts, gain confidence and build new friendships,” Morrissey said.

Morrissey said Carbonneau could not run this theater program alone, crediting Julianne Sherwood, a former cast member and participant in the Theater Leadership Program, as a key cog in the drama machine.

“Juli has now been co-directing with Carolyn for the past nine years,” Morrissey said. “Another former cast member, Bailey Lizotte, also works with Carolyn and Juli each summer and has become an important part of our YMCA theater family.”

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