Master Teaching Artist, Carrie Heitman, joined Roundabout’s Teaching Artist roster in 2008. She leads a variety of residencies and workshops for students in the city. She currently serves as Partnership Coordinator for James Madison High School where she works with school leadership and educators to ensure that the partnership with Roundabout best serves their goals. Carrie also works with educators to implement theatrical teaching by instructing at Roundabout’s Theatrical Teaching Institute and training the cast and crew of Cabaret on tour to work with students.
Education Program Manager Abby Case spoke with Carrie about her career and work with Roundabout.
Abby Case: Tell me a bit about yourself and your artistry.
Carrie Heitman: I love dogs. Really any animal. Really love to travel. I was an artist that was only interpretive, a real “actor's actor”. But now I consider myself a generative artist too. I make things. I am co-artistic director of Hook & Eye Theater. As a devising theater ensemble, we create original pieces.
AC: How did you come to be a teaching artist? Could you share your first arts education experience?
CH: I've been a teacher since camp days. You know the drill- went to camp, became a junior counselor, then a real counselor, and then took over the drama program. My real first teaching experience would be right out of undergrad in Michigan, when I taught at a Juvie camp in New Jersey. Either these young adults could go to Juvie, or to this camp. It was a radical experience for me and put me on a path of knowing I would be involved in arts education in one capacity or another.
AC: What is your favorite part of working as a teaching artist, and what is the most challenging?
CH: There are many favorite parts. One of them is when I witness a student's confidence soar. One of the most challenging aspects is having students I am unable to reach for a myriad of reasons out of my control.
AC. Could you share a memorable lesson or moment from your time as a teaching artist at Roundabout?
CH: I remember working with an English as a Second Language student who saw Nick Payne's If There Is I Haven't Found It Yet (2012) and wrote a monologue about her experience of the play offering how she identified with one of the characters. Her level of vulnerability still astounds me today when I recall her standing in front of her peers and sharing.
Education @ Roundabout, Teaching Artist Tuesday