ROUNDABOUT BLOG

Teaching Artist Tuesday

Interview with Teaching Artist Leah Reddy

Posted on: December 6th, 2016 by Sarah Kutnowsky

 

Roundabout Master Teaching Artist Leah Reddy has worked with Education at Roundabout for the past ten years. During the day, Leah can be found in classrooms leading residencies and workshops. In the evening, you may see Leah at one of Roundabout’s theatres engaging audiences in a pre-show discussion. During the summer, Leah acts as the Marketing mentor for Student Production Workshop. Leah is also a contributing writer for Roundabout’s UPSTAGE guides, where she writes articles and activities for teachers to use with their students.

In addition to her work with students and patrons, Leah serves in leadership positions. As a member of the Teaching Artist Advisory Group, Leah works with other teaching artists to better Roundabout’s TA training, which she also co-facilitates. She also serves as a Partnership Coordinator for Brooklyn School for Music and Theatre, where she works with school leadership and educators to ensure that the school’s partnership with Roundabout best serves their goals.

Education Coordinator Sarah Kutnowsky spoke with Leah about her career and work at Roundabout.

Teaching Artist Leah Reddy facilitating a talkback after a student matinee.

Teaching Artist Leah Reddy facilitating a talkback after a student matinee.

Sarah Kutnowsky: Tell me a bit about yourself and your artistry.
Leah Reddy: I grew up on the west side of Cincinnati, Ohio. I went to The Ohio State University and moved to New York after graduation. I started out as an actor/director, but in the past five years I've spent more time on writing, photography, and video production, in addition to teaching. All the work I do comes back to telling a story, and I'm never sure what I'm going to be doing next.

SK: How did you come to be a teaching artist? Could you share your first arts education experience?
LR: I answered an audition notice for Roundabout on Playbill.com right after I moved to city. The audition consisted of teaching a lesson, and I used the plot of the Saved by the Bell episode about zit cream to talk about script analysis. My first arts education experience was probably kindergarten dance class. I didn't get hooked on theatre until second grade, when we performed "Achoo! The Mouse That Saved Christmas" in our holiday program. I played Nibbles, and most of my lines involved eating cheese.

SK: What is your favorite part about working as a teaching artist?
LR: I love making theatre, seeing theatre, and talking about theatre, and that's what I get to do as a teaching artist. I love the community theatre creates, and thinking about how we build community. My teaching work is also part activism. I hope that it empowers students to express themselves and think critically about representation in the media and how the stories we see and share shape us. I also hope it gets them thinking about the professional world and how to make their way in it. Also, my fellow TAs and the Education staff are the most amazing people and artists. They challenge and inspire me all the time.

Do you have any exciting projects coming up?
LR: I had the opportunity to shoot a series of short videos about issues around water access in Cuba this summer. We're editing them now and they'll be used a water justice conference in 2017.

Over the next month, Leah will share her experience working with students at Brooklyn School for Music and Theatre in a residency focusing on restorative justice for the Roundabout blog.


Related Categories:
Education @ Roundabout, Teaching Artist Tuesday


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Interview with Teaching Artist Joe Doran

Posted on: October 17th, 2016 by Sarah Kutnowsky

 

Roundabout Master Teaching Artist Joe Doran has worked with Education at Roundabout for the past fourteen years. During the school year, Joe leads classroom and after-school residencies at Roundabout Partner Schools, and develops curriculum for the Theatrical Workforce Development Program. In the summer, Joe works with Student Production Workshop as the lighting design mentor.

Education Coordinator Sarah Kutnowsky spoke with Joe about his career and work with Roundabout.

Sarah Kutnowsky: Tell me a bit about yourself and your artistry.

Joe Doran: I’m a lighting designer. I started in Richmond, Virginia and I went to North Carolina School of the Arts. Then I spent a year in Richmond before my connections from school and working professionally brought me to New York.

SK: What’s your favorite part of working as a teaching artist?

JD: I love watching the students get it. I love seeing them do something that they enjoy, and then realize that they can make a career of it. One of my favorite things is seeing what they do after they leave our programs; a few of my students have gone on to study lighting in college. I feel like I had a part in that, which is great.

SK: Could you share a memorable lesson or moment from your time as a teaching artist at Roundabout?

JD: I think one of my best memories is a lighting design residency I did at a Roundabout Partner school. In the residency we were looking at lighting in paintings, so I took the students to the Metropolitan Museum of Art to look at the work of master painters like Rembrandt and de la Tour. Then we went back to school and the students recreated the original lighting the painter had when creating the piece. The students had to find similar costumes and props, positioned an actor, and pointed light at different angles around the subject. Then we took a picture and compared what they did to the original painting. That was really fun. Some of the students had never been to the museum before, and to see the real paintings- the students really liked that.

SK: Do you have any exciting projects coming up?

JD: As cultural diplomacy through the State Department and Stephen Petronio Dance Company, I’m going to Vietnam, Singapore, and Thailand for five weeks. We’re also going to Eastern Europe; to Slovakia, Croatia, and Bulgaria. It’s going to be really fun.


Related Categories:
Education @ Roundabout, Teaching Artist Tuesday


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Interview with Teaching Artist Daniel Robert Sullivan

Posted on: August 16th, 2016 by Abby Case

 

Daniel at the Student Theatre Arts Festival in 2012.

Daniel at the Student Theatre Arts Festival in 2012.

Master Teaching Artist Daniel Robert Sullivan has been on Roundabout’s Teaching Artist Roster for the past sixteen years. Daniel just returned from a long run as Tommy DeVito in the Las Vegas production of Jersey Boys, but spent much of his time out West coordinating the rolling world premiere of Prospect High: Brooklyn, a play he conceived and co-wrote with a team of New York City teenagers in Roundabout’s Education Studio.

Through Roundabout, Daniel has served New York City students and educators in multiple ways. He has served as the director for Roundabout’s annual Student Theatre Arts Festival and trained educators through Roundabout’s Theatrical Teaching Institute. He’s also facilitated multiple classroom residencies in Roundabout Partner School classrooms.

Educator Program Manager Abby Case spoke with Daniel about his career and work at Roundabout.

Abby Case: Tell me a bit about yourself and your artistry.

Daniel Robert Sullivan: I'm an actor, writer, and teaching artist trying to keep my feet firmly planted in all three disciplines.

AC: How did you come to be a teaching artist? Could you share your first arts education experience?

DRS: While student-teaching in Rhode Island during college, I was tasked with introducing Julius Caesar to an English class. The traditional lesson plans used during this unit had much to do with analyzing the text and working through the meaning of words, and very little to do with the raw emotional power of performance. I thought, “Well, shoot, I can get these kids to like Shakespeare way more by showing it to them...live."

I asked a fellow actor to bust into the classroom at a particular time and begin a speech from the play, which I then countered with another. It was wild and completely effective. The 'bust-in' is teaching artist technique...I just didn't know there was such a thing as a 'teaching artist' until the following year when I moved to New York. A friend introduced me to Roundabout's Education program, I was mentored and inspired by its early leaders - Margie Salvante and Renee Fleming - and I've been attached ever since.

AC: What is your favorite part about working as a teaching artist?

DRS: My favorite bits are usually those that follow some kind of sharing event, much like my favorite part of performing is often the moment immediately after the curtain call. After the work has been presented, it is then time to reflect on how it has changed you. And it always, always changes you. Having students articulate this change is my favorite part.

AC: What is the most challenging part about working as a teaching artist?

DRS: Working in the room is fulfilling, but scheduling the work in the room is the hardest part. We all must balance our own creative work with the creative classroom work, and the classrooms we work in are all over the city! So piecing it all together remains a challenge.

AC: Could you share a memorable lesson or moment from your time as a teaching artist at Roundabout?

DRS: The very first Student Theatre Arts Festival stands out as a moment to remember. Students from all over NYC gathered together to perform short scenes on Broadway. Not only did they meet and connect with each other, but the legitimacy of their stage gave them confidence and the respect of their peers and family who had come to watch.


Related Categories:
Education @ Roundabout, Student Production Workshop, Teaching Artist Tuesday


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