Meet the Education Department | Huntington Theatre Company

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Meet the Education Department

MEG O'BRIEN, Interim Co-Director of Education

Meg O’Brien is in her 10th season as the Manager of Education Operations & Access Coordinator at the Huntington Theatre Company. Meg is an actor, dancer, singer, director, producer, and stage manager; however, her passion lives with Theatre Education, which she quickly fell in love with when she was in college. For the past 15 years, Meg has made her living teaching students of all ages about the world of the theater. She has taught, directed, stage managed, and produced more than 20 performances and showcases for the Huntington’s Education Department. Meg was selected with Sydney Chaffee, Codman Academy’s 9th grade Humanities Teacher (and the 2017 MA and National Teacher of the Year) to present a master class at the 2016 EL National Conference. After receiving her B.F.A in Acting from the University of Connecticut in 2004, Meg lived in Stockbridge, MA for four years and was an Artist in Residence at the Berkshire Theatre Group. Meg was a member of the stage management team for BTG’s first three community productions (The Wizard of Oz, Alice in Wonderland, and Oliver!) each of which had casts with more than 125 children. In 2005 Meg helped launch BTG’s Richie Dupont Fund which provides scholarships to students to enable them to pursue their dreams of being onstage and afford them the opportunity to attend one of BTG PLAYS! Camp sessions. Professional acting credits include Assassins, Amadeus, and A Christmas Carol (Mrs. Fezziwig, twice) at the Berkshire Theatre Group, The Taming of the Shrew (Biondello) and King John (Prince Henry) at Shakespeare & Company, as well as Candide, Violet, Sweeney Todd, The Crucible, The House of Bernarda Alba, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Measure for Measure, and Seeing Laughter. In addition to her work at the Huntington Theatre Company, Meg was the Producer and Managing Director at the award winning Bad Habit Productions from 2011–2015, where she helped BHP develop and launch their family programming and sensory friendly performances. From 2015-2017 Meg served as the President of the Board of Directors at BHP, which closed in 2017 after 10 seasons.

ALEXANDRA SMITH, Interim Co-Director of Education  

Alexandra Smith is Interim Co-Director of Education at the Huntington Theatre Company where she specializes in educational dramaturgy and arts integration. Alex teaches across the Huntington’s education programs, including residencies with Codman Academy Charter Public School’s 10th grade and through the August Wilson Monologue Competition, as well as in workshops based on the Department’s Student Matinee Series. In addition to her work at the Huntington, her teaching artist experience includes positions and projects with Hartford Stage, Hartford Performs, Emerson College Department of Professional Studies, Roger Williams Park Zoo, the Boston Children’s Museum, Boston Renaissance Charter Public School, and Agassiz Baldwin Community. Alex has also designed and led arts-based professional development workshops for English Language Arts and Humanities teachers, and is a three-time presenter/panelist at American Alliance for Theatre and Education regional and national conferences. She is an actor, director, stage manager, and producer in the Boston theatre community, including work with Praxis Stage, Zeitgeist Stage Company, Open Theatre Project, Fort Point Theatre Channel, Bad Habit Productions, Shotz Boston, Solas Nua, First Works, Roxbury Repertory Theatre, and the Footlight Club, and serves on the board of the Theatre Community Benevolent Fund, which provides financial support to Boston theatre artists in times of need. Alex holds an MA in Theatre Education from Emerson College and a BA in Theatre Performance from Rhode Island College. 

MARISA JONES, Education Associate

Marisa Jones received a B.F.A in Theatre Education with a minor in writing from Emerson College where she was the recipient of the Phyllis A. McCullough Scholarship for Performing Arts. Marisa co-authored (Colby, Nelson) the paper, Signs of Change: New Directions in Theatre Education published in the Youth Theatre Journal. Marisa went on to earn an Ed. M. from the Harvard Graduate School of Education as part of the Arts in Education program (A.I.E.) and dedicated part of her study to a concentration in Human Development & Psychology. Marisa joined the Huntington in the summer of 2002, after many years acting and directing in Boston, where she performed in The Crucible, To Kill a Mocking Bird, Waiting for Godot, among others, and serving as an Assistant Director for Bunnicula, one of her all-time favorite children's theatre productions, on the Emerson Mainstage. Her long tenure at the Huntington has also afforded her some unique opportunities, as she ushered in the first "open caption" event at the theatre as part of the larger Accessibility programming, and she has written countless curriculum guides for the Huntington's premier Student Matinee series. She is licensed to teach Communication & the Performing Arts (All Levels) in the state of Massachusetts and has been teaching, directing and writing for students in and around the Boston area since 2000.

LAUREN BROOKS, Education Apprentice

Lauren Brooks is ecstatic to be an Education Apprentice in her first season at the Huntington Theatre Company. She recently received her B.A. in Global Studies with a Concentration in Museum Studies from University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign and has since moved to Boston in order to pursue her M.S. in Arts Administration at Boston University. During her undergraduate studies, Lauren studied in Taiwan and Jordan, both of which helped her realize her passion for community and for bringing together different cultures. Her lifelong love for the performing arts led her to Huntington’s Department of Education and Community Programs where she combines her knowledge on intercultural communities and performance arts through the lens of her work as an administrator and educator. Though her undergraduate degree was in Global Studies, Lauren has never been far from the arts, serving as President/Company Manager for the 501(c)3 Illini Student Musicals in addition to performing and choreographing in musicals, operettas, and various new dance works. Prior to the Huntington, she worked for the Fenway Alliance and held various positions at the Spurlock Museum, the Krannert Art Museum, and the Art Institute of Chicago. Outside of the Huntington, Lauren is an avid tap dancer and works as a free-lance choreographer

IVY RYAN, Education Apprentice

Ivy Ryan is overjoyed to be working for the Huntington Theatre Company’s Department of Education and Community Programs as an Education Apprentice. For the Huntington, Ivy is teaching across all the education programs, including residencies with Codman Academy Charter Public School’s 9th and 10th grade and with two Boston Public Schools (Henderson K-12 Inclusion School & the John D. O’Bryant School of Mathematics and Science) through the August Wilson Monologue Competition. She also is teaching pre-show workshops at many schools in the Greater Boston area as part of the Education Department’s Student Matinee Series. In addition to her work at the Huntington, Ivy has worked as a teaching artist with New Repertory Theatre, Boston University’s School of Theatre, Boston University’s Summer Theatre Institute (BUSTI), Conservatory Theatre Ensemble, Agassiz Baldwin Community, The Throckmorton Theatre, Steve and Kate’s Camp and Camp Weequahic. Furthermore, last year she worked as a substitute kindergarten teacher in the Public Schools of Brookline. Ivy is first and foremost an actor, mover, and singer. Born and raised in an artistic community nestled in the redwood trees north of San Francisco, Ivy moved to the East Coast to study acting, fell in love with the Boston theatre community, and the rest is history. Since graduating in 2016, Ivy has worked as an actor with several Boston area companies including New Repertory Theatre, Boston Playwright’s Theatre, Fresh Ink Theatre, Bridge Repertory Theater, Boston Theater Company, Theatre on Fire, New Rep’s Classic Repertory Company, and Roxbury Repertory Theater. Ivy spent most of last year on tour with New Rep’s Classic Repertory Company as the company manager, a teaching artist, and an actor in The Scarlet Letter (Hester Prynne) and Romeo and Juliet (Benvolio, Lady Capulet). She proudly holds a BFA in Acting from Boston University’s School of Theatre and a diploma in Classical Acting from the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA).

 


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