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Meet the Education Department

MEG O'BRIEN, Interim Co-Director of Education

Meg O’Brien (she/her/hers) is in her 11th season at the Huntington Theatre Company where she is the Interim Co-Director of Education and the Access Coordinator. Meg is an actor, dancer, singer, director, producer, and stage manager; however, her passion lives with theatre education. For the past 15 years, Meg has made her living teaching students of all ages about the world of the theatre. She joined the Huntington Theatre Company in 2008 and has directed, stage managed, and produced more than 30 performances and showcases for the Huntington’s Education Department. Meg was most recently elected to be the Network Chair of the Professional Theatre Network with AATE (American Alliance for Theatre and Education), has presented at AATE’s National Conference, and 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 (centered around their partnership in the classroom teaching theatre as a way to bring their humanities curriculum to life in performance). 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 participate in BTG’s education programs. Favorite 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 at the Connecticut Repertory TheatreIn 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 popular 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 (she/her/hers) 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, and a proud cofounder of Also Known As Theatre, a Boston indie theatre company for which she is directing two productions in the 2018-19 season. Her other creative work includes collaborations 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. Alex currently serves on the board of the Theatre Community Benevolent Fund, which provides financial support to Boston theatre artists in times of need. She 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 (she/her/hers) 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 she was also the 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 Huntington 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.

 

DANIEL BEGIN, Education Associate

Daniel Begin (he/him/his) is honored to hold the position of Education Associate in his first season at the Huntington Theatre Company. For the Huntington, Daniel aids with accessibility programming, outreach for Poetry Out Loud, development of curriculum guides, and teaching through the August Wilson Monologue Competition at the Edward M. Kennedy Academy for Health Careers. Daniel is a firm believer that “good theatre makes good people” and his professional goal is to aid in the development of the future generation of good humans. As a lifelong Massachusetts resident, Daniel became involved in theatre through The Young Company at Greater Boston Stage Company, formerly Stoneham Theatre, in Stoneham, MA. After participating in their educational programs for over ten years, Daniel attended Emerson College where he earned a B.A. in Theatre Education and Performance. At Emerson, Daniel focused his studies in theatrical devising, educational dramaturgy, curriculum development, Theatre for Young Audiences and arts integration. In the year following his graduation, Daniel taught theatre in Sitka, AK and then held the position of Education and Community Programs Fellow at the American Repertory Theater. While at the A.R.T. Daniel spent his time aiding in the development of educational toolkits and lobby displays, as well as teaching as a part of their Kids Company program. Following his year at the A.R.T., Daniel attended Merrimack College where he received his Masters of Education in Community Engagement. At Merrimack, he focused his studies in nonprofit management and leadership, social justice education, and community arts engagement. His studies culminated in his Graduate Capstone Project, Through the Looking Glass: Shining Light on Queer Identities. Daniel is excited to put everything he has studied to use as the Education Associate. In addition to his work at the Huntington Theatre Company, Daniel is a teaching artist at both The American Repertory Theater (3rd year) and Greater Boston Stage Company (9th year). Daniel would like to thank every educator who inspired him and aided in making him the person he is today. Special thanks to Caitlin Lowans, Sarah Grant, Bethany Nelson, Bob Colby, Melissa Nemon, Bobbie Jean Powell-Kelly, Julie Hennrikus, and Brenna Nicely.

 

IVY RYAN, Teaching Artist Fellow

Ivy Ryan (she/her/hers) is overjoyed to be working for her second season in the Huntington Theatre Company’s Department of Education as the Teaching Artist Fellow, after joining the team for the 2017-2018 season as the Education Apprentice. For the Huntington, Ivy is teaching across all the education programs, including a year-long residency with Codman Academy Charter Public School’s 10th grade Humanities class and a fall semester residency with the Dr. Henderson K-12 Inclusion School for the National 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 and a Saturday enrichment “Fall in Love with Shakespeare” course at the Codman Academy Charter Public School.

In addition to her work at the Huntington, Ivy has worked as a teaching artist with New Repertory Theatre, Boston University’s Summer Theatre Institute (BUSTI), Boston University School of Theatre, Boston Children’s Theatre, Watertown Children’s Theatre, Conservatory Theatre Ensemble, Agassiz Baldwin Community, The Throckmorton Theatre, Steve and Kate’s Camp and a sleepaway camp in the Pocono mountains. Two years ago, she also 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 Company, SpeakEasy Stage Company, Bridge Repertory Theater, Boston Theater Company, Theatre on Fire, New Rep’s Classic Repertory Company, Theater Uncorked, and Roxbury Repertory Theater. Prior to joining the Huntington, Ivy spent nine months 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). Thank you to the magnificent educators who have nurtured her love for theatre. Special thanks to Ben Cleaveland, Susan Brashear, Kat Zdan, Judith Chaffee, Betsy Polatin, Michael Hammond, Jessica Nicholson, Christine Hamel, Matt Stern, Jon Savage, and Tamala Bakkensen.

Training: BFA in Acting - Boston University School of Theatre
Diploma in Classical Acting - London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA)
Shakespeare and Company

DYLAN C. WACK, Education Apprentice

Dylan C. Wack (he/him/his) is in his first season as the Education Apprentice at the Huntington Theatre Company, the theatre at which he attended shows growing up in Massachusetts. Dylan teaches across the Huntington’s education programs, including residencies with Codman Academy Charter Public School’s 9th and 10th grade and is the resident teaching artist for the John D. O’Bryant School of Mathematics and Science for the August Wilson Monologue Competition, as well as in workshops based on the Department’s Student Matinee Series. He is the co-author of the Huntington Curriculum Guides for Man in the Ring and Romeo and Juliet. In addition to his work at the Huntington, he serves on the Teaching and Administrative Staffs of Theater in the Open based in Newburyport, Massachusetts, positions he has held since 2015. He is the developer and head teacher of all Shakespeare curriculum offered by Theater in the Open. He is passionate about the National Parks Service, the Chicago Cubs, improv and comedy, spending time near the ocean, and voting.

He is an actor, improviser, singer, and stage combatant in the Boston theatre community, having worked with New Repertory Theatre, The Boston Center for American Performance, Also Known As Theatre, Fresh Ink Theatre, Ford Hall Forum at the Modern Theatre, and the Boston University School of Theatre. He has served as stage violence consultant on shows at LAMDA, Boston University, and Theater in the Open. Selected credits include New Repertory Theatre's Fiddler on the Roof (u/s Constable) New Rep/BCAP's coproduction of Baltimore (Carson), Theater in the Open's Antigone (Haemon), and STAMP 2018's production of Seminar (Leonard). He is a member of the Society of American Fight Directors. Dylan holds a BFA in Theatre Arts with a minor in Spanish and a concentration in Musical Theatre from Boston University, and a Certificate in Classical Acting from the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts. While a student at Boston University he lived in Buenos Aires, Argentina, studying Argentine literature, culture, politics, and journalism—he also learned to tango and spent arguably too much time on a horse. He is a proud graduate of the Pingree School in South Hamilton, Massachusetts. Originally from Chicago, Dylan was raised in Newburyport, Massachusetts.


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