Nashville Rep's Inspiring Theatre Education Program
Amanda Card | Associate Artist in Education
When Rene D. Copeland asked me to take the position of Associate Artist in Education, I was incredibly excited about the opportunity to create educational opportunities not only for the skilled and talented artistic community in Nashville, but also for younger actors and high school students looking to learn more about the craft of theatre. Without a doubt, one of the most rewarding parts of this process has been what we call the Classroom InDepth program. For a reduced priced, high schools and colleges can bring their students to see our main-stage shows. Not only does your ticket buy you a seat to the show, but also a visit, to your classroom, by someone involved in the creative process of that particular production.
A few weeks ago, we had a group of students from Nashville School of the Arts come to see "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde." I played Elizabeth Jelkes in the production and jumped at the chance to get to talk to these students. I expected them to be bright and talented, but the intelligence, charisma, and depth of these students blew my expectations out of the water! I spoke to two different acting classes that day, beginning by leading them in some warm ups and theatre games. Then we had a question and answer session. I told them that they could ask me about anything - seriously, anything - and boy did they! Their questions ranged anywhere from, "Was it confusing backstage when you had so many doors to go through?" to "What should you do if you want to be a professional actor?" to "Should you join equity (the actor union) or not?"
I am a born and raised Nashville girl, so I was incredibly moved by this experience. When I was their age, I went to see shows at Nashville Repertory Theatre, admired the actors onstage and knew all of their names, and wanted to be on the Rep stage so badly! It was amazing to be on the other side for the first time, seeing these bright, talented kids with a passion for the craft of theatre and a professionalism that was truly astounding. This is why the Rep is so important to me - it made me want to be an actor. It is a humbling and beautiful thing to be on the stage at TPAC and, at the same time, reach out to our community and speak to them, face to face, about why theatre is so important.
Classroom InDepth is a fantastic opportunity for students and teachers interested in the craft of theatre. If you're interested in pursuing a Classroom InDepth visit for your class, let us know! We can't wait to share our work with you and inspire your students to reach their artistic potential!