My teaching career started out over twelve years ago in the high school theatre classroom where I taught 9th- 12th grade drama. This is the place where I discovered my passion for educational theatre. In this experience I developed course work for: Playwriting, Children’s Theatre, Production, & Fundamentals. In addition to creating this curriculum, I also produced 6 annual shows with students. The program was quite large, with over 200 students!
Next I was cast in a 50 city national tour of a TYA production (Theatre for Young Audiences). I loved bringing my character in the beloved book series "Strega Nona" by Tomie DePaola from page to stage. This tour landed me in NYC where I decided to stay and make home for a bit. I searched for a way back into the classroom because I desperately missed teaching!
I landed a job as a first grade teacher in East Harlem and while I was teaching here I pursued my Masters in Educational Theatre. I loved teaching first graders how to read, write and think critically using educational theatre. My classroom was rich with storytelling, surprise visits from puppets, and role playing activities.
After five years in New York City, my family decided to move home to Georgia. Here I founded DreamBox Theatre, a children's theatre company that travels into Atlanta area elementary schools and provides musical theatre enrichment programs for students. The concept for this program was born from the idea that in most Georgia schools, students are not exposed to theatre training until high school. I wanted to help bring this type of performance experience to our youngest learners. Theatre fosters collaboration skills, speaking skills, creative expression and reading fluency. The company DreamBox offers a Teaching Artist Internship training program by partnering with local universities. The company has grown over the past seven years with a team of quality teaching artists in a variety of different schools!
After a year of searching to find high quality musical theatre material for K-5 students, I realized not many resources exist for educators. DreamBox Theatre began a pursuit to produce original elementary musical scripts and scores aligned to elementary ELA, Science and Social Studies standards.
I write the scripts keeping readability in mind (as a first grade reading teacher). I also keep the fundamentals of acting in mind: characters, clear problems, obstacles, and tactics. Most importantly I keep an ensemble spirit in mind when creating these scripts. There are no lead roles; everyone is a STAR. Now these scripts are being produced by schools and theaters all over the country.