Many of the artists I interview are teachers as well. Steve Broyles, whom I featured on Monday, teaches middle school drama in addition to being an actor, director, and screenwriter. Last night was opening night of his spring show, Honk!. In honor of that, I thought I'd have him tell us why he teaches.
LeAnne: What made you decide to teach? What do you like most about it?
Steve: Teaching, for me, was an acquired taste. I think I finally got to the point where I understood that teaching was just another form of telling a story—albeit a very structured, organized one in which the student has to learn to tell your story before they tell their own. When I made that transition to telling my own story is when I realized that I wanted to teach. I enjoy the discovery of teaching. To watch a student realize they have a comedic side or to hear a student learn to speak clearly and with power is a rush.
LM: Why do you believe students should be involved in theatre?
SB: I always remind the students that, whether they want to do theatre ever again, a theatre class can change their life. It is a proven fact that a person’s level of success in whatever field they choose bears a direct relationship to their skill in public communication. In theatre we ask students to overcome their stage fright and get on stage. We show them that they communicate with their whole body. We ask them to memorize a script and perform it. We ask them to write a script and perform it on our main stage. All of this prepares our students for times when their performance up front will be for much greater stakes.