BWW Blog: Getting an Education in Theatre Education
Hello BroadwayWorld! My name is Caroline Conard and I am overjoyed to be a student blogger and share my theatre experiences with you all! Given this is my first post, it only seems right to make this an introduction of sorts. Some fun facts about me are my favorite color is purple, my favorite animal is a turtle, and I have a five year old sister named Rosie who I bond with over Disney movies, my favorites are Tangled and Finding Nemo. I am a senior Theatre Education Major with a minor in Digital Media attending Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio. Not only is Xavier about an hour from my family, the ideal distance, but it has a Theatre Education program, which many other universities do not offer.
The program at Xavier has been the greatest experience. My peers and the faculty have become my family, which makes learning with them all the more worthwhile. The way the program is structured, as a B.A. program, not a B.F.A, has allowed me to become well versed in more than just one focused area. Some of my favorite classes, shows, and memories have been in areas of theatre that I never saw myself doing. I find this wide range of experience I am getting to be helpful as a future educator, as it provides me with more knowledge that I will be able to share with students.
I was led to pursue a degree in Theatre Education because of my experiences being a State Thespian Officer and Thespian Troupe President in high school. I had always wanted a career in theatre but wanted to do something more than perform. It was not until I had these leadership experiences and saw the behind the scenes of things like planning State Thespian Conference, I realized this is what I wanted to be doing. I got to see an appreciation of theatre through a new lens, which showed me the importance of advocating for theatre in our schools. Theatre makes such a positive impact on student's lives and this is something I was able to witness firsthand. I want all students to have these wonderful opportunities, and I hope to be someone who can provide them with those chances.
I like to keep my options open in terms of what I want for a career. Ideally, I would be work for a professional or nonprofit theatre to do educational outreach and/or arts education advocacy. We cannot teach theatre without first acknowledging its significance. I would also enjoy being a teaching artist with a professional or nonprofit theatre. With my degree, I will receive a teaching license, which opens up the possibility of teaching and directing at a high school, another job I would be thrilled to have. As long as I am sharing the importance and excitement of theatre with young artists, I will be happy.
That all being said, I am so glad to have this opportunity to write about my passion, as I think it is incredibly important that young artists have a voice that gets heard. I hope you continue to join me as I use this blog to do so and I encourage you all to take an active role to make sure your voices are heard as well.