Florida Studio Theatre Has Appointed Josh Ford New Director of Education
Florida Studio Theatre (FST) has announced the appointment of its new Director of Education, Josh Ford. In this role, Ford will oversee, coordinate, and continue to grow FST's education programs for youth and adults. He will also provide leadership as FST launches and develops a new sketch comedy program.
Ford brings over 20 years of educational theatre and programming experience to FST. For 14 years, he worked at the Georgia Aquarium, creating public education programs and developing partnerships with creative organizations like the Jim Henson Creature Shop. He served as the Aquarium's Director of Entertainment for the past four years, producing shows seen by millions of visitors featuring animatronics, animation, and live performances.
Ford is familiar with FST's Education program, returning after 17 years. As a child he, himself, performed with FST's Kids Komedy Club in 1989 and later, worked as an Education Intern. For two years, he also worked as a full-time Teaching Artist, overseeing the middle school and high school components of FST's award-winning WRITE A PLAY arts-in-education program. Ford is also one of FST Improv's founding cast members. He performed with the group for three years.
"I'm thrilled and honored to be back at Florida Studio Theatre," said Ford. "FST and its people have played a part in every step of my development as an artist and professional. FST's Education program believes that everyone, including children and people of all abilities, have stories to tell and experiences to share that are meaningful and beautiful. Everyone can make art. We are here to help them tell those stories and to make the experience of sharing them engaging and joyful."
In addition to his education and programming background, Ford is also an accomplished writer, actor, and director. In 2002, he wrote material for and performed in FST's Winter Cabaret, Laughing Matters. He spent a season performing with Chicago Children's Theatre, and wrote, directed, and starred in productions at Dad's Garage, The Center for Puppetry Arts, Relativity Theatre, and Tell Tale Theatre. His background in comedy and writing will be vital as he works to develop FST's new sketch comedy program alongside Rebecca Hopkins (FST's Managing Director) and FST's Director of Improvisation.
"Josh owns FST's core values. The mission of the theatre is embedded in his soul," shared Richard Hopkins, FST's Producing Artistic Director. "He was a natural choice to lead FST's education program, and take on the development of our new sketch comedy program, which is an expansion of our already successful improv program. "
Florida Studio Theatre's educational offerings take place year-round through the FST School. Classes in acting, music, dance, playwriting, theatre appreciation, and improvisation are available for students of all levels from ages 4 and 94. Registration is now open at (941) 366-1350 and floridastudiotheatre.org.