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M.F.A. in Drama & Theatre for Youth and Communities
Rebecca Drew Emmerich
Rebecca Drew Emmerich is a third-year M.F.A. candidate in the Drama and Theatre for Youth and Communities program at The University of Texas at Austin. She received a B.F.A. in Theatre from Western Kentucky University (WKU). Becca Drew was a teaching artist and performer at Lexington Children's Theatre (KY), developing in-school residencies and creative drama classes. She returned to WKU to develop a new touring show centered around lesser know Brother's Grimm Fairytales (Fairytales You've Never Heard), which was selected to perform at the Theatre for Youth Festival at the Southeastern Theatre Conference in 2010. Working as a teaching artist in Chicago, she discovered Bubbles Academy - a learning enrichment center for babies to five year olds. As artistic director/curriculum coordinator, she taught creative movement, ballet, art and creative drama classes and designed interactive multimedia projections to accompany each class. It was there that her love of early childhood development, passion for arts education, and interest in technology and design merged. She is excited to join the DTYC program - to take her passions to the next level.
Moriah Flagler is a M.F.A. candidate in Drama and Theatre for Youth and Communities at The University of Texas at Austin. After receiving her B.F.A. in Theatre Education from the University of Arizona, she taught seventh and eighth grade at Hermosa Montessori Middle School in Tucson, where she creatively wove drama-based pedagogy into the Montessori curriculum. Before moving to Austin, she spent two years teaching English as a second language in Quepos, Costa Rica. One of her favorite parts about teaching English was bringing language to life with her students through creative drama. While in Costa Rica, she began an improvisational theatre troupe for adolescents that toured and led community workshops, exposing many people to improvisational theatre for the first time. There, she also helped devise and performed in Sexo, con o sin Amor (Sex, with or without Love), a play that humorously explores issues around gender and sexuality in the community. Additionally, she toured to several rural schools with the play, El Cemeterio de los Libros Olvidados (The Cemetery of the Forgotten Books), inspiring children to keep literature alive through reading. Moriah is excited to continue her work with young people while at The University of Texas, discovering new ways to inspire them to tell their stories and strengthen their communities.
Stephanie Kent is a M.F.A. candidate in Drama and Theatre for Youth and Communities at The University of Texas at Austin. Stephanie graduated from Northwestern University with a B.S. in theatre and mathematics, and for her honors thesis, she facilitated a theatre piece with middle and high school students that explored the concept of displacement. Stephanie then went on to earn her M.Ed. in Secondary Education for Mathematics at George Washington University, and over the next five years she taught a variety of high school math courses at Georgetown Day School in Washington, DC. While at Georgetown Day, Stephanie co-facilitated performances with middle school students around issues of identity and diversity. She became very interested in exploring diversity and inclusion within schools, pursuing a number of professional development opportunities in the field while teaching a freshman seminar course about “the big eight” major social identifiers.
Adrianna Alicia Matthews
Adrianna Alicia Matthews is a graduate student in the Drama and Theatre for Youth and Communities program. She is originally from Philadelphia, PA, Where she had been working as a Theatre and Drama teaching artist, actress and playwright over the last past three years. Additionally, she worked and crafted a majority of her theatrical experience at the University of Pennsylvania PQ Events Management as a House Manager and Operations Coordinator. Adrianna holds a B.A. degree in theatre arts and performance from Penn State University where she graduated in 2012. She recently decided to study for another year in her craft of playwriting at The University of Arts in Philadelphia for Directing/Playwriting/Production before entering graduate school. She plans to add her own personal experience and growth to the diversity of this campus combining music, playwriting, and education in her teaching and learning as she continues to pursue her career as a Teaching Artist for the Youth and the University.
Cortney McEniry is a M.F.A. candidate in the Drama and Theatre for Youth and Communities program at The University of Texas at Austin. She has worked as a teaching artist with the education departments of McCarter Theatre Center in Princeton, NJ, Barrington Stage Company in Pittsfield, MA and Synchronicity Theatre Company in Atlanta, GA. She received her B.A. in Theatre Arts from Furman University in Greenville, South Carolina. Cortney is a co-founder of Front Porch Arts Collective, a multi-disciplinary arts organization working to bring artists and communities together to develop new work about the Southeast.
Samantha Provenzano is a current Drama and Theatre for Youth and Communities candidate. She graduated with a B.A. in Acting from the University of Northern Colorado, where she toured Theater for Young Audiences pieces, including directing and collaborating on a devised bilingual piece that was recently published (El Viaje de Beatriz). She then moved to Denver, Colorado, where she worked with Mirror Image Arts, collaborating on Theater in Education curricula around bullying prevention, The Carson J. Spencer Foundation, facilitating suicide prevention through entrepreneurship in high schools and the Denver Center for the Performing Arts, teaching acting and movement classes for young people. Sam hopes to continue her exploration of devised work and TYA.
Lauren Smith is a M.F.A. candidate in the Drama and Theatre for Youth and Communities program at The University of Texas at Austin. She holds her B.F.A. in Stage Management and a minor in Education from Webster University's Conservatory of Theatre Arts in St. Louis, Missouri. Lauren has worked for various arts organizations, including Children's Theatre Company, the Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, Washington National Opera, Pittsburgh Opera, Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts, and Metro Theater Company. Most recently, she served as the education coordinator for Great River Shakespeare Festival in Winona, Minnesota, where she created programming focusing on theatre design and stage management for middle and high school students. She is looking to pursue research and practice in arts-integrated instruction in public school classrooms, arts-based collaborative professional learning for classroom teachers and the intersections of arts instruction and educational policy.