At Sawyer we have the privilege of working with hundreds of inspiring educators around the country. Whether they teach virtual classes or in-person activities, the curricula always foster enriching atmospheres for children of all ages to discover their love of learning. We got the opportunity to chat with Stageworthy Drama, which offers theatre classes, camps, and workshops for children, teens, and adults in the Boston area.

Thank you for taking the time to speak with us! I’d love to hear a bit more about you and why you started your business.

When I was growing up I had a hard time socially and often felt alone and misunderstood. But the performing arts were where I thrived, and my theatre teachers were the people who most believed in me and inspired me. Theatre was not only fun and exciting, but a community where I could be myself and be totally accepted. When I got my Masters in theatre education, I never envisioned I would start my own business! I taught drama classes part time for about 13 years while working for other nonprofit organizations. But eventually I reached burnout. I came to realize that I am neurodivergent. While this gives me many gifts like my creativity and empathy, it also makes it hard to function in organizations designed by and for neurotypical people. When the pandemic shut everything down, I found myself presented with an opportunity to shift my career and focus solely on teaching drama.

I called my business Stageworthy Drama because I believe that every young person is worthy and deserves a chance to be involved in theatre. All kids benefit from drama and learn skills far beyond just acting. They learn communication and self-regulation, critical thinking and cooperation - things they will take with them their whole lives regardless of whether they continue with theatre. But my hope is to inspire a lifelong love of the performing arts, whether from on stage, back stage, or in the audience.

Photo of Stageworthy Drama

Can you describe an inspiring moment you’ve had as an educator?

We often play a drama game called “Woosh-Woah-Groovalicious” where we go around the circle and shout out commands, and participants have to respond accordingly. One day someone pointed to a friend and shouted “BANANA!” and the group just went with it. Now the game includes “Banana” where you have to just BE a banana in any way that you choose to interpret it. It was a perfect example of the improv rule of “Yes, And…” where we need to accept whatever our acting partner brings to a scene, and add to it.

What’s the most rewarding thing about teaching children?

I love seeing them grow in confidence and expression over time, and try their hands at new things, like costumes or props. I also love seeing them creating a welcoming community for each other.

What’s one time a child surprised you and made your day?

I had a new camper this summer who came up and gave me and my counselors surprise hugs throughout the day. It was so sweet, and felt wonderful, especially coming out of a pandemic where we could not touch.

On a similar note, what’s the funniest thing a child has done in your class?

One of my classes drew pictures of the characters in our play. I was playing the villain, and one child drew a wanted poster of me. It was a very funny drawing and looked a lot like me!

Photo of kids theater classes

Why is after school and extracurricular enrichment so important for children?

No grades. It’s ok to make mistakes (mistakes are great!) You meet kids outside your class and grade and build relationships based on a shared interest.

How do you think children can discover their passions when they’re not in school or your programs?

As the song from Zooptopia says, Try Everything!

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