Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Meet Lauren: April Studio Week TA

You may have already read about WT McRae, part of our master team of teaching artists for our April Studio Week. Now here's your chance to read about Lauren, our other teaching artist who will be leading activities during this incredible week of circus.

Meet Lauren Sharpe, one half of the power team that is leading the April Studio Week.

Lauren Sharpe
New Vic: In addition to being a New Vic teaching artist, what else do you do?
Lauren: I also work as a teaching artist at Queens Theatre in the Park and as a pediatric hospital clown with Big Apple Circus Clown Care program. I am an ensemble member with The New York Neo-Futurists, writing and performing regularly in our long-running show, Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind. I work in the film and commercial world as well and can occasionally be spotted on your TV if you keep your eyes open!

New Vic: Why did you choose to teach in addition to everything else you are doing?
Lauren: Working as a teaching artist allows me to connect with children in an immediate and meaningful way. By combining my artistic and teaching lives, I am able share my energy and artistry in a balanced, complimentary way.

New Vic: What is your education and artistic training background?
Lauren: My background and training is based heavily in dance, specifically ballet. I graduated with a B.A. in theater from Indiana University and studied long-form improvisation at Chicago's IO Theater. I've trained in clown performance with various companies and continue to practice this work with the Clown Care Program.

New Vic: What is your take on the proposed arts funding cuts?
Lauren: I am hopeful that the proposed budget cuts in arts education will not go through. The programs supported by this funding are essential to a whole education and losing them would be extremely disheartening.

New Vic: Why is it important to teach arts education?
Lauren: Arts education both in and outside of the schools is so important. I believe that it empowers kids to take risks, expand their imaginations and spark inspiration. I am constantly amazed by the idea that one activity, a performance or exercise, has the potential to open a child's mind to artistic possibility. I am lucky to be a part of an organization that embodies these ideas.

New Vic: What has been your most memorable moment as an artist?
Lauren: My favorite show I've ever done was one in which I had the opportunity to fly! This was an incredibly exciting and satisfying experience. I've also done a play in a pool and that was really awesome as well.

New Vic: What has been your most memorable moment as a teaching artist or educator?
Lauren: My favorite teaching moment was one in which a hesitant student became more and more engaged in a writing exercise we were working on. As he was working, he looked up, smiled and said: "I like this."

New Vic: Why are you excited for the upcoming Studio Week?
Lauren: I am thrilled to be participating in Studio Week this year and look forward to bringing my movement and improv experience to the group.

Could this be the secret garden?
Photo: Melisande* via Creative Commons
New Vic: What’s special about teaching for the New Vic?
Lauren: The New Victory is an amazing place to be a teaching artist. I am consistently inspired and supported by my fellow artists and look forward to each experience with wonder.

New Vic: What’s one secret, special or “hidden” thing you love about New York?
Lauren: There is a lovely hidden garden in the West Village. It's part of a church and it's on Hudson Street. I'm not going to tell you exactly where because finding it yourself is a much better surprise.

There are still spots in the April Studio Week program! A chance in a lifetime to learn and play with Lauren Sharpe. Read more about Studio Week here. Buy tickets for it here. Want to know what other kids say? Check out their end-of-week circus haikus from last summer here.

Learn more about Studio Week and Lauren's co-teaching artist, WT McRae!

1 comment:

  1. As Lauren said, our lives are immensely improved when we connect with young people in an immediate and meaningful way. Can you imagine if adults in all professions devoted work-time to do so?!