Veteran performing arts team member Mr. Matthew Frazier-Smith has been appointed as Director of Performing Arts starting in 2015. Learn more about his background and his interest in theater and teaching.
What's the best thing about performing?
Performing provides the incredible opportunity to collaborate with peers on the construction of something greater than one's self. For me, the performance process still proves to be a most transformative and valuable experience.
What's the best thing about teaching performance?
There was a group of TSP students last year who signed up to perform an original musical in five rehearsals. They memorized all of the lines, music, and choreography as fast as they could, and we literally finished choreographing the final number just before the audience, filled with peers and families, entered for the performance. We were all a bit nervous. When the lights went up, they rose to the occasion and gave an incredible show. They surprised me, and they really surprised themselves. The most rewarding part of teaching is being present for moments when students struggle though a challenging moment and are surprised by their own, newly discovered potential.
Why are the performing arts important for kids?
The performing arts are endlessly important for kids (and adults). Lessons learned through rehearsal and performance can be applied to job performance, relationships, conflict management, and countless other essential aspects of life. Performing arts teach us accountability, dedication, creativity, perseverance, work ethic, collaboration, problem solving, and empathy.
What are your top three goals for DPAT this summer?
- To help students realize their immense potential.
- To challenge our team of teaching artists to uphold a high standard of excellence.
- To make sure we all eat plenty of gelato.
How will DPAT enhance student creativity?
Our team is interested in working with students as collaborators. We challenge each student to contribute to classes and rehearsals in meaningful ways. They expand their creative field of vision by working with mediums such as dance, theater, and film, which may be unfamiliar to many. They are able to explore this new terrain and uncover creative possibilities under the guidance of our professional team of artistic educators.
Why do you enjoy working with kids?
Because I love to learn as much as I love to teach.