Click on a name below to read profiles of our notable Alumni:
Selected Alumni Bios
When I was searching for that one major to combine my passions for performance and education, I didn’t look any further than Educational Theatre at NYU. Through this program, I trained in creative arts integration and development, young actor training, applied theatre, performance, directing, dramaturgy, and teaching artistry. The program prepared me to be the “Jack of all trades” required for today’s industry. Post-graduation, I am a freelance teaching artist/educator working with MCC Theatre, Periwinkle National Theatre, Opening Act, and NFAA: youngARTS/New York.
In addition, I serve as the Creative Development and Educational Initiatives Associate for Music Theatre International. As a performer some of my career highlights include: Theatre: Disney’s High School Musical (Workshop for the stage adaptation), NYMF’s No Boundaries (Theatre at St. Clements), Phantom Tollbooth (Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts Workshop), Two Cities (SCA: Rich Forum/Blue Heron Arts Center), and NYSO’s National Tour of Dream. TV/Radio: WB’s New York Music Theatre Festival Special, Discovery Channel, Nickelodeon, MTV, Coke Radio, and the occasional Saturday Morning cartoon. Proud member of AEA and AFTRA.
For me, this program was a dream come true. When I was little I would stay after school to help my kindergarten teacher with preschool and then run home to produce plays in my backyard. As an adult, my dream is to combine my passions for education, theatre, and cultural studies. An introduction to Educational Theatre while I was doing an internship at the New Victory Theatre in New York led me to NYU.
As a student, I had so many opportunities to explore and learn; I was already an active practitioner in the field before I graduated. I am currently a full-time PK-8 Drama Teacher for the Kinsella Magnet School of the Performing Arts in Hartford, Connecticut.
Every day, I am constantly reminded of and reflective about the course work and practical application I experienced in the program. I graduated feeling confident about my opportunities in the field, and I know that because of the Ed Theatre program, I will continue making a living and moving forward with my career, with the amazing ability of always staying honest about what I believe in and what I am truly passionate about.
Jay Pecora, Ph.D., NYU Steinhardt Educational Theatre: Dr. Pecora is Assistant Professor of Theatre at SUNY- Potsdam. There he teaches classes on theatre history, educational theatre, applied theatre, and dramaturgy. He directs the youth touring ensemble and heads the St. Lawrence Arts Education Consortium.
An applied theatre project he directed, “Project Homecoming: women veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan reflect upon returning from war” was selected as an invited performance for the International Drama and Education Association’s 2007 conference in Hong Kong.
Dr. Pecora received his BFA from the Theatre School at DePaul, his teacher certification in social studies from Hunter College and an MA in Urban Education from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. During his PhD at NYU Steinhardt Educational Theatre, Program Director Dr. Philip Taylor chaired his dissertation regarding reflective practitioner research and entitled, “Drama and the Holocaust: a qualitative study of student and teacher experience in a hjgh school social studies classroom”.
As a professional actor and director Jay worked in Los Angeles, Chicago and New York City. He taught high school social studies at an Alternative High School in Manhattan for ten years.
I always tell people that I grew up in the theatre and mark times in my life by the production on which I was or am working. In high school, I loved theatre so much, that when I began to think about college programs, I did not want to set aside that portion of my passion. I wanted to continue my theatre career both onstage and off. I wanted to write and direct. Touching one single audience was never enough for me, as I wanted to affect generations to come.
The program in Educational Theatre at New York University allowed me to do just that. During my time there I learned about the latest theatre practitioners and explored all facets of the theatre world.
I took part in numerous productions. I also benefited from the knowledge of the graduate and PhD students with whom I worked and studied. One of my favorite experiences was with Shakespeare-to-Go, our student company that tours city schools with one-hour adaptations of Shakespeare’s work.
I loved being able to share New York City school children’s first experience with live performance and with Shakespeare. After my two semesters of student teaching, I felt confident with my knowledge of theatre and my ability to coordinate a classroom full of students. I am currently working at an arts elementary school in North Carolina where my colleagues are constantly amazed at my professionalism and vast knowledge. I know that I have many opportunities ahead of me, opportunities that began with my education at New York University.