Teaching artists are independent contractors hired by a school, theatre, or other organization to teach theatre. Unlike theatre teachers, teaching artists do not need a teaching credential, and do not work full-time for a school district or single school. Many are working actors who supplement their income by teaching workshops or classes on the side. A single teaching artist could be contracted to run acting workshops for a theatre company, teach physical theatre to middle-school students at a public school, and work with a social service organization to help veterans build confidence through improv comedy games. Most have undergraduate degrees in their art form, and many have graduate-level (master's) degrees as well. There is no formal process for becoming a teaching artist, so getting started can be difficult until you start to build a teaching resume. Becoming a teacher's assistant at the college level is a good way to get started, as is volunteering for arts organizations in their education departments.
About the Video: Juan Parada, Actor & Teaching Artist
Juan Parada arrived at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival as an actor—and left as both an actor and a professional Teaching Artist. In this Working in Theatre video, he shares his story of becoming an educator and a working actor, and how he uses his craft to inspire the next generation. All it takes is patience, a love for students, a love for education, and a love for the art form.
If you’re curious about careers in theatre and wondering which ones might be right for you, we’ve created a quick quiz to help you think about the type of job you might want within the arts and what kind of lifestyle and education that career path requires.Take the Quiz