Skip to main content

Theatre Education Students Find Direction and Belonging at UTA Conference

Photo by Pat Eyler

Theatre Education students enjoy workshops at UTA Conference and become confident about their future

This year, Weber State University hosted the UTA (Utah Theatre Association) Conference. At the conference, high school students participated in a variety of workshops meant to help them develop their acting skills. Theatre Education students at BYU were in attendance and found it to be a helpful addition to their studies. Holly Hill, a theatre education student at BYU commented, “One of the things that I enjoyed most was watching the presenters and paying attention to how they were teaching the content. I got a lot of ideas for my student teaching as well as future teaching from watching the presenters.” Many other students agreed that the conference gave them a better idea of how they would work with their future classes.

Judy Schnebly was grateful for the experience because she was able to picture herself working in her chosen field, “It was also great to meet professionals from so many different areas of theatre. It gave me new ideas and curiosities about all the directions my professional career could take! I took lots of notes and definitely plan to use what I learned in the future.” Others also had an eye-opening experience with the multitude of career paths featured at the conference.

Beyond teaching tactics and career options, students learned more about high school students and how they could best interact with them as prospective teachers. Kenzie Arnold reflected, “The workshops gave great examples of pedagogies that high school students are receptive to. I’m excited to take those teaching techniques I’ve witnessed from theatre professionals and apply them in my classroom upon graduation.” Natalie Pierce noticed how well high school students handled more mature content, specifically in an intimacy workshop, “It was very clear that they were engaged and wanted to learn how to set boundaries and follow through with the boundaries they had set.” She was impressed with how well they handled more avoidable topics. She felt inspired to talk about and advocate for boundaries onstage in her future classroom.

In the end, what was most impactful was their time with other creatives. Maren Bylund offered this sentiment, “Attending the UTA conference helped reaffirm my feelings that I belong at BYU and in the Theatre Education program. I was surrounded by people who were passionate about the same things that I was.” When asked if they would attend the conference again, students agreed that the experience was deeply impactful and one they would like to have again.