Meredyth Pederson is currently pursuing a Master’s of Fine Arts in Drama and Theatre for Youth and Communities at the University of Texas at Austin. Meredyth engages in an exploration of the intersections of teaching artistry and theatre-making in the field of theatre for young audiences. She is currently a Drama Specialist with Drama for Schools, a research-based professional development program that trains teachers in drama-based instruction.
Meredyth documents her practice and research through her blog, ArtSmart, one of only a handful of blogs dedicated to the subject of teaching artistry. ArtSmart regularly sparks dialogue across the field and engages playwrights, university educators and many teaching artists whose unique perspectives fuel the conversation.
Meredyth’s teaching artist practice fuses her directing, acting and stage management skills together. Recent theatre projects that engage this hybrid skill set include The Balloon Project, an international artistic exchange with Australia’s Patch Theatre, acting and facilitating in Jamie Doesn’t Want to Take a Bath, a theatre piece designed for pre-school audiences, and devising an interactive theatre piece for UT undergraduates about healthy relationships called Where’s the Line?
Meredyth got her start as a teaching artist working with Imagination Stage assisting creative drama classes for young children aged 3-6. Prior to graduate school, Meredyth also worked with Lexington Children’s Theatre, Trinity Repertory Company and Metro Theater Company. With each organization, Meredyth facilitated drama classes and in-school residencies for a variety of age groups, though her formative experience at Imagination Stage with very young children has remained a constant focus of her artistic practice. As the full-season Education Intern at Trinity Repertory Company, Meredyth proposed and co-planned Trinity Rep’s summer theatre program for young people entering grades 1-4, focusing on creative drama and basic performance skills. This program is the first summer offering for this age group at Trinity Repertory Company, and has continued to grow since its initial launch. As Metro Theater Company’s Teaching Artist Fellow, Meredyth facilitated many arts integrated residencies in elementary school classrooms across the curriculum in pre-K through second grade classrooms.
As a teaching artist and theatre-maker Meredyth is inspired by the capacity of the arts to develop empathy, deepen critical thinking and enhance the creative engagement of people of all ages.
Meredyth is an active member of TYA/USA, the American Alliance for Theatre and Education (AATE), and International Performing Arts for Youth (IPAY).