Hello, all! My name is Ben Feldman, and I am one of your International Thespian Officers for the 2022-2023 year! I am from Troupe 5869 at Denver School of the Arts in Denver, Colorado. Here is a little bit about me.

BRINGING THEATRE INTO THE CLASSROOM

The big personal goal I have is to bring theatre education and experiences to as many young people as possible. Over the past couple of years, I have found that I have a strong passion for theatre education and would love to help bring my experiences from my learning to the classroom to teach kids who may not have arts programs at their schools. I want to encourage others to do the same. I believe that the best way to help future generations of theatre makers is to educate them!

I would love to see more Junior Thespians in the nation, and would be thrilled to inspire elementary schoolers to learn that theatre is something out there that they can do! This goal is only possible if we have passionate educators and students, and so it is my goal (as well as the other ITOs) to create an equitable and accessible curriculum that is easy to set up in the classroom, and to create action steps to get this moving at schools in the community.

Ben Feldman

Ben Feldman
Troupe 5869
Denver School of the Arts

SPREADING THE JOY OF THEATRE

At my school we started educational outreach to elementary schoolers last year, and it was incredibly rewarding to see how passionate they were about what we were teaching them. I want to help spread that joy to as many young people as we can. It is very important to me, as theatre education has shaped my life, so I really want to inspire others to pursue this beautiful art as a passion. I am also going into acting in college, and I want the theatre community to continue to have many brilliant actors from all over the world representing who they are onstage, and that all starts by kindling that sparkle—a sparkle of passion in a young person’s eyes and theatre education could be just that thing! Pursuing equitable and accessible theatre education is so important for the future of the art.

SHIFTING OUR UNDERSTANDING OF “FAILURE”

The most powerful lesson that I have learned from my time so far in International Thespian Society (ITS) is that it is completely okay to fail! Failure is absolutely a part of the art. I feel like failure has a negative stigma associated with it in our society, and I think that terribly affects theatre. Theatre is such a free art form that failure is absolutely key to growing. 

There have been times when I’ve performed at school or just got offstage from an IE (Thespy) where I felt I didn’t give it my all, or I honestly just felt pretty down about something with my acting. These times create the most growth. When you want to give up because you decided that you failed, I think it is very important to take a deep breath and think about all the work you put into that performance. Reflect on how happy it makes you to perform when you’re at your best.

Failing is a necessity in the theatre. It signals to you things you may need to work on, but more importantly, it gets your mind and your imagination going. I have made it my mission to accept failure as a positive whenever I’m acting because I know, in the future, I will be glad I failed and was able to work my way to giving a performance I was proud of.

A VARIETY OF HOBBIES AND INTERESTS

I am a triplet! All of us love the arts, and we’ve been around them since elementary school. (I was actually the latest to the party since my brother started choir when he was 5, my sister started dance when she was 3, and I started acting in third grade.) I have loved seeing them grow as artists and people for all these years.

I also love all aspects of theatre: directing, technical, IMPROV (capitalized because I love improv!), Shakespeare (huge Billy Shakes nerd), and pretty much everything the art has to offer. I am a huge basketball fan (go Thunder!) which I think is pretty unique. I love theatre and sports? Whaaaat?! I think the two are more alike than a lot of other things—they both are incredibly ensemble-oriented, and in both you absolutely grow from failure. I also love that they are both expressions of who you are, in different forms. I love music. My favorite artist is probably Anderson .Paak or The Weeknd (who I just saw in concert and was amazing!).

I am so excited to get to know all of you during this year. I hope you will join me in my pursuit to increase access to theatre education nationwide for students. I am honored to be one of your International Thespian Officers.

Email: bfeldman@schooltheatre.org
Instagram: @benjfeldman
Website (last updated May 2022)

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