Bryson Badeau ‘22
What made you choose UNH?
I was looking for schools that had a secondary theatre education major and when I visited UNH I fell in love with the campus! I found a place where I could pursue a career in theatre education and, hopefully someday, become a professional theatre teacher. Throughout my time here I have received many opportunities for practical teaching experience and have a substitute teacher job lined up for me when I graduate.
How did you choose your major and why?
I originally applied to UNH as a pre-law student, but my senior year of high school it became clear to me that this was not the path I wanted to pursue. I have been involved in theatre since I was 3 years old but dropped it and dedicated my time to studying to prepare for pre-law the first half of my high school years. When I was a junior, I got back into acting, and by my senior year I became fully involved in my high school's drama program and realized that this was what I wanted to do with my future. My long-term goal is to be a teacher who helps my students grow as people and as artists. UNH was very helpful in helping me change my track to secondary theatre education when I came to register for classes. At the end of my sophomore year, I added design and theatre technology.
What do you enjoy most about being in the College of Liberal Arts?
COLA offers so many opportunities to go out into the world and share your craft. In my experience here I have had many opportunities to go out and work with people of all ages, which I will detail in the following question. I find that COLA allows its students to gain experience in their field to find out what they want and sets them up to have successful careers.
Have you undertaken any experiential learning (internships, study abroad, research, etc.)?
Many of my classes have given me opportunities to create and perform plays for a variety of audiences, as well as teach different groups, from elementary schoolers to senior citizens, to create and perform their own shows. In my Education 500 class, I was able to shadow the theatre teacher at Coe Brown High School, where I was able to see what their daily life looks like. I learned how to write effective lesson plans, how to plan a semester course and obtained practical teaching experience. I taught the students in the technical theatre class a lesson about Costume Design in the theatre. For almost two years, I have been a technical assistant in the scene shop for the THDA department. Through this, I have gained experience working as master electrician, props master, costume technician, lighting designer, sound board operator, lighting board operator and assistant master carpenter for the THDA shows. This has made me a well-rounded member of the theatre, as I now have experience in acting, directing and tech, as well as given me a greater appreciation for technical theatre. This semester, I am a TA for Acting I, Introduction to Theatre and Stage Lighting Design & Execution, which has taught me the ins and outs of Canvas, as well as how to create syllabi, teach courses and grade students. Being a TA has helped me solidify that I made the right choice for a career. My favorite experience has been working at The Village Nest Cooperative, preschool/elementary school that is completely outdoors. Last semester, for my Arts Integration class, we were given the opportunity to teach lessons at Village Nest every Wednesday. Gaining experience teaching at an outdoor school has equipped me with tools to help students who are more hands-on learners than visual learners. Now, I am a substitute teacher at Village Nest on most Fridays.
Are you involved in any groups, clubs or organizations?
I am the current president of Mask and Dagger Dramatic Society. We are a student run theatre organization at UNH who produces full plays and musicals. We offer opportunities to THDA majors and non-majors to act, direct, stage manage, do tech and dramaturg a wide variety of shows, from classical to contemporary. We offer theatre workshops, our annual Play in a Day where three shows are written, rehearsed and performed within 24 hours, our annual prom (which was a game night this year), and full-length productions. I am also a member of WildActs, UNH's social justice theatre troupe. I have performed in the summer show for two years now, where WildActs produces a performance for the incoming freshmen/transfer students about how to prepare for their college years ahead! WildActs is also known for doing The Body Monologues and the Vagina Monologues, as well as other shows that discuss social justice issues around the world.
How is COLA preparing you for career and professional success?
Taking classes in COLA has helped me to learn about how to enter the teaching field feeling as prepared as possible and has helped me get a job before graduating. I have learned how to write and execute lesson plans; I have been offered many opportunities to get practical teaching experience and have developed a deeper understanding about theatre. I feel like COLA has given me all of the tools that I need to teach any grade level, at any school I may encounter.
What are your post-graduation plans at this point?
I would like to continue to work at Village Nest as a full-time teacher, but after Village Nest I would love to teach theatre or English education at a high school and run an after-school drama program. I would also love to work at a community theatre so that I could continue to work in technical theatre and/or acting. In the late future, I have been considering becoming certified to teach college level theatre courses.
What is one thing people might be surprised to learn about you?
I am a transgender person of color who came from a very diverse town that had very little faculty diversity. Growing up, I tried to participate in as many of the arts that I could and taught myself how to play piano, drums, guitar, bass guitar, violin and the saxophone. I also have a twin sister.