Meet Our New Education Director at Stageworks Theatre!
Today we welcome a new team mate, Joshua Harbour, to the team here at Stageworks Theatre. Our Education Director will expand our ability to enrich lives through the performing arts, and to develop talent that will be helpful to the theatre and the community in general. He sat down with us to tell us a little about his new role.
We understand you're a principal of a private school. Why did you decide to become the educational director here at Stageworks?
For over 20 years I have worked as a Theatre Educator, directing students on stage for performing roles, as well as training students offstage for technical roles. I recently had the amazing opportunity to move into an administrative position at my current school and now am the Upper School Director at The Banff School (principal of 6th-12th grade). This year I will still have the opportunity to help direct our school theatre productions, but that part of my job duties will begin to phase out soon. My lifelong passion is instilling a love of theatre in students, helping them to create art on stage and training our next generation of actors for the theatre. The Education Director role at Stagesorks is the perfect opportunity to use all of my past experiences to continue that passion and help promote theatre around Houston, but most importantly, here in our local Northwest Houston community.
Tell us about your new role!
The Education Director role at Stageworks is an amazing opportunity that will allow me, along with the guidance of our Board of Directors and all of our creative staff, to help continue the amazing work and programs already a part of our Stageworks culture. I will be overseeing the classes and shows each season, helping to choose shows, recruiting outstanding directors and instructors, and creating new programs for our Stageworks families. We have a lot of ideas and plans for our Acting Academy that the creation of this role will help me begin to bring to fruition and implement. I am so excited about having the chance to work with our remarkably talented Acting Academy students throughout the year, seeing them take to the stage and make magical memories for their audiences as they hone their craft. What's the best thing about Stageworks?
Our community's participation and support. The culture at Stageworks is unsurpassed in its commitment to producing not only top-quality theatrical productions for our MainStage shows but also providing high-caliber training in triple-threat Performing Arts skills (singing, dancing, and acting). The friendly, family-oriented environment at Stageworks makes it a comfortable place for students to learn, grow and find their artistic voice. They know their teachers are there to support them, and that everyone wants them to succeed with their final productions being the best they can be! Do you have a favorite Stageworks memory? My daughter began classes at Stageworks last fall where she had the chance to perform in her first theatrical production (outside of drama productions at her school) and seeing her take to the stage in the Garza theatre and have such joy on her face as the lights came up - it brought my life and career full circle! That first class/show she had at Stageworks introduced us to the Acting Academy and the wonderful work the teachers, directors, production assistants and Board members put in, above and beyond what you would expect. We knew we had found a new “theatre home” for our family! What's a fun fact about you that not many people know?
I began my career in theatre as a professional performer…at the age of 8! I performed for many years in mainstage shows with Theatre Under the Stars and was cast in the international tour of “Mame" starring Juliet Prowse while in 6th grade. While on that tour, I became interested in magic as some of the crew on that show had recently worked on David Copperfield’s tour. After that, I began performing magic at birthday parties and then business conventions and corporate events. When I was 17, I was hired as the youngest magician to ever perform at Houston’s famed Magic Island dinner theatre - but my performance schedule coincided with my high school graduation (where I had been selected as valedictorian). I ended up choosing to perform at Magic Island and missed my graduation ceremony completely (but I did still receive my diploma as it was presented to me onstage at the conclusion of my performance by Magic Island’s Entertainment Director)! Definitely a graduation to remember!
Anything else you'd like to add? I am so appreciative of Stageworks’ Board of Directors and their commitment to educating the young performers of our community. Giving them opportunities to perform in our Fischer Studio or Garza Theatre creates lasting impressions and helps shape their experience and love of theatre. Northwest Houston is lucky to have such a dedicated group of artists and theatre fans who are passionate about not only bringing quality theatre to our community but extending those opportunities to our talented kids!
Check out our upcoming academy sessions - we love to see students build courage, confidence and character with theatre!