Meg Pryor

Meg Pryor (MFA, 2020)

Why did you decide to go to graduate school?

I had been teaching for a variety of theatre programs and really wanted to be able to pursue more teaching opportunities at the university level. Also, when I was living in New York City, I was teaching for a professional musical theatre program, and the colleagues I most admired had completed MFA programs grounded in pedagogy.

Why did you choose to pursue your degree at Pitt?

I had returned from NYC to Pittsburgh, where I grew up and my family is here, so that was certainly a draw. But I also knew a couple people who had completed the program a number of years before and had great things to say about it.

How did the degree program help prepare you for your career?

Learning more about curriculum-building and a wider net of pedagogical and practical methods for acting was a major plus. I'm much better able to be handed a course I haven't taught before and be able to build a structure that fits my teaching style while meeting the required learning outcomes. My undergrad experience was in a conservatory MFA acting program, so I hadn't had much experience in the academic realm of theatre, so that aspect was challenging and ultimately very helpful. I previously would not have had much confidence in myself as a lecturer, but I do feel better prepared to handle that if a position required it. Additionally, the relationships I built with the faculty and the support I received from the department as a whole were exceedingly helpful in preparing me for post-graduate life.

What is your current position and what does it involve?

I am an Associate Professor at Point Park University, in the College of Performing Arts, and an Adjunct Professor at Pitt. At Point Park, I've had the opportunity to teach a wide variety of studio classes (Acting, Stage Movement, Devised Theatre, Scene Study), allowing me to focus on many of my strengths and passions as a teacher. At Pitt I teach multiple sections of Introduction to Performance, an introductory performance class for non-majors. I'm really loving the balance of intensive acting classes with conservatory students and more broad-based performance classes for people from every imaginable discipline. I also have a 2 and a half year old and a 1 year old, so that's another full-time job!

Thoughts and/or advice for current graduate students?

Self-advocate. Remember that it is ultimately YOUR program, so know what you want to get out of the experience, and be sure you put yourself in the best position to make that happen. Ask for help when you need it. And enjoy it while you can; it goes by so fast.