Director Matt Daniels is an actor, director, educator, and coach. As an actor, Matt has appeared in various media, including award-winning independent films, on television, and on many stages in New York and regionally. Local audiences may recognize him from stints at Milwaukee Chamber Theatre, In Tandem Theatre, First Stage, Lake Geneva Theater Company and the late Milwaukee Shakespeare. Matt is a co-founder of goats & monkeys in Milwaukee, and Tyrannosaurus rep in New York City, for which he also served as artistic director. Locally, his directing work has been seen at goats & monkeys, Sunset Playhouse, First Stage Theater Academy, Broadway Baby, and various Milwaukee area high schools. In addition to First Stage, Matt has taught for Act One Studios (Chicago), The Actors Institute (NYC) and Milwaukee Shakespeare. He coaches voice and acting privately, and is an independent teaching artist of Shakespeare in local schools. Matt is a graduate of the Juilliard School Drama Division.
Maura Atwood, Cassidy Buenz, Kate Futoransky, Eric Schabla, Kelly Venable, Corwin Weeks chatted with a us so we could find out what it is like to rehearse and perform on the Main Stage at the Milwaukee Youth Arts Center.
First Stage: What is your favorite part about First Stage?
Venable: The fact that everyone is so nice! It is so great to have somewhere to go where you know that even a bad day will be pretty good!
Venable: The characters inspire me to perform. Someone had the idea to see these charaters come to life, and I feel the excitement of the character when they are finally brought to life and are able to be more than words on a page.
The Young Company is the advanced, college-level actor training program at First Stage Theater Academy. Young Company students complete coursework led by First Stage’s John Maclay, Todd Denning, Matt Daniels and Karl Miller as well as special guest artists. Young Company produces three shows a year.