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Husband and wife team bring creativity, energy and drama to the classroom
Published Mar. 26, 2009
Adam and Carrie Simpson, assistant professors of drama in Lynn’s College of International Communication, make for an energetic, creative and innovative husband and wife team – in and outside of the classroom. Adam, who has been featured on programs including America’s Most Wanted and most recently on the Feb. 19 episode of Burn Notice, said in a recent For Questions Four interview, “we’re not going to lie to any student who comes to our program or comes to us to simply talk about the industry we teach. It is the hardest job in the world!”
Adam and Carrie have been influential in shaping Lynn’s drama program, and as Adam would say, “we do really cool things in our classrooms.” Adam and Carrie are advocates of experiential learning. “We believe you learn by doing, not by talking about doing,” said Adam. This year, they have taken students to perform off-Broadway in New York City as part of Lynn’s first January term, and just two weeks ago they hosted Lynn’s second annual 24-hour theater project, where students, write, produce, direct and perform a play in one 24-hour period.
“The 24-hour theater project brings not just acting students, but students from all departments together,” said Carrie. “It’s great to see writers from the English department working away while the acting students do improv performances and try to memorize their lines simultaneously.”
In the field of acting, “you cannot only bring half of your energy or half of your life to your work. It doesn’t work. You won’t work again if you do that,” says Adam. “The 24-hour theater project helps them learn how to do that. It’s the entire process into one day, so they have to give all of their effort. It teaches them to be motivated, to try really, really hard, to think on their feet, to be forcefully creative. It’s a tough business that requires you to go from zero to 60 in a heartbeat.”
One of the most important facets of Adam and Carrie’s experiential learning techniques is that they assign projects that give students actual material for their resume reels. “We teach so that every single thing we do in a classroom they can use elsewhere in their life,” said Adam.