Alum Sam Sherman visited our 6th grade drama classes to share his experiences pursuing a career in the arts, answer questions, and teach students exercises that professional actors do before performing.
Sam attended Capital City from 2002 - 2012. He first discovered his passion for theater during an improv game in PreK. In 4th grade, he had his first taste at professional acting. Cast as Brutus in Julias Cesar, Sam and his peers performed at the Folger Shakespeare Library thanks to founding teacher and current Arts Director, Joanna Lewton. "Even though we were in the 4th grade, we were putting something together that was serious," said Sam. "It was an incredible and mind-blowing experience for me as I was discovering acting."
Following his passion, Sam earned a BFA in acting from the University of North Carolina School of Arts. Sam attended the Duke Ellington School of the Arts and studied at the Studio Acting Conservatory in DC, the British American Drama Academy in Oxford, England, and at the Kristin Linklater Voice Centre in Scotland.
Capital City’s comprehensive arts program empowers students to express themselves creatively, think critically, collaborate with one another, and build confidence. This supports students in excelling in other areas academically and personally.
"I cannot imagine Capital City without an arts program," Sam reflected. "It encourages on-the-spot level of creative thinking that comes in handy in a science or humanities project. I found myself thinking creatively about what a project can look like because of the arts." During his 8th grade expedition project on the civil rights movement, Sam says he relied on the creative approaches he had learned in drama class to write an essay about the Voting Rights Act of 1965 that illustrated the importance and impact of that moment in history. "Drama really boosted my ability to excel academically in other subjects. It generates fresh thinking."
As we prepare the next generation of actors, writers, and producers, we also aim to inspire future leaders and change-makers. For 20+ years, our arts program has offered students creative ways to make an impact in their communities and in the world they wish to live in. "Someone who is really committed to telling stories has the opportunity to plant the seeds of change regarding what they might want to see changed in the world," said Sam. "Especially right now with the effects of the pandemic, global warming, and this racial uprising we are seeing across our country, all of these things together are creating an environment kind of like a national soil that is fertile for change. I think the more people who get energized in the arts, they can understand themselves as this kind of cultural worker, beyond just entertainers."
Sam participated in the Reclamation Project which will be featured as a Kennedy Center Page-To-Stage Residency. He reflected on how our arts program encouraged him to pursue his passion for theater and set him up to make a difference in the industry. "If you really want to have a role in changing culture, in changing how people perceive other human beings, and the world around them, then this is the craft for you."
Our students enjoyed hearing from Sam and learning fun vocal warm-up exercises, such as tongue twisters, that help actors warm up their voice and project better on stage. See a glimpse of his lessons!