Victoria Chatfield started her first theatre company when she was a sophomore in high school. Armed with $100 from a garage sale and a dream, she rented her school’s gymacafetorium to stage her first show, which was a resounding disaster. Never deterred, she continued her producing career, eventually becoming an established part of the Western New York theatre community and earning critical acclaim in The Buffalo News, Artvoice, and Buffalo Spree for her shows, all of which featured work by student actors, directors, designers, stage managers, and musicians. Her goal was to eventually start a national youth theatre in the United States, similar to the ones that existed in the United Kingdom.
After graduating from Barnard College with a BA in English (Theatre Concentration), she joined Teach for America and spent the two years of her corps commitment teaching in the South Bronx. She became a valuable member of the TFA community — running workshops at the New York Institute and Orientation, coaching incoming corps members, writing all of the teaching objectives for the New York Student Achievement Toolkit (used by corps members nationwide), and eventually being named a finalist for the coveted Sue Lehmann Award for Teaching Excellence. She earned her MS in Teaching (Adolescent English, 7-12) from Fordham University.
Victoria subsequently joined the staff of Williamsburg Collegiate Charter School as an English Language Arts teacher. Eventually, she founded the school’s theatre department (the first in Uncommon Schools' Brooklyn network) and received the Voya Unsung Heroes Award for innovation in curriculum planning. While completing some MA in Theatre coursework at the University of Houston, her plans for creating a national youth theatre resurfaced. She approached the Educational Theatre Association (EdTA) about the possibility of collaborating on a production. The following summer, the National Theatre for Student Artists (NTSA) staged Circuits Clipped at Atlantic Stage 2, a celebration of new works by student playwrights from EdTA’s Thespian Playworks program.
After four years of managing NTSA, Victoria received the Fulbright Distinguished Award in Teaching. She spent a semester in the University of Glasgow’s theatre department, studying cross-demographic arts programs. During this time, she also had the privilege of working with the National Theatre of Scotland; observing programs including the National Youth Music Theatre (London, UK), the National Festival of Youth Theatre (Ayrshire, UK), the Let’s Dance Program (Granada, Spain), and Collapsing Horse Theatre Company (Dublin, Ireland); and presenting research at the University of Cambridge. She has not yet been able to successfully master a Glaswegian accent.
Victoria currently splits her time between Western New York and her home in Airdrie, Scotland.
Posted on Dec 08, 2017 in About NTSABack to Posts