As a child, Brittany Fayle ’17 loved to perform, singing, acting and dancing throughout elementary, middle and high school. It became part of her – a way to express herself, connect with others, and see the world from a new perspective. When she arrived on the Heights in the fall of 2013, the Syracuse native quickly found her way to the W. Carroll Coyne Center for the Performing Arts and began performing in a variety of shows, including Ballad of the Sad Café. She’d found her people.
“It’s very important to me to have a strong community, and I found that at Le Moyne,” she recalled. “I immediately fell in love with the people, the setting, the shows – all of it.”
Today Fayle shares her passion for theatre with the next generation of actors as a teacher for Peaceful Schools, an organization that uses enrichment programs in disciplines such as art and science to model communication and problem-solving skills for its students. Staff members, including Fayle, work closely with teachers, parents and community members to prepare their students for lives of citizenship and leadership. Fayle’s students learn about theatre, to be sure, but more importantly, they learn about cooperation, trust and communication. In that sense, it is closely aligned to Le Moyne’s mission to “educate the whole artist,” noted Director of Theatre Matt Chiorini.
“To see a graduate like Brittany go out and share what she’s learned from Le Moyne is tremendously rewarding,” he said. “The performing arts in particular can teach so many important life skills for children of all backgrounds, and it’s great to see them get the opportunities to experience them firsthand.”
A peek into Fayle’s classroom at H.W. Smith Elementary School (where Peaceful Schools assigned her) may reveal children clowning, taking part in improv games, or preparing for their final showcase, which is performed in front of a large group of family and friends. But it goes well beyond that. The students are learning to use their voices, cooperate with one another, and solve problems; they are developing a healthy self-image, self-discipline and a goal-oriented approach to work. To impart these lessons, Fayle regularly draws on her experience at Le Moyne, where everyone has an opportunity to act, direct, stage manage, design a set or costume and more.
“Le Moyne really teaches you to appreciate and understand every single role in the performing arts,” she said. “If I didn’t have the skills or the point of view I developed there, I would be doing a disservice to my students and to the profession. After all, the more you know the better you are.”
As she works with her students, Fayle is also preparing for her own next act. She will soon begin pursuing a master’s degree in education to enhance her skills as a teacher.
“This experience has taught me how much I truly love teaching and how much I want to give my students my very best,” she said.
Theater Arts Programs
Performing Arts at Le Moyne