Arts to Grow welcomed Skyler Sullivan to our roster of teaching artists. Skyler kicked off our newest partnership with the Spring Creek Community Corporation, after school program at PS 356, Brooklyn. This area was once called Starrett City. Skyler is leading two classes – one of 4th graders and the other 5th graders. His classes focus on teaching acting skills by way of circus and mime activities.
According to Skyler, circus is a terrific way to teach children problem solving and provides a physical component enabling children to exercise their bodies, as well as their minds. Skyler says “circus is easier to grasp than many theater techniques, – it’s more abstract and helps children to focus, which in turn assists them in excelling at school”.
The parents of children who are working with Skyler have been impressed with their child’s level of participation and interest. Skyler shared, “Parents were very pleased. They said they had no idea their child was capable of such artistic expression”. Through circus activities, Skyler says the children became their own person.
Skyler himself became interested in circus and miming at the age of 10 when his parents took him to the circus. He enjoyed juggling and soon taught himself to juggle eventually progressing to juggling more than three items at once. Skyler holds a B.F.A. from Emerson College. His love of movement, theatre and circus landed him in San Francisco where he worked with the San Francisco Mime Troupe, and trained at the Circus Center.
He now lives in Brooklyn and his work has been seen with such companies as Bread and Puppet, Sesame Street, National Theatre of the Deaf, and the American Mime Theatre. In the future, Skyler would like to open a center and provide a space for kids to come and learn to perform, perhaps in Pittsburgh, PA or his hometown of Hartford, CT where he can continue his work with children through physical expression.