Professional Statement and Teaching Philosophy

I believe that our life stories and experiences often inform thoughts and beliefs, yet it is through the stories we share with each other that allows us to open ourselves to new and inspiring possibilities and facilitates a dedication to being life long learners.  As a educator, I am committed to providing a safe space where young artists get to explore, create, and reflect on their generated ideas. While they discover and use their strengths to make bold choices and take risks in their lives, students are encouraged to use their full self-expression, which supports confidence and their unlimited potential.   


Meredith Akins has been a professional dancer, singer and actor for the last nineteen teen years.  She has performed in the Broadway productions of Mamma Mia! (Original Cast/Assistant Dance Captain) and Footloose.  Other credits include Wicked (Chicago and Original Cast 2nd National Tour), Aida (Kansas City Starlight), Legally Blonde (North Shore Music Theatre), Footloose (Original Cast 1st National Tour), Fame (Original Cast European Tour), Actor's Fund performances of Hair, Chess and A Wonderful Life, No Boundaries (New York Music Theatre Festival) and 101 Dalmatians (Radio City Music Hall) and the recent movie, The Last 5 Years, which starred Anna Kendrick and Jeremy Jordan. 

Meredith is an advocate of the arts.  She is currently the Drama Teacher at Stephen Gaynor School. Gaynor serves students with learning differences and provides a highly individualized educational program in a rich, rigorous, and nurturing environment in which students gain the skills and confidence necessary to learn, grow, and reach their full potential.  Prior to joining Gaynor, Meredith was the Education Director at Broadway Bound Kids and she worked as a Teaching Artist throughout New York City and around the country. Such organizations included Broadway Bound Kids, The Boys and Girls Harbor Conservatory, Brooklyn Arts High School, PS 161, Stage Right Broadway Experience, Take It From The Top, and The Dream Yard Project.  She created the program, I Can Do That!, which uses theatre to facilitate youths development of setting goals and having full self-expression. Meredith received her B.A. in Sociology from the University of Virginia and her Master's of Science in Educational Theatre from The City College of New York. 

No risk, no reward!