About Valerie Myette
by Kelly Huber
Valerie Myette might just be the world’s foremost juggler. Until recently, it was common for her to direct 153 kids from 4 grades at 2 schools over 3 months for 6 performances of 1 play. For Myette, owner of Experiments in Theater, running her own acting studio presents an opportunity to focus. Focus on her passion as the culmination of over 20 years experience in theater.
Following her first professional gig at 18, Myette applied to Wheaton College with a prophetic essay about owning a theater company. She worked her way through college, seizing internships and seasonal jobs that kept her teaching, directing and exploring the theater business. Post-graduation, armed with a degree in Theater/English Dramatic Literature, Myette set her sights on Broadway and moved to New York City to pursue her dream.
Professionally acting and singing for The Producer’s Club, The Oberon Theater Ensemble and The Creative Arts Team at New York University all became secondary to Myette’s work touring inner city schools with an original production about violence in relationships. The experience of using theater as a teaching tool to increase social awareness changed her focus and her definition of ‘working in theater’. As a result she returned to her native Rhode Island to her entrepreneurial spirit set in motion.
Myette worked for Grammy-Award Winner Bill Harley assisting and producing and learning how an artist/entrepreneur makes a great living. All the while – still performing, directing and teaching for various local arts organizations like the All Children’s Theater, The Courthouse Light Opera, The Academy Players, The North Kingstown Players, The Community Players of Pawtucket, City Nights Dinner Theater, Looking Glass Theater, Mixed Magic Theater, Rhode Island Theater Ensemble and New Gate Theater. She directed and taught theater throughout schools in New England — private schools, inner city schools, suburban schools and even schools that were designed as a juvenile detention alternative. Myette saw first-hand how theater in school curriculum can help support the efforts of educators to promote literacy, communication, tolerance, analysis, confidence, self-respect, teamwork, creativity and collaboration not to mention giving a “home away from home” to the kids who don’t feel at home on sports teams. Myette was ready to throw one more ball in the air.
In 2003, Myette opened Experiments in Theater, realizing her ‘role of a lifetime’ – teaching theater to kids. Through Experiments in Theater, Myette builds stars – not the next ‘Hannah Montana’ variety – but the confident, creative and caring young person variety – with acting as the medium and theater the backdrop. Through Experiments in Theater, Myette has also directed and produced many of her own professional shows including Getting Out by Marsha Norman, House Arrest by Anna Devere Smith and Wasp by Steve Martin.
Over the years Myette’s theater credits include: Lady Saphir in Gilbert and Sullivan’s Patience; Phoebe in Yeoman of the Guard; in Oklahoma she brought Ado Annie to life; Nellie in South Pacific; Babe in Crimes of the Heart; and Shakespeare’s Tempest as Ariel. Myette recently added voice training to her repertoire, studying with opera singer Ruth Hennessy Williams (who once toured with Leonard Bernstein) as well as pursuing her love of dance. Likewise, she continues to add acting classes to her resume from various teachers at New York City’s HB Studios (founded by Uta Hagen).
Myette offers a rare combination of educator and mentor for those students of theater lucky enough to be under her tutelage, while the rest of us simply juggle what to admire most – her hard work ethic, creative commitment or unlimited enthusiasm.