Hopkinton POS

HCA Spotlight Series Family

 HCA Spotlight
 Learn more about the people who call the HCA 'home'.

Meg Tyler, HCA student from Hopkinton

What attracted you to get involved at HCA?  When did you first become involved? When I first moved to town 15 years ago, I joined the Hopkinton Cultural Council and quickly became aware of this pocket of art-loving people. Knowing they were there reassured me; the arts are like oxygen. My friend Barbara Kessler was also very involved from the beginning and so I heard good reports from her about the founding crew. I did not personally become involved in ESL till later, when Shakespeare in the Hopkinton Common was underway.

Have you seen yourself grow as an artist since participating in HCA classes and performances?  If so, how? Absolutely. Although I teach quite a lot of dramatic literature, I had never acted in a proper stage piece before my debut in Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew (dubbed The Taming of the Dude). I had no idea what I was doing, winging it as I went, but full of glee. The directors, Tom Kee and Kristi Artinian, were terrific, patient, knowledgeable; they taught me so much about how to be alive inside Shakespeare's lines; they made sure each of us understood every single word we were saying. We did a lot of textual work, which I love. Later on, I studied Improv at the HCA, another brand new experience, equally as terrifying as the Shakespeare but incredibly fulfilling nonetheless. I have never laughed as heartily in my life -- a five-month stretch of intense guffawing beats all other forms of therapy. Surprisingly, the Improv training also helped me learn to be a more attuned conversationalist; the "Yes...And" technique encourages an actor to tune in, more fully, to what others are saying, to follow another actor's rhythm instead of insisting on one's own. There is a form of liberation to be found in this, the giving over.

What value do you think the HCA brings to Metrowest? Our lives would be dull indeed without the HCA. Everyone in my family benefits from its existence. We attend events throughout the year. My son has played both violin and bass fiddle at the First Friday Open Mic. My husband and son have done ceramics classes together. We devour whatever classical music offerings appear. And I have had a rich theatre experience here; my teachers (like the accomplished actor, Jere Shea) have been excellent. Kelly and Kris, and everyone at the HCA, have created a welcoming, versatile and fertile artistic community that really has no peer in the Metrowest. If we want or need art or music or theatre, we have the best of the best here in town.

What is unique about the adult student experience at HCA? This is where I go to play, to romp, to shake off worry, even to resuscitate the wild and free parts of me -- all the while being accompanied by caring and encouraging mentors and supportive colleagues. (O dear, I have made it sound like a therapy group)

What surprises you most about the HCA? The variety of its offerings, the warmth of its community, how adaptable it is (in that the HCA wants to provide the community with what we want and need). The HCA gives and gives and gives to the surrounding community. And we are made better by this generosity, our lives are brightened, deepened and improved.




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