Peyton Dixon is excited to be involved in Spotlight! Credits include: Ten Thousand Things Theatre: Thunder Knocking on you Door (U/S Thunder, Jaguar Jr.), History Theatre: Runestone!, Teen Idol: Bobby Vee Story, Christmas of Swing. Transatlantic Love Affair: Promise Land, Artistry: Hairspray (Seaweed), Paul Bunyan Playhouse: Smokey Joe’s Café (Ken), Morris Park Players: Shrek (Donkey), Actors Theatre of Minnesota: A Miracle on Christmas Lake (Collin), Rochester Civic Theatre: Jesus Christ Superstar (Simon), Elf (Store Manager), Cross Community Players: Spelling Bee (Chip Tolentino) and many more over the last 12 years. He is happy to be creating and collaborating on art again!
How did you first get involved with theater?
“I was dating a person back in 2010, and they brought me to an audition even though I didn’t really want to go. I was nervous as heck. I couldn’t memorize the monologue, so I asked to read from my book. It was funny because I ended up being cast in the show and they didn’t. I became aware of how much fun it was, but I wasn’t sure how good I was or how much I should commit to it. It sort of kept rolling, and I got more confidence.”
What are you most excited for this year as a Spotlight Teaching Artist in Residence?
“I’ve always thought about getting involved with Spotlight, and I love working with students. I’ve been to a few Spotlight Showcases just for fun, but it wasn’t until this year that I learned about the Teaching Artist program. It seemed like a great opportunity to help me figure out how to incorporate my education and artistic ideas. I know that this is where I’m supposed to be; I just don’t know exactly how to do it. There’s been a lot of trial and error, and yes, you figure it out eventually and get a foundation, but I’m excited to work with students and flesh out some ideas for how to move forward as a teaching artist in this community.”
As an educator, how do you create safe spaces for students?
“From the get-go, I try to let folks know they can come as they are. You don’t have to pretend to be anything. You have a voice. We’re all trying to learn, and you can’t really do anything wrong that’s irreversible. You have to set it up so that they are more comfortable and confident to bring up their issues, so they know their voices matter to the space. Young people have valuable insights, but they’ll stop bringing things up if they don’t feel like they’re being heard.”
What’s a fun fact about you that’s not related to theater?
“For my whole high school career, I moved to a different state and went to a different high school every year. There was one year I went to three different states and three different schools – not for military reasons or anything, that’s just how my family was. I lived on the east coast, the west coast, down south and here I am now. So, I’ve been everywhere!”