Thomas Azar

Actor, AEA

My Teachers

My Teachers

July 15, 2018

As an artist, I owe almost everything to my teachers. Without them, I would be half the theatre artist that I am. Less than half, probably.

  • Lonny Harrison: introduced me to theatre, cast me in my first show (Grease, I played Sonny)
  • Liz Donaldson: guided me through the terror of having to sing in my first show
  • Miles DeMott: ninth grade English, helped me to understand symbolism
  • Clifton Browning: twelfth grade English, got me to view language as an art
  • Peder Melhuse: my acting teacher and mentor in college at the University of Alabama
  • Tiza Garland: introduced me to stage movement – stage combat in particular
  • Edmond Williams: cast me in my first Shakespeare play, in which I met the woman whom I would marry
  • Seth Panitch: got me to focus on the detail in my work
  • Tina Fitch: helped me see through my final year at Alabama under a lot of pressure
  • Gary Logan: taught the importance of truly knowing every single word I speak onstage
  • Ellen O’Brien: revealed to me the power of my own voice
  • Chris Cherry: taught me the value of rest, and pretty much changed my life through Alexander technique
  • Isabelle Anderson: gave me the physical language to find the fire within me
  • Dody DiSanto: stripped away all that was in the way of my true (clownish) self
  • Brad Waller: gave me the historical perspective of the combat I’ve been staging for years
  • Edward Gero: taught me that a moment “well observed” is the best recognition one could ask for
  • Leslie Jacobson: uncovered the depth of both Shakespeare’s work, and its effects on me
  • Lisae Jordan: the wonder that devoting enough time to one’s well-being can do
  • Roberta Stiehm: pushed me further in Pilates and dance than I’ve ever ever gone before
  • Floyd King: showed me the precision, timing, and attention it takes to tell a well-crafted joke