The Louisiana School for Math, Science, and the Arts’s (LSMSA) new Theatre Instructor, Scott Theriot, has one philosophy when it comes to teaching: “Love the process, and have fun doing it.”
Theriot joined the ranks of LSMSA’s prestigious faculty after working 11 years at the Patrick F. Taylor Science & Technology Academy in Avondale, Louisiana. As his second official teaching position, he expressed excitement but caution toward his new job at one of the top schools in the nation.
“I am terrified!” he jested. “However, I’m new, and a lot of the kids that I am teaching in my classes are new, so that means we’re in the same boat. I’m interested to see where their experience levels are and work from there.”
Theriot has almost a lifetime of acting experience, having performed in plays since he was young. While growing up in Waggaman, Louisiana, he claimed that he was a hyperactive child and would often get into trouble in elementary school. Anne Chance, a speech and theatre teacher at his elementary school, suggested he be put in plays to work out his extra energy.
“She kind of called it,” Theriot said. “I’ll be indebted to her forever.”
From the young age of seven, his teacher would refer him to community theatre and college productions and would get him into auditions. He even went on to perform in commercials and auditioned for Broadway plays.
After graduating from high school, he attended the University of New Orleans (UNO) to study performing arts before transferring to the University of Louisiana at Lafayette (ULL). During his first semester at the new school, he almost considered giving up acting and switching over to pre-law. His mother urged he try acting for another semester before making a change. He finished out the program and received his Bachelor of Fine Arts in Performing Arts.
“I could have made a lot more money, but I have more fun than lawyers have,” he joked. “They call it ‘play’ for a reason.”
Theriot later went back to UNO and received his Master of Fine Arts in Acting. While working on his graduate degree and working as a teaching assistant, he found educating more rewarding than receiving praise on stage.
“I started talking about the acting process in one of the classes I was assisting,” he recalled. “Something clicked for about three or four students in the classroom, and I watched the light go on in their eyes and in their brains – you could see it change.
“That became more addictive than applause: watching that light go on and watching that discovery happen.”
Theriot has directed and acted in a number of plays. Some of his past roles include Prospero in “The Tempest,” Joyce in the original production of “Lonely Sister Praying for an Astronaut” and Charlie Baker in “The Foreigner.” Plays he has directed include “Macbeth,” “Twelfth Night” and “Chicago.”
At LSMSA, Theriot is teaching Beginning and Advanced Acting and Script Analysis. He is also the current sponsor of LSMSA’s Theatre Club and helps oversee Mission Improvable, the school’s improvisation group.
In his spare time, he prides himself on being a husband to his wife, as well as a father to his two sons, Ryan and Oakley. He also enjoys watching sports games, going to the gym, and watching family-friendly Marvel television shows.
LSMSA’s production of “Antigone” will run November 8 & 9 at 7 p.m. and November 10 and 11 at 2 p.m. in LSMSA’s Black Box Theatre. The Creative & Performing Arts Department offers a robust arts curriculum to students of all talent levels. To view course listings, programs and faculty, visit http://www.LSMSA.edu/arts.