aroundkent Magazine Vol 13 2017

Page 38

Thomas Q. Fulton Jr. Dr. Patrick O’Connor

A recurring feature article in this magazine describes the path creative, interesting people took to get to where they are in life. Most creative people have traveled very interesting paths to get to where they are … usually zig-zagging a lot, shifting artistic gears, retracing steps, exploring new passions, revisiting previous works, failing a whole

How You get to a Place in Life You Never Thought You Would “I swore I would never teach high school when I graduated from college. I felt teaching was a poor man’s profession, in more ways than one. George Bernard Shaw told me of the proverb in Man and Superman: “Those that can, do; those that cannot, teach.” Tom Fulton kept his distance from teaching for many years, soaking up professional experience, lessons, and knowledge as he worked. However, in the end, the teaching profession became his first and most important work, developing an ensemble of likeminded artists for the theatre. Now, 40 years later, it is his real profession.

bunch, and generally bouncing back often. All these experiences are part of their creative profile and serve to motivate and inspire them. This feature tells that story. This version of The Road Less Traveled features Thomas Q. Fulton Jr., creative director of the Academy for the Performing Arts hosted by Chagrin Falls High School.

Author note: If a reader would like to suggest someone to be considered the subject of a future Road, e-mail the publisher at

volume 13 | 2017 •


He still acts and directs professionally but wakes up every morning to share his knowledge and experience with young people with the passion to act and to become artists. Next year, 2017—2018, will mark the 10-year anniversary of what has become one of the most recognized high school theatre training programs in the United States.

Learning Lessons to Share— 50 Years in the Making Tom’s interest in theatre began by watching his parents perform in a community theatre they helped found—The Kenston Players. He began his own acting career as a 15-year-old with the Heights Youth Theatre and the WKYC TV East Ohio Fairy Tale Theatre. This would be the start of