Faculty Profile: Meet Zeva Barzell, Associate Professor of Theatre Wednesday, August 10, 2016
Zeva Barzell, head of musical theatre and an associate professor at Point Park University, has a B.F.A. in acting and directing from Ithaca College and an M.F.A. in acting from the University of Illinois. In addition to her degree programs, Barzell has trained in New York City and London as well as worked professionally on stages all across the country.
How do you incorporate your professional experience into the classes that you teach at Point Park?
Everything that I bring into the classroom on daily basis filters through my own training and experience as a performer, director and choreographer. I was very fortunate in my professional career that I wanted to start teaching as a way to give back to train the next generation of artists.
What courses do you teach?
- Musical Theatre Techniques
- Stage Movement
- Voice and Speech
What's it like teaching in Downtown Pittsburgh?
I love teaching in a city. I love the vibrancy and diversity, and I love that the Cultural District is located within walking distance to our campus. It's a great location for our Conservatory of Performing Arts students. I love being downtown because it's like a little taste of New York City.
What inspires you in the classroom?
The students continue to inspire me every day. They're passionate, they work hard and when they make those discoveries and leaps in the classroom, it's really exciting to be a part of their journey.
What messages do you aim to convey to your students?
One of the most important messages I try to convey to my students is to have a taste for excellence in their work and to really know and understand their craft. We all know it's a business, but I really try to encourage my students to be an artist first and foremost.
What advice would you offer a first-year student?
My advice to a first-year student would be to work hard, to not panic, to breathe and to trust the process.
What is your advice to a graduating senior?
Find perseverance and maintain balance in your personal and professional life. I always tell my students to make sure they fill their lives in a positive way and not to give up.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
I love living in Pittsburgh. I never thought I would want to leave my home in New York, but I have found Pittsburgh to be a terrific city. It's a great place for a young person to go to school.