Matthew Greene has been working in youth development for over a decade, coupling his artistic career with a passion to lift up and empower the rising generation. From his college years studying playwriting and working in residential treatment facilities, he saw the potential to bring theatre education to the passionate, creative young people who are too frequently overlooked. After moving to New York City in 2010, he spent his days as a youth care worker with Boys Town USA and his nights and weekends in rehearsals and work sessions. He worked as Co-Artistic Director of the Broadway Academy, a summer camp based in Nebraska, and held numerous guest artist roles working with high school students on both coasts. His work with Opening Act began as a Teaching Artist in 2015, leading after-school theatre programs at some of the city’s most under-resourced public high schools. Leading these talented teens through the process of creating, rehearsing, and debuting original plays in Off-Broadway theaters further cemented Matthew’s belief that arts programming should be available to everyone. In 2017, as part of a three-year strategic plan, Opening Act hired Matthew to create the Act 2 College and Career program. The program was conceived as a response to student and alumni interest in support beyond the stage, and Matthew was eager to make the dream a reality. Drawing upon his teaching and youth development experience, his years as a foster parent helping to navigate the CUNY system, and his belief that theatre education provides a strong foundation for any career path, Matthew piloted the Act 2 program, now in its fifth year. Through Act 2, Matthew has created college and career access programming for hundreds of Opening Act students, using theatre arts as an entrypoint to tackle the daunting postsecondary landscape. Additionally, Act 2 provides support for alumni through ongoing artistic and professional training, networking opportunities, and a paid fellowship program that builds transferable skills through creative production opportunities. Opening Act is the proud recipient of the HelloInsight HI Impact Award, and Matthew remains committed to developing the social-emotional capacity of students and alumni through arts education. As a playwright, librettist, and lyricist, Matthew’s award-winning work has been produced on both coasts and in several places in between, including Westport Country Playhouse, Working Artists Theatre, Vineyard Arts Project, BMI Musical Theatre Workshop, Jerome Robbins Foundation, United Solo Festival, and the New York International Fringe Festival.  His mystery novel – There’s No Murder Like Show Murder – will be released next year!

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