D79 Program Manager
The Hampshire School, Manhattan
Harlem Renaissance High School, Manhattan
Covenant House, Manhattan
Growing up in the suburbs of Washington D.C., Paul was a pretty terrible student. In high school, as his academic struggles continued Paul made some less than ideal decisions, leading to 3 arrests between the ages of 15 and 17. Fortunately for Paul, he was white and upper middle class and escaped the adjudication process virtually unscathed. The experience opened his eyes to the inequity of the justice system and he decided to dedicate his life to working with young men and women impacted by systemic oppression. During high school and college, Paul worked at Laurel Learning Center, an after-school and summer program for under-resourced families in Reston, Virginia. After college Paul worked at New Alternatives, a residential treatment facility for severely emotionally disturbed adolescents in Chula Vista, California before moving back east to attend Columbia University’s School of Social Work. After attaining his master’s degree Paul spent the next 12 year’s working in the juvenile and adult justice systems with a focus on helping young people navigate the world upon being released from incarceration. At the age of 32 Paul was starting to feel pretty burned out so at the suggestion of a friend he took an improv class and he completely fell in love. While Paul continued his training at the Peoples Improv Theater he had an “aha!” moment I which he realized the skills he was learning in improv could be of great use to young people trying to navigate a complicated and unjust world. He joined Opening Act in 2014 to learn the craft of teaching artistry and now, as the District 79 Program Manager leads Opening Act’s alternative high school program, bringing theater and improv to New York City high school students who have become disconnected from traditional high school settings. Paul loves this work and feels incredibly fortunate to have had the opportunity to work with some of the bravest and funniest young people on the planet.