Brady D. Patsy always had his hand in arts education. So it was a natural progression for him to take the director position at Richard E. Rauh Conservatory at Pittsburgh Musical Theater.
“When the opportunity arose to be able to be the Conservatory director and head of the education department at Pittsburgh Musical Theater, it was something I jumped on right away,” explained Patsy, who has been performing since his teenage years. “To focus on the kids and their education in the arts and hopefully spark something in them that makes them want to continue, whether be it performing or on the other side of the table—whatever the case may be—to keep the arts alive.”
Patsy was first introduced to Pittsburgh Musical Theater at the age of 13 when his high school drama teacher took him to one of the theater’s productions. Now, 17 years later, he’s running the Conservatory. Patsy has truly come full circle.
The charismatic actor brings years of expertise to his current position. He served as a theater instructor for the Butler Center for the Performing Arts and creative arts administrator for Propel Pitcairn. He is also a longtime performer with Pittsburgh Musical Theater’s professional company and has been a Richard E. Rauh Conservatory resident artist since 2010. He has also performed with West Virginia Public Theater and Boston’s North Shore Music Theater Company. In 2008 he spent a year working for the Walt Disney World Company and had the chance to work with Fantasia Barrino, Regis Philbin, Kelly Ripa, Billy Ray Cyrus and Miley Cyrus.
As Conservatory director, Patsy will be responsible for making sure that students are staying on task with what they’re doing, hiring teachers and making sure that Pittsburgh Musical Theater is giving the world-class arts education that is the theater’s mission.
Pittsburgh Musical Theater’s West End-based Richard E. Rauh Conservatory offers superior training in dance, music and theater. In the school’s teen, pre-teen and Broadway Jr. programs, students ages 4-18 have the opportunity to work in a professional environment and their singing, acting and dancing skills are perfected in a rigorous classroom structure. They have their own theater company, the Rauh Conservatory Theater Company and they do shows at the Byham Theater, New Hazlett Theater and the Gargaro Theater at Pittsburgh Musical Theater.
This season the conservatory student season includes “Annie” at the Byham Theater, the annual production of “A Lyrical Christmas Carol,” the teen students will be performing “Chicago” in the spring and the pre-teen students will be doing “Fiddler on the Roof Jr.”
“The kids have many opportunities to perform,” Patsy said. “Anytime we’re doing a show with the Pittsburgh Musical Theater professional company that needs children, we never have an open casting call anywhere. All of those kids come directly from our conservatory. They are students of ours that we use. That’s the kind of opportunities we provide and that we want. We love to make things happen for kids.”
Although he was named Conservatory Director on July 16, Patsy is a cornerstone in the Pittsburgh Musical Theater family. He has performed in a number of the professional company’s shows including “Children of Eden,” “Tarzan,” “Hairspray” and Les Miserables.”
“When I first knew that I was looking for a new conservatory director, I did it quietly because I wanted to make sure I handled the transition properly, so I didn’t put this out there over the broad world. I did reach out to a few candidates—a good eight to nine total that were in the running for this position—from the moment that this position became available I was hoping so badly that Brady would be interested in it because I knew from the moment it happened that he was the right person for this job,” said PMT Executive Artistic Director Colleen Doyno.
“There is not a person that I have ever worked with at PMT that is more passionate and dedicated to Pittsburgh Musical Theater and dedicated to the education of the students. He cares about their education, he cares about their futures and he’s a kind and compassionate man and a fabulous communicator, as well. So not only are our students benefiting from him, our entire community—our parents—they’ve got somebody now that calls them and says, ‘let’s talk about your child, let’s talk about their education, how can we help them, how can we help you?’ He thinks about it all.”
Patsy replaces Jennifer Lybarger, who held the position for two and a half years. Lybarger has been a resident artist with Pittsburgh Musical Theater since 2006 and will continue teaching at the conservatory.
“I want to make sure that we are giving the education that we are promising and we want to make sure these kids are getting everything they deserve,” Patsy said. “I also to make sure that Pittsburgh understands that we want to educate your kids. We want to give them that education in the arts. We want people to come to us. We’re willing to work with families because every child deserves an education in the arts.”
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