Shelby Herbert began her journey at Mountain City Center for the Arts when the stars aligned, and on a whim, she auditioned to become a member of MCCA’s professional performance company in 2013. After several months working at MCCA as a professional performer, Shelby was invited to join the teaching faculty as an acting teacher. Shelby believes the presence of MCCA in her life was written in the stars, as she is now working full time at the center, feeling as though she is living in a dream. Currently, Shelby serves as the director of the Musical Theatre Program, the Educational Outreach coordinator, and teaches a variety of classes and private lessons. Shelby has also served as Music Director and Costume Designer on many MCCA productions, as well as occasionally directing MCCA productions. Two productions for which Shelby served as Music Director (Bugsy Malone, Jr. and Into the Woods, Jr.) received national awards at the world’s largest celebration of musical theatre for young people, The Junior Theatre Festival.
While studying in the department of Theatre and Dance at Frostburg State University, Shelby appeared in many productions at the University and professionally. In her time at FSU Shelby also served as an assistant teacher to Nicole Mattis, assisting with Voice and Movement and Voice and Speech classes for two years. During this time, Herbert additionally provided private voice work and dialect coaching to students referred to her by Ms. Mattis. For the classes she led as the culmination of her assistant teaching, Shelby chose to focus on the use of The Eight Efforts: Laban Movement in combination with the voice to create open, believable characters. Upon graduation, Shelby was invited to return to FSU to professionally costume design a production.
Ms. Herbert is thrilled to have partnered with other organizations in the area to share the significance of the arts with the community. Shelby is in her fourth year working with MCCA and Evergreen Heritage Center, bringing an arts education program, Dancing in Van Gogh’s Garden, to all third grade students in the Allegany County Public School System. In the four years working on this program, Shelby has been able to reach over 2,500 students, creating art and sharing her love of music and movement. Shelby helped develop and leads the performance half of the program. Shelby has been invited as a guest speaker and teacher with area organizations, including The Allegany Arts Council, Allegany County Public Schools, FSU’s Cultural Events Series, and Evergreen Heritage Center.
When Shelby is not teaching, she can often be found performing her acoustic sets in local venues. She feels the opportunity to create, perform, and share glimpses of her soul with the community allows her to be a more effective teacher. Shelby is also passionate about continuing her own education to continue to better educate students. She enjoys attending workshops, theatre, and concerts nation-wide striving to continue to learn and grow. Memorable master class teachers include: Mia Michaels, Wade Robeson, Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty, Susan Blackwell, Al Blackstone, and Jenn Colella.
Shelby is eternally grateful to have the opportunity to do what she loves every day. She has a passion for using the arts as a means of healing, connection, growth, and as a force of love in this world. It is the greatest joy to continue to share these passions with kids and adults in the area and beyond.