I have been an educational theater teaching artist for the past decade, teaching a wide range of skills including Acting, Voice and Speech, Movement, Dialects, Clown, Shakespeare, and Songwriting.I’m currently an Adjunct Professor at Southern Connecticut State University, teaching Voice and Speech in the Theatre Department, and I have taught, directed, and coached with Arc Stages, Treetop Arts, White Plains Performing Arts Center, New Stage Theatre, Lighthouse Youth Theater, Westchester Broadway Theater, New Generation Theatre, and the South Dakota and Texas Shakespeare Festivals. I also had the honor to speak at the University of Connecticut about marketing and self-promotion for artists, focusing on the theater industry.
Teaching PhilosophyMy teaching draws from many influences, including Poetic Dynamics (with elements of Commedia dell’Arte, Melodrama, and Clown), The Miller Voice Method (of which I’m a Certified Teacher), Dramatic Circumstances, and my professional experience. My basic philosophy is: “Play the mask intuitively.” “Play” – From the spirit of play comes innovation, connection, and a willingness to engage with the unknown. From there, profound discoveries can be made, and what is discovered is more fodder for play. The spirit of play makes anything possible, which I believe is the most important aspect of the theatrical process and performance. “The mask” – This could be a literal mask, the text of a play, or the music of a composer. Our side of the creative collaboration is to see and honor the mask, and bring our unique life spirit to it. The mask leads us to discover new sides of ourselves, which allow us to be simultaneously genuine and transformative in our storytelling. “Intuitively” – Learning to listen to and act on our own intuition is one of the most important skills an artist (or anyone) can develop. We become willing to trust, to fail, to get out of our heads, and our explorations of play move away from having to be “right” or “good” toward discovering how we can be alive and joyful.
I believe everyone benefits from participating in live theater whether or not they pursue a career in it. Through inhabiting characters we learn how people exist and co-exist in the world, cultivate empathy, and reveal our authentic selves. I want my students to tap into their unique perspective and creativity and to develop an empowered sense of self to carry with them wherever their lives may lead. Art, and the possibility of creating art, exists to reveal the capacity and scope of humanity.“If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up people together to collect wood and don’t assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea.” – Antoine de Saint-Exupéry Here’s footage from Treetop Arts’ 2018 End-of-Year production of Where the Mountain Meets the Sea, co-devised and co-directed for Drama, Circus, Dance, Tumbling and Parkour students with Treetop Arts Program Director Charlie Truscott.