I love the interdisciplinary, collaborative nature of theater – it organically blends academic disciplines with tactile artistry - history with music, politics with dance, poetry with science - and engages an exploration of the human condition.
Much of my directing work, in professional, educational and community-based settings, has been developing new work for the theater. Whether on a professional stage, in a school gym or a community center, theater has the power to press us all to look into our selves, relationships, communities and our place in the continuum of history, and it has the potential to contribute to and deepen civic discourse.
Research and artistic practice are coming together in exciting ways to fuel my current work on THE LIVING NEWS PROJECT. Envisioned as a large scale city-to-city theater project, THE LIVING NEWS PROJECT stands boldly on the shoulders of the Federal Theater Project’s “Living Newspapers” of the 1930’s – dynamic productions, created by teams of unemployed journalists and theater artists, challenging citizens to wrestle with issues of the day. Over the last few years, in Chicago, we built a new Living Newspaper for 21st Century America. Artists and journalists worked with policy-makers, social workers, and homeless men, women and children, to create THE LIVING NEWS PROJECT: SHELTER/CHICAGO -- a poetic documentary play that propels citizens to examine the complicated terrain between headline news and the often invisible worlds of those living homeless on American streets. Stay tuned for the next iteration of THE LIVING NEWS PROJECT in Florida!
I have taught and mentored students of all ages in a wide variety of settings. For five years I worked in the Drama Division of The Juilliard School in New York where I taught college level students in a conservatory environment. I have taught adults at the graduate level at two progressive theological schools, and spent three years teaching public speaking to science majors at the University of New England. Most recently, I spent eight years as Lecturer, then Senior Lecturer at Columbia College Chicago where I became the Assistant Director of an interactive, humanities-based seminar for students in the visual, performing, communication and media arts. In Chicago, I also served as an Arts Enrichment Volunteer with Chicago HOPES, working with K-8 students who are homeless and in transition. I am currently the Assistant Principal for Arts Education at Manatee School For the Arts in Palmetto, FL.
My unusual masters’ degree, in Theology and the Arts, has allowed me to look at theater through a fresh lens by delving into the study of ritual and community life. My community-based work inspired these studies, and in turn, has grown as a result of them.
My educational/artistic leadership work includes serving as the Founding Director of The Arts Academy at Portland Arts and Technology High School in Maine, where I collaborated with community partners to establish an innovative arts program within a vocational/technical school, offering public high school students opportunities to study the arts intensively. For seven years I was the Artistic Director of The Children’s Theater of Maine, where I successfully transformed a dormant non-profit organization by working with volunteers and community leaders to make the Theater a vibrant part of the city, one that opens doors for hundreds of children every year. I was awarded a "Citizen of the Month" award from the Portland City council.