Background & Philosophy
Over the past ten years I have had the gift of teaching, facilitating and creating in many different spaces, from traditional university classrooms in New York City and Denver to prisons, homeless shelters, mental health treatment facilities and more. I have spent the past decade analyzing not just the vast world of theatre and how to create it, but how I want to most meaningfully teach it to my students. I have spent years meditating on the question: what does it mean to teach theatre, performance and theory in the most inspiring, inclusive, thoughtful and urgent way possible as a vehicle for transformation and growth? I deeply believe that a teaching style based in passion, student-centered experience, clear scaffolding of material, varied modalities, current theory and reflexive analysis is necessary for my students. My intention for my classrooms, no matter if its a traditional or non-tradition one, is to create a space for my students to feel engaged and inspired, think critically, personally reflect and create new work and ideas that are honest and alive.
I believe my diverse teaching experiences have supported my growth as an educator. My practical and theoretical journey has strengthened my ability to educate in unique ways to students with different aims and from varied backgrounds. I am able to teach to many populations, with intersectional identities, and craft curriculum and syllabi that are varied, current and exciting. My teaching experiences have strongly shaped who I am as an educator (and person) and also my belief in experiential and self-directed learning. In all of my higher education courses my teaching style is based in clear organization, explicit expectations, strong scaffolding of material and the use of the most current theorists and practices. And, a belief that it is necessary to always be critically reflecting on one’s own teaching practice - I don’t know what I don’t know and I am always open to learning more, which is what I also ask of my students.
My teaching style, and training, is based in a Freireian pedagogy and so it is important to me to create educational spaces that are open and supportive to my student’s varying beliefs, strengths and ideas. I believe in honoring each of my students own unique learning style, thoughts and creativity. I deeply value my students perspectives and thoughts and invite them to help shape the classroom experience. In my classes you will find the use of various teaching techniques from more traditional actor training practices, lecturing and classroom discussion to various educational and applied theatre techniques including Theatre of the Oppressed exercises, process drama and sociometry. I believe in creating a classroom atmosphere that is inclusive, respectful and warm so that a discussion of ideas, questions and analysis can flow freely.
At the heart of why I wanted to become an educator is my desire to create and hold spaces for my students to critically question and grow through creating and analyzing performance and theatre. I have always had a great love of theatre, but it is my passion for supporting my students and creating classrooms and artistic spaces that are transformative that is at the foundation of who I am as an educator. For more information on specific teaching appointments, lectures and workshops please see my CV.