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Teaching Philosophy

A mentor of mine once described his directing approach as building a playground for his actors, releasing them to explore within it, and stepping in as necessary to make sure they stay safe and remember the game they are playing. This imagery resonated with me and uplifted my idea of theatre-making and actor training. I brought this mindset into my graduate school experience and refined it in my teaching approach. In the educational playground, I create, I strive to embrace all identities and learning styles with flexibility and enthusiasm. 

This ideal of flexibility thrives when placed upon a firm foundation of clear communication and academic structure. While independent and unfettered exploration energizes my work, I respect the roles of structure and rigor in artistic growth. With a vocal certification as a Lessac Practitioner and training in Knight-Thompson Speechwork, I craft a creative jungle gym that enlightens students to their expressive potential. My accent training employs Lessac and IPA to teach precise and culturally conscious dialects to students with diverse learning needs. I empower students to advocate for themselves with tools I gained from my Consent Forward Artist certification (IDC) and trauma-informed yoga teacher training (RYT 200). My classroom provides a space for introverted as well as extroverted artists, and I encourage multiple forms of engagement. Mutual respect is at the heart of our classroom ethos which creates a brave environment for discussing complex topics. This structure hones students’ impulses into repeatable techniques and allows space for spontaneity.  

Theatre training should be a time for developing students’ artistic modus operandi instead of clipping their wings with dated industry-casting practices and theatrical canon. I expose students to plays that shed light on historically underrepresented stories and nurture their collaborative spirits. My students develop the confidence to reimagine classics to include their perspectives and gain the courage to tell new stories. I make room to cast beyond gender-based limitations and have open communication with nonbinary actors so their identities are respected in the casting process. I want student artists to feel like their perspectives are valid in all genres of theatre.  

It is important to me that student artists develop life skills in their training and become active members of their communities. Theatre training provides opportunities for students to nurture empathy, foster emotional intelligence, and acknowledge their role in the social fabric within which they weave their artistry. Together, the use of holistic exploration and structured play creates a playground that is inclusive and empowering. This enriches student artists with strong artistic voices, ready to make a difference in a world that needs their voices heard.  

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