Adult Day Care, After School Program, Arts/Cultural Organizations, Community Center, K-12 Schools, Senior Center
I have over thirty years experience as a theater practitioner including Co-Founder/ Artistic Director and Lead Actress of The Shared Forms Theatre, Talking Band Theatre Company board member, ongoing collaboration as dramaturg/director with playwright Alvin Eng and numerous independent projects and teaching workshops in New York, Paris, Hong Kong and Guangzhou, China. I am a recipient of a Lower Manhattan Cultural Foundation (LMCC) 2017 SU-CASA grant. SU-CASA is community engagement grant that places teaching artists in residence at senior centers across the five boroughs of New York City. My Bachelor of Science degree is from NYU School of Educational Theater.
My classes are designed to introduce Theater Games and Storytelling techniques through gentle movement that incorporates pantomime, sense memory and improvisation. Theater games involving group participation are structured to stimulate creativity and inspire imagination. Class members will become acquainted with movement and theater techniques developed by Viola Spolin (originator of Theater Games) and Joseph Chaikin (The Open Theatre).
Movement exercises and theater games practiced in class will lead to strengthened mobility, flexibility and balance. Self-confidence will be strengthened as self- expression is developed and group trust is built in sharing personal histories and original stories. Awareness and appreciation will be developed for the techniques of ensemble theater and for the varied skills that actors utilize in the creation and performance of theater.
My work with the LMCC SU-CASA program at the Hudson Guild Senior Center in New York City was such a rewarding experience that I very much look forward to continuing my work in the field of creative aging. As an older person myself, I find it a real pleasure to connect with a group who has the long view of life. When given the opportunity to explore their personal stories, backgrounds and concerns, they are quite open and responsive to the stimulation of theater games and improvisation techniques. The element of play and fun is introduced and a supportive ensemble is formed. This has confirmed my belief that theater games are a wonderful point of connection for all involved and are of benefit to any age group.
Another pleasure was to join class members after the class at the lunch provided by the center. It was an opportunity to get to know them better as individuals. Class participants who had never spoken to one another now sat at a common table and enjoyed each other’s company, looking out for each other, helping carrying lunch trays and sharing information about classes, events and other issues of concern.
Many of the lunchtime discussions became the subject matter of improvisations in class. They brought lovely stories of family and favorite memories that brought a smile.