I am a scholar, writer, teacher, and artist with special interests in consciousness, cognition, cultural competency, neuroinclusion, performance studies, and dramaturgy. The common thread through my work is curating, developing, and creating work that is intellectually curious, compassionate, and emancipatory. I welcome the outsider and cultivate hospitality through the arts. Include. Include. Include.
Building a Community of Learners
I am an educator, scholar, and theater artist with a unique background in corporate consulting. I teach the value of theater and writing as human acts capable of igniting personal and social change while also challenging all my students to develop transferable skill sets for the 21st century. In this way, I strive to construct a studio, classroom, or boardroom that is a radically inclusive, supportive community of learners, pooling knowledge, building interdependence, and learning to learn. My work as a playwright, dramaturg, director, and deviser has been seen in NYC, Pittsburgh, New Haven, Boston, and Charlotte. Every studio is a classroom and every classroom is a studio.
A selection of dramaturgy, directing, writing, and scholarly projects I have completed and/or am working on. (Always in progress.)
Rasa is the indescribable, shared emotional experience between audience and performer, which is savored like a flavorful dish. It has also been translated as essence or juice. Combining the ancient Indian idea of rasa it’s concepts in embodied cognition, I conduct workshops and master-classes in Rasaesthetics for theatre departments, artistic directors, and as dramaturgical practice.
I work with students on devised, reimagined classics. Using a combination of Moment Work, devising practices, and verbatim theatre, I work with students on updating and re-imagining the classics in relevant, culturally responsive works of theatre. Pictured here is a piece inspired by Chuck Mee’s Trojan Women: A Love Story. Students explored the impact of war on women and children and sadomasochistic imagery in popular culture and fashion that confuse violence with eroticism. A combination of student actors, professional actors, a professional dramaturg, and members of the Pitt football dance team and I pieced together an original take on Euripides play that played to sold out houses.
Working on Caridad Svich's new play Archipelago with Dr. Monica Ndounou of Dartmouth, I partnered with student dramaturg Marissa Rivera. We performed ethnographic research for Svich's open text play, to assist Dr. Ndounou with her culturally responsive and inclusive directing process. Marissa and I created maps and timelines of the nonlinear play for the artistic team and kept an ongoing wiki of the terms and ideas noted in the play in a closed online collaborative document. We will be publishing a blog of the dramaturgical archive after the show completes its first run. The show will be touring in the next year.
I am writing a script for a performance I want to direct in a visual arts space in uptown Charlotte. It's a multimedia, nightmare, fantasia of Frankenstein's monster regaining consciousness and language. It is a meta-reflection on our coming to new consciousness in the age of media saturation. The movement-based multimedia score will be generated through Artificial Intelligence technology innovated by Dr. David Cope of USC Santa Barbara (Emeritus).
Dr. Tavia LaFollette and CoLab at Towson University
I am writing a profile of Dr. Tavia LaFollette the inaugural director of Towson's CoLab.
According to the Towson website, "the COFAC CoLab is an incubator for ideas, projects and collaboration. The lab is a home for interdisciplinary work. It's a hub where ideas can be cross-fertilized and put into motion. Designed as a space where fields of study are porous, the objective is to build new knowledge for an ever-evolving world."
Dr. LaFollette is also the founder and curator for Art Up, a multidisciplinary and collaborative art laboratory that "instigates insight by activating art."
Due out this February.
I am a dramaturg and co-author with Dr. Kaustavi Sarkar, founder and artistic director of Kaustavi Movement Center in Calcutta and Assistant Professor of Dance at UNC-Charlotte. Dr. Sarkar's performance-as-research includes explorations of transnationalism, post-colonialism, gender, and interpolations of modern dance and East Indian Dance.
Neuroinclusive Theatre Programming
I wrote several grants to create neuro-inclusive arts programming for students K-12 in an underserved area of Rock Hill, SC. In grades 6-12 we used musical theatre and Shakespeare as a mode of arts training, community building, and enhancing social-emotional competencies.
University of Pittsburgh
PhD Theater History and Performance Studies (with distinction)
Special Course of Study: History and Philosophy of Mind
Dissertation: 'That Within Which Passeth Show': Interiority, Religion, and the Cognitive Poetics of Hamlet
New York University
Tisch School of the Arts
MA in Performance Studies
Thesis: Transubstantiation and the Performance of Cape Breton Music and Dance
BA in Philosophy (cum laude)
Areas of expertise
Dramatic Verse, Rasaesthetics, Viewpoints, Vocal Viewpoints, Yogic Voice Training, Method-Based Scene Study, Shakespeare, Applied Theatre
Directing, Playwriting, and Dramaturgy
SDC, DGA, LMDA
Acting and Performance Theory, Consciousness Studies, Trauma Studies, Phenomenology, History and Philosophy of Mind
Pedagogy K3-to Higher Ed, Special Needs Education, Neuroinclusion, Theater and Seniors
Script and Speechwriting, Social Media Analysis, Branding, Communication Skills, Business Intelligence, Technical Writing, Speaking and Presentation Skills Coaching
Grant Writing, Strategic Planning, Special Events, Live Event Production Management
Higher Education/SEcondary Ed Professional Appointments
Selected Work History
Visiting Assistant Professor
Full-Time Assistant Professor of Theater. Courses Taught: Acting I, and II, Dramaturgy, Playwriting, Theater Experience, Theater Collaboration (Devising), Play Analysis.
Organized a Climate Change Theatre Action Play Reading Event, provided dramaturgical support within the Fall season.
September 2005-May 2006
Taught Voice and Movement I & II using Freeing the Natural Voice and a combination of Viewpoints and Rasaesthetics. Mentored and Coached Directing and Acting students for national competitions, including the Irene Ryan Award.
September 2001-May 2004
Taught Intro to Performance, Acting I & II, Performance Composition, and Intro to Dramatic Literature. Advised and Mentored student driven projects and did individual acting coaching for students applying to graduation school.
Publications and Creative Activities
"Doing Things with Theory: Situated Cognition in the Undergraduate Drama Classroom.” Teaching Critical Theory. Dr. Jeanmarie Higgins, ed. Routledge, forthcoming 2020.
“The Actor Problem.” Performing Consciousness. Dr. Daniel Meyer-Dinkgrafe, ed. Cambridge Scholars
Press: Cambridge 2011.
“Emotional Lifeworlds: Toward an Ontology of Acting.” Consciousness, Theatre, Literature and the Arts.
Dr. Daniel Meyer-Dinkgrafe, ed. Cambridge Scholars Press: Cambridge 2006.
“Glossary.” Performance and Cognition, Drs. Bruce McConachie and Elizabeth Hart, eds. Routledge:
Refereed Journal Articles
"Decoupling from Genocide: Erik Ehn’s Soulographie.” Comparative Drama. Forthcoming 2020.
“Bridging the Gap: Performance Studies and the Traditional Theatre Classroom.” Theatre Topics. In Revisions.
“Inventing the 100 Ways In: Teaching Difficult Texts in Difficult Times.” Theatre/Practice. In Revisions.
“Towards a Poetics of Transubstantiation: the Performance of Cape Breton Music and Dance” TDR: The
Drama Review 52.3 (2008): 44-60
“The Actor Problem: Live and Filmed Performance and Classical Cognitivism.” Consciousness and the
Arts and Literature. 5(3) December 2004.
“Time Place, Action: Mind, Brain, World: The Biophysics of the Unities.” ATHE, 2019.
“Scene Changes at the Threshold: Performance and the Borders of Time, Place, and Culture.” ATHE, 2019. (Facilitator, presenter, and curator.)
"Heal the Divide" ATHE, Boston 2018.
"Spinning Genocide: Creating Cultural Memories without Re-Traumatizing" MATC, Milwaukee, WI 2018.
"One Play, One School, the Performing Arts as a PBL-STEAM Focus in a Neuroinclusive K3-12 Setting," Annual TEC, Columbia, SC 2017.
"Performing Arts Training Integration and Attention and Cognition," SCAAE Annual Conference on Arts Integration, Columbia, SC, 2016.
"This is Your Brain on Theater: the Nootropic Effects of Performance," Performing the World, East Side Institute, NYC 2012.
"(In)Articulating Meaning: the Cognitive Poetics of Glengarry, Glen Ross," Cognition and Literature Conference, University of Connecticut, April 2006.
"The Magic As If: Acting and Our Emotional Brains," ASTR Conference, Toronto Ontario 2005.
"Emotional 'Lifeworlds': a Paradigm Shift in acting Theory," ATHE Conference, San Francisco, CA 2005.
"Homage or Sabotage? Self-Reflexive Irony and the American Musical," The American Musical, Hofstra University, 2004
"The Contemporary Political Play: Rethinking Dramaturgical Structure." by Sarah Grochala. Journal of Dramatic Theory and Criticism. Forthcoming 2020.
"Making Sense: Cognition, Computing, Art, and Embodiment." by Simon Penny (Book Review.) Consciousness and the Arts and Literature. Forthcoming December 2018.
“The Frame of Art: Fictions of Experience, 1750-1815.” by David Marshall (Book Review). Consciousness and the Arts and Literature. 8(1) April 2007.
Manuscripts in Preparation
Light It Up: Neurophenomenology, Performance, and Consciousness. Book Manuscript in Preparation.
MacPherson Off-The Grid (in submission)
Not Love Tilles Performing Arts Center, Hyannis, MA (featuring Michael Ornstein Sons of Anarchy and Neil McGarry PBS: Alexander Hamilton)2014
And Then There Was Nin Pittsburgh Repertory Theatre, Pittsburgh PA 2003; The Chernuchin Theater NYC 2003
Confessions of a Wonderbabe The Producers Club NYC 2002, The Chernuchin Theater NYC 2003 Winner Showbusiness Weekly Best of 2002
The Magdalene Project NYC International Fringe Festival, 2001, American Actors Theater, NYC 2000
Mammogram! The Musical Dixon Place, NYC 1998
Plays (in preparation)
William's Leg (a play about the "ghost hunting" of 19th century psychologist and philosopher William James)
Creature: a Multimedia, Nightmare Fantasia a multilingual, multimedia re-imagining of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein
Bat Boy the Musical Pittsburgh Musical Theatre (Pittsburgh Premiere)
And Then There Was Nin The Chernuchin NYC
Confessions of a Wonderbabe The Chernuchin NYC
The Magdalene Project The New York International Fringe Festival
Mammogram the Musical! Dixon Place, NYC
Agnes of God Stony Creek Puppet Theater, Stony Creek CT
The Trojan Women: A Love Story Pittsburgh Repertory Theatre
To Kill A Mockingbird Wellsley Players
Shakespeare in a Chair. Dramaturg/Literary Manager, 2018-Present.
Archipelago, UNCC, Guest Director Dr. Monica Ndounou
100 Dresses, Children's Theatre of Charlotte
The Giver, Children's Theatre of Charlotte
Director of New Works Series, Tilles Center for the Arts. Hyannis, MA
Good Night Desdemona, Good Morning Juliet The Footlight Club
Secondary and Middle School Directing
Godspell St. Anne School, John Paul the Great Program for the Arts
Twelfth Night, St. Anne School/JPG Program for the Arts
Sound of Music St. Anne School/JPG Program for the Arts
The Tempest St. Anne/JPG at Blumenthal
Fellowships, Grants. and Artistic Recognition
2016 York County Council for the Arts Grant Award Artist Residency for Inclusive Shakespeare Programming
2015 York County Council for the Arts Grant Award for Musical Theater Programming
2010 University of Pittsburgh, Dissertation Passed "With Distinction"
2002 Showbusiness Weekly Best-Off-Off Broadway Comedy (writer-director)
2001 University of Pittsburgh, Teaching Fellowship
2001 NYC International Fringe Festival, Rio de Janiero Fringe Festival Invitee
1995 Jordan P. Ruzan Memorial Fellowship, Williamstown Theatre Festival Acting Program
Higher Education Ad Hoc, Community-Based, Studio, and Secondary Ed Teaching
Acting I, II
Intro to Performance
Advanced Performance Composition
Voice & Movement I & II
Intro to Dramatic Literature
Theatre and Culture
Acting and the Brain
HERE NYC, Actors Workshop Boston, El Bohio NYC, New England Actors Theater, Pittsburgh Public
Acting, Audition Workshop, Dramatic Verse, Voice and Movement, Text Analysis.
Writing and Speaking for Excellence
Fine Arts & Technology
Intro to Video Design
Intro to Theatrical Design
A selection of former or current clientele
User manuals for IT Departments
Social Media Analysis
Social Media Metrics
Writing, Speaking, and Media Services
IT Manuals-Technical Writing
Sales Training Materials
Social Media Consultant
Social Media Analysis
Social Media Consultant
Social Media Analysis