I am the first certified Margolis Method Instructor in the United States, following 10 years of study and close work with Kari Margolis. I served as director of education and outreach for Margolis Brown Adaptors for three years, developing and overseeing numerous arts learning projects and community partnerships: Children’s Theater Company, Elliot Park NRP, The Weisman and Downtown Open School. My teaching experience ranges from working with developmentally disabled students, to teaching mime on a Navajo reservation, to serving as guest instructor for the Leadership in Education doctoral program at the University of St. Thomas. I have taught for the Walker Art Center, Upstream Arts, Park Square Theatre, Circus Juventas, and numerous schools throughout the Twin Cities. I have served as affiliate faculty at the University of Minnesota since 2001.
I teach that acting must be, first and foremost, an embodied experience. Tactics, subtext, a character’s history, emotions, and even imagination are all invisible until the actor uses her body to make them visible to an audience. Performance is presence – physical, intellectual, emotional – and theater is a unique event in which the presence of audience and actors is shared in the space. Theater is uniquely alive when the space between actors is dynamic, shaped by the intentions and energies of the performers. Energy is a tangible entity that bodies in space emit and receive in a continuous flow. Emotion has weight and force and our bodies feel the pressures of relationships – the push and pull. Theater is in this charged space.
My pedagogy comes from the Margolis Method. The Margolis Method is a dynamic physical approach to theater that places the actor at the center of the creative process. Students learn to improvise with their bodies and voices as instruments just as jazz musicians improvise. They practice “scales” of physical articulation, changes of rhythm and density, and a heightened awareness of the actor’s energy and relationship to space. Then they improvise from these scales. Through continuous practice in various dramatic contexts students gain psychophysical and creative agility, a deeper sense of momentum and suspense, and an articulated awareness of their physicality as a continuous flow of choices that express need, emotion, idea and metaphor.
Affiliate Faculty/Curriculum Liaison, University of Minnesota Department of Theatre and Dance, BA Theatre Arts Program. 2001-present. Luverne Seifert, contact.
Movement Coach, U of M/Guthrie Theater BFA Actor Training Program, Sophomore Shakespeare Projects 2010, 2012 – Present.
Margolis Method Certified Instructor and Master Teacher. 1996 – present.
M.O.V.E. 2010, Master Teacher for acting workshops, Arizona State University January 2010, Rachel Bowditch, contact.
Park Square “Immersion Days” Master Teacher. 1999 – present. Mary Finnerty, Director of Education, contact.
Upstream Arts Theater Workshops for people with disabilities (all ages) Instructor, Curriculum Design Team. 2007 – 2009. Julie Guidry, contact.
Arts Partnership with St Paul Central High PASS Team 1. 1998 – 2005. Project Director, Instructor.
Annenberg Arts Partnership. Program Director, instructor. Southwest High School 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004
Mime Instructor, Saint Paul Academy and Summit School. 1998 – present. Mary Kay Orman, contact.
Artist-in-Residence at University of Nevada Las Vegas Dance and Theatre Department, June 2003. Dr. Jeffrey Koep, contact.
We the People – Developing Democracy through Ensemble Theater, Instructor and Program Development, Program Director, Minnesota Arts eXperience 1999, 2000, 2001.
Artist-in-Residence at schools throughout Twin Cities 1989 – 2002