Featured Member Archive

February 2017

Sonya Smith

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Sonya Smith

Featured: October 2014

After ten years dancing professionally in the San Francisco Bay Area, both on the ground and in the air, Sonya returned to the academy to pursue an MFA in Dance from CU Boulder. She is the first MFA candidate on the Aerial Dance Track, with research including aerial pedagogy, including somatic applications to aerial dance; gender in aerial performance; and historical and aesthetic roots of aerial dance. Smith’s choreography for dance, theater productions and film has been presented in Portland, Kansas City, and San Francisco, and Boulder, often combining aerial apparatus, props, modern dance and contact improvisation. In her time in San Francisco between she was honored to work with incredible Bay Area artists including, Zaccho Dance Theater, Lizz Roman and Dancers, Project Bandaloop, Dance Brigade, Rapt Performance Group, Kim Epifano/Epiphany Productions, and Eat Cake Productions. In Colorado she has worked with Gesel Mason Performance Project, Michelle Ellsworth and Kim Olsen's Sweet Edge. In the Bay Area and in Colorado her theater work includes roles in Mary Zimmerman's Metamorphoses (Aphrodite and others), Macbeth (Lady MacDuff), Singin' in the Rain (diction coach and featured dancer), Cinderella Enchanted (featured aerialist) and Peter Pan (Liza and others). As a member of the Board of Directors, she coordinated construction of CounterPULSE’s new theater space in the SOMA district of San Francisco. Her work continues to be a fiscally sponsored project of CounterPULSE. Smith obtained a BA in Biology, with a minor in dance, and began dancing professionally in Minneapolis, before moving to Portland, OR, and finally the Bay Area.

Anne James

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Anne James

Featured: October 2014

As an Associate Professor of Voice and Movement at California State University, Fullerton, Anne James offers over 25 years as a professional “working” actor in theatre, television, film and commercials in New York, Los Angeles and throughout the regions. She combines this professional experience as a performer with secondary specializations in voice/speech/movement, comedy, character transformation, physical theatre, and period styles. Previous teaching assignments include Rutgers University School of Mason Gross, NYU/Playwrights Horizons Theater School, Loyola University New Orleans, Marymount Manhattan College, The Neighborhood Playhouse, and South Coast Repertory. Anne is co-creator of the Vocal Health & Safety program at Disney Entertainment Productions and serves as a corporate performance consultant to business professionals. Acting credits include: Television and Film: “Law & Order SVU” (Recurring-5 seasons), “90210”, “Amelia’s 25th”, “No Names”, “Ed”, “Spin City”, “Guiding Light”, “Double Platinum”, “Good Bye Miss Fortune”, “Tennessee In the Summer” (BBC), “Generations”, “Flatliners”. Theater: W.P.A (Off-Broadway), Playmaker’s Repertory Theatre, Virginia Stage, Alabama Shakespeare Festival, Lincoln Center Directors Lab, New York Theatre Workshop, Utah Shakespeare Festival, Laguna Playhouse. Comedy/Improv/Sketch: Caroline’s Comedy Club, Upright Citizens Brigade, Chicago City Limits. Anne is also an Associate Teacher of Fitzmaurice Voice Work and a Certified Yoga Instructor. The integration of both of these disciplines allows her to bring a wellness and physical conditioning component to all of her classes. She also serves as a Student Mental Health Faculty Liaison at CSUF. Professional associations include: SAG/AFTRA, AEA, the Voice and Speech Teachers Association (VASTA), and the Association of Movement Theatre Educators (ATME). A native of California, Anne received her M.F.A. from UC Irvine and a B.A. from California State University, Fullerton.

Jeff Mills

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Jeff Mills

Featured: October 2014

Jeff Mills is an actor, movement artist, director, teacher and musician. Jeff holds an MFA from the National Theatre Conservatory in Denver, CO and he best known for his work with the award winning BOXTALES Theatre Company in Santa Barbara. As a core member of BOXTALES, Jeff co-created ten original works in as many years including his direction of OM: An Indian Tale of Good and Evil (The Ramayana) and his portrayal of Odysseus in The Odyssey. Jeff and BOXALES have toured their innovative theater for young audiences throughout the U.S. and in Mexico. Nationally and internationally, Jeff has acted with the Denver Center Theater Company, Theatre de la Jeune Lune, American Folklore Theater, Colorado Shakespeare Festival, Door Shakespeare Festival, Seattle Shakespeare Festival, Wooden O Theater, the International City Theater, Shakespeare Santa Cruz, Pominencer Census (Munich,) the Estudia Busqueda de Pantomima Teatro (Guanajuato, MX) and Theater Mitu/Visthar Center (Bangalore, India.) In Santa Barbara Jeff has acted and/or directed with several companies including PCPA Theaterfest, Shakespeare Santa Barbara, Speaking of Stories, Genesis West, Dramatic Women, Lit Moon Theater, Santa Barbara City College, and the Santa Barbara Summer Solstice. In 2004 Jeff appeared on a thirty foot screen as Tristan in Bill Viola's and Peter Sellars' production of the opera Tristan and Isolde which was performed at the Disney Hall in Los Angeles, the Opera National in Paris and the Lincoln Center in New York. Some favorite recent rolls include Macbeth, Edward in Henry VI part 3, Carlotta in the Cherry Orchard and Hamlet in Lit Moon's Hamlet (which is touring to Beijing in October 2014 and Macedonia and Albania in July of 2014.) Directing credits include Mary Zimmerman's Arabian Nights, Sarah Ruhl's Eurydice, the Trojan Women, Piezoelectric Love: The (half) Life of Marie Curie (a piece conceived and co-devised with playwright Valerie Slitor) Twelfth Night, Much Ado About Nothing, A Midsummer Night's Dream, A Comedy of Errors and The Tempest. Jeff is currently working with his new company Proboscis, creating original works of mask and physical theater exploring Science, Shakespeare, Vaudeville and other flights of fancy. Proboscis is currently developing an ensemble puppet piece about Federico Fellini entitled La La La Strada. He also produces and co-creates a podcast/radio variety program called Live from the Piano Kitchen which can be downloaded from Itunes! Jeff currently teaches movement and acting at the University of California Santa Barbara.

Gene Gibbons

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Gene Gibbons

Featured: October 2014

Gene teaches theatre at Concordia University.

January 2017

Joann Browning

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Joann Browning

Featured: November 2013

Joann Browning is Professor of Theatre at the University of Delaware, currently serving as Senior Associate Dean for the Arts in the College of Arts and Sciences as well as  resident choreographer and movement coach for UD’s Resident Ensemble Players (REP). Trained as a dancer with her BFA and MFA in Dance from Southern Methodist University, she danced professionally with the Kathryn Posin Dance Company in New York, James Sutton and Dancers, Repertory Dance Company of the Southwest, Milwaukee Dance Theatre, Dancers Unlimited, and Thunderclap Productions. Theatrical choreographic credits include The Alley Theatre (Houston), the Delaware Theatre Company, Enchantment Theatre (Philadelphia), and Baltimore Shakespeare Company. Guest teaching artist residencies include Utah Repertory Dance Theatre, the Milwaukee Ballet, the American College Dance Festival, and several universities around the country. She has conducted movement workshops throughout the U.S. and internationally in London, Japan, Thailand, Toronto, Montreal, as well as for The Voice Foundation of Philadelphia. Professor Browning has served on the faculty of the Dance Division at SMU, and was formerly Head of Dance and Acting Associate Dean of Fine Arts at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She has served as a theatre and dance adjudicator for the Maryland State Arts Council, the Wisconsin Arts Board, and the Delaware Division of the Arts, and was appointed by the governor to the Delaware State Arts Council in the fall of 2008.

Diana Moller-Marino

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Diana Moller-Marino

Featured: November 2013

Diana Moller-Marino is an Associate Professor at the Hartt School, a conservatory program at the University of Hartford. At Hartt, Diana teaches acting with a movement emphasis – working primarily with the Nine Viewpoints and Laban. In addition, she directs plays and musical. Diana has been a Guest Teaching Artist at many institutions including: Wesleyan University, The University of Utah, Trinity College, Santa Barbara City College, Red Lotus Movement Center (Salt Lake City) and at the cultural centers on the islands of Santiago and San Vicente in Cape Verde, Africa. Diana has been the Chair of Theatre at Wesleyan University’s Center for Creative Youth since 1997. For the past several years, Diana has guided ten students at Wesleyan University in scripting and performing autobiographical monologs on issues of identity for the university’s freshman orientation. Diana is an associate editor for The Player’s Journal, a periodical for practitioners and teachers of theatre (ATHE) and associate editor for the ATME newsletter. Diana earned a bachelor’s degree with honors in theatre from Wesleyan University and a master’s degree in directing from Emerson College.

Ezra LeBank

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Ezra LeBank

Featured: November 2013

Ezra is the Head of Movement and Assistant Professor of Theatre Arts at California State University, Long Beach. He is also the Director of the AcroYoga Research Institute. His dynamic partnering experience is rooted in yoga, dance, biomechanics, and circus acrobatics. In addition to founding AYRI, he is an advanced registered yoga teacher with Yoga Alliance, and a Russian-trained Biomechanics Instructor. Through over 13 years of professional experience, he has performed and taught worldwide at universities, festivals, conferences, and studios including The Juilliard School, Purchase College, The University of Montana, Portland State University, Smith College, B Yoga, Namaste Yoga, Spot Yoga, The Yoga Fitness Center, PUSH Physical Theatre, Seattle Acro, Yoga Slackers, Pilobolus Dance Theatre, Daniel Scott Yoga, and many more.

Bruce Lecure

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Bruce Lecure

Featured: November 2013

Bruce Lecure holds the rank of Professor and is Head of Movement Training for the Department of Theatre Arts and the Jerry Herman Ring Theatre at the University of Miami. His movement curriculum includes: basic movement skills for the actor, physical characterization, unarmed combat, weapons, period style movement, and mask work.  Mr. Lecure created the “Actor’s Biomechanics Lab”, the first physical assessment system of its kind in theatre movement education.  In 2004, Mr. Lecure was awarded the University of Miami’s “Excellence in Teaching Award”. His varied career as an actor, teacher, author, movement coach, fight director, and stage director have taken him to cities throughout the country. Locally, Mr. Lecure has directed plays and musicals for the Caldwell Theatre Company (Carbonell Award Nomination for Best Director and Best Play), New Theatre, Florida Stage, GableStage, City Theatre, and the Jerry Herman Ring Theatre. He has directed fights for The Asolo Repertory Theatre, The Shakespeare Theatre of Washington D.C., the Paper Mill Playhouse of NJ, the Coconut Grove Playhouse, Florida Grand Opera, Dreamer's Theatre Company, City Theatre, the Caldwell Theatre Company as well as other theatres throughout the country. Mr. Lecure is a member of SDC, the Stage Directors and Choreographers’ Society, the professional union for stage directors. He is also a member of AEA, SAG, and AFTRA having appeared on stage, as well as in national and regional commercials, industrial films, and voiceovers throughout the country. Mr. Lecure is a Certified Teacher and Certified Fight Director with the Society of American Fight Directors (SAFD). He is also a Past-President of the Association of Theatre Movement Educators (ATME), the national stage movement organization, and was awarded the prestigious “ATME Outstanding Service Award” in 2002. He has published over twenty articles on theatre movement in Theatre Topics, Teaching Theatre, Southern Theatre, The ATME News, Stage Directions, and The Fight Master. Mr. Lecure has also taught at Southern Methodist University, University of Kentucky, Interlochen Arts Academy, Idyllwild Arts Academy, Mountain View College, and in the Kentucky Governor’s Scholars Program. He holds a BA degree in Theatre from the University of Missouri-Kansas City and received his MFA from Southern Methodist University Professional Actor’s Training Program in Dallas, TX where he studied under Jim Hancock.

December 2016

Chelsea Pace

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Chelsea Pace

Featured: October 2013

Teacher of movement, acting, and stage combat at Arizona State University. Performance artist and director/choreographer of ensemble devised physical work. Founder and artistic director of Brokenleg Collective Research Interest: The methodology and ethics of staging intimacy within the constructs and power structures of a university environment.

Rachel Bowditch

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Rachel Bowditch

Featured: October 2013

  Rachel Bowditch (Artistic Director of Vessel) Ph.D. is a performer, theatre director, an Associate Professor, and Head of the MFA in Performance in the School of Film, Dance and Theatre in the Herberger Institute of Design and the Arts at Arizona State University. She has a unique international background growing up and living overseas for 18 years. A U.S. citizen but born in Rome, Italy she lived in Italy, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Jakarta, Indonesia, Singapore, Tel Aviv, London, Paris, France, upstate New York, New York City and currently Phoenix, Arizona since 2006. Living in Asia and Europe during her formative years and her extensive international travels has deeply connected her to a theater far removed from American Realism. Her studies at Skidmore College, the British American Drama Academy (BADA), Dell’ Arte School of Physical Theatre, Ecole de Jacques Lecoq International School of Physical Theatre, Suzuki and Viewpoints with Anne Bogart and the SITI Company, and becoming one of the six certified instructors in the rasaboxes actor training technique have helped her move toward achieving her vision of theater. She received her Masters degree and Ph.D. in Performance Studies, Tisch School of the Arts at New York University in 2006. Richard Schechner was her dissertation director. Since 1996, as the artistic director of Vessel, she has presented original work in New York City at HERE Performing Arts Center, the American Living Room Festival, the Ontological-Hysteric Downstairs Series, the Philadelphia Fringe Festival, the New York International Independent Film Festival at Madison Square Garden, the GenArt Summer Arts Festival, the New York International Fringe Festival, The Kitchen, Mixed Blood in Minneapolis, the Mesa Contemporary Arts Center, Scottsdale Museum of Modern Art, the Phoenix Art Museum, Taliesin West, and Tempe Center for the Arts among other venues. Her site-specific 'atmospheric' performances Transfix, Spectrum, Chrome, Aurora, Equinox, and Abraxa have been presented with over 60 performers in over 30 venues and site-specific locations from Times Square, Grand Central, Central Park, Tompkins Square Park, Sedona, Arizona and Imperial Dunes, California among other sites. Vessel has been commissioned by Mesa Performing Arts Center’s Festival of Creativity (March 2012) and SPARK (2013 and 2015), Scottsdale Public Art for The Art of Maintenance: Fish Herding on the Scottsdale Canal (January 2010), Spectrum: A Winter Solstice Sunset Ritual and Community Waterfall for the Soleri Bridge Dedication (2010), Still Life at the PHX Art Museum (2014), the opening of the I.D.E.A. Children’s Museum in Mesa, and featured on the cover of the Visit Mesa visitor’s guide (2014). In 2010, her retrospective at the Monorchid Gallery in Downtown Phoenix featured photographs by Chris Loomis, a live video remix of Transfix by Adam Cooper-Terán, live sound sculpture by Glenn Weyant, a live remix of T.S. Eliot’s The Wasteland by Logan Phillips, installation art by Saskia Jorda and Simon De Aguero, and the live performance of Transfix. With a $25,000 National Endowment for the Arts grant, she directed the world premiere of The Sun Serpent with Childsplay written by José Cruz González and composed by Daniel Valdez (Teatro Campasino) at the Tempe Center for the Arts in October 2011 and remounted as the featured performance of the Second's Festival at Mixed Blood in Minneapolis in 2014. The production was featured in American Theatre (January 2012).  It received 11 Arizoni Award nominations and won 6 for Best Direction, Best Costume/Masks, Best Lighting, Best Sound, Best Set, and Best Overall Professional Production in 2011. At ASU she has directed Sophie Treadwell’s Machinal, Naomi Iizuka’s Anon(ymous), Deborah Stein's Bone Portraits and The House of the Spirits (Caridad Svich based on the novel by Isabel Allende) on the Galvin Mainstage. Bone Portraits was voted as one of the best shows in Phoenix for 2009 for “Innovative Design and Staging” in the Arizona Republic. Her innovative use of multi-media in Sophie Treadwell’s Machinal and her original work The Ophelia Project have been featured in Live Design (October 2008) and American Theatre (January  2009). In November 2013, she directed Asylum, an immersive site-specific performance at the historic Ice House, the first immersive performance of its kind in Phoenix.   Her performance and directing work has been featured and reviewed in American Theatre, the New York Times, Rolling Stone, Theatre Journal, TDR, Live Design, The Village Voice, Newsweek, the Wall Street Journal, Channel 8/PBS, ABC 15 News, and the Arizona Republic among other publications. As a performance studies scholar, her work intersects experimental performance, ritual, festival and utopian theory, and movement pedagogy. Her two books include On the Edge of Utopia: Performance and Ritual at Burning Man (University of Chicago Press/Seagull Books 2010) and Festive Bodies: Performing Utopia and Resistance in the Americas co-edited with Pegge Vissicaro (Forthcoming University of Chicago Press/Seagull Books). She presents both her scholarship and theatre research at conferences nationally and internationally. A complete profile of her artistic and scholarly work can be seen at www.rachelbowditch.com and www.vesselproject.org.

Holly Cate

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Holly Cate

Featured: October 2013

Jeff Casazza

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Jeff Casazza

Featured: October 2013

November 2016

Matt Saltzberg

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Matt Saltzberg

Featured: September 2013

Matt Saltzberg holds a Ph.D. in Theatre from the University of Missouri; an M.A. in Theatre Performance from Long Island University; and a B.A. Theatre Performance from Susquehanna University. He has taught at St. Lawrence University, the University of Missouri, and Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. As a practitioner, professor, and scholar, Saltzberg’s primary foci are acting (Stanislavski, Suzuki/Viewpoints, and Composition) and directing, as well as physical theatre, avant-garde/experimental theatre, and performance theory. His work focuses on physical methods of performance training and performance making, empathy, performance and neuroscience, and the integration of theory and practice. His scholarship has been featured in Ecumenica, Theatre Research International, Journal of Religion and Theatre, Text and Performance Quarterly, and Liminalities; he is currently working on an essay for the ATME-initiated Physical Dramaturgy collection under consideration at Routledge. A member of SDC, directing credits include Iphigenia and Other Daughters (which was selected to perform at the Region I Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival, and for which Saltzberg receive a KCACTF Meritorious Award for Outstanding Choreography); Time Stands Still; The Glass Menagerie; Agnes of God; The Goat or, Who is Sylvia?; Sleuth; and Sister Mary Ignatius Explains It All For You. Saltzberg has taken part in LaMaMa ETC’s International Symposium for Directors in Spoleto, Italy; Grotowski Movement Training with Stephen Wangh; and Michael Chekhov Technique Teacher Training with the Michael Chekhov Association (MICHA); and has completed residencies at SUNY Potsdam, Mercyhurst University, and Stephens College. Saltzberg has served as Secretary of the Association for Theatre Movement Educators since 2012 and currently serves as President of the Board of Trustees of Independent Actors Theatre. Saltzberg is currently an MFA in Directing candidate at Western Illinois University. www.mattsaltzberg.com

Kurt Heinlein

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Kurt Heinlein

Featured: September 2013

Kurt is a working member of Actors Equity Association (AEA), and Screen Actors Guild/American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA). He is Vice President of the Association of Theatre Movement Educators, and an active member of The Society of American Fight Directors, Fight Directors Canada, and the Stuntments Association. Kurt also currently serves as the national FDC Representative within ATME and as the Missouri Representative to SAFD. Kurt has performed and directed extensively since completing his MFA in Acting from the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM), with union performance credits that include New York, national tours, regional theatre, daytime drama, film, commercial print, and over 25 national television spots, as well as directing credits that include New York, regional, and university theatre. His stunt, aerial, and combat work have been seen in daytime drama, national commercials, and in the professional and educational theatre circuits. Kurt is credited for being a foundational member in the development of the neutral body technique. He is also a specialist in ropes work and high falls. Kurt completed his Ph.D. in theatre from Louisiana State University and has been awarded several grants and awards for his work in Green Theatre. In recent years he has published Green Theatre (book) and Evangeline Drowning (play). He maintains a consistent dedication to environmental education, noted by his volunteer work for The Nature Conservancy, The National Park Service, and the SAG sponsored BookPals Literacy Program.

Adam Noble

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Adam Noble

Featured: September 2013

Adam has worked as a professional actor and a movement specialist for 20 years, performing in New York City, as well as regionally across the United States, and abroad. He holds a B.A. from the University of California at Berkeley, and an M.F.A. from the University of Washington in Seattle. He studied extensively with Steve Pearson and Robyn Hunt of the Pacific Performance Project/east, who studied with Tadashi Suzuki and his company at Toga-Mura for nearly 15 years, before bringing their own “Physical Approaches to Performance” to the United States. Adam has been blessed to work with and learn from amazing actors and movement artists such as Seydulla Molkakhanov and Boris Gafurov of the Ilkhom Theatre of Mark Weil (Uzbekistan), Le Vu Long of Together Higher (Vietnam), Sergei Ostrenko (Ukraine), and Paata Tsikurishvili and Irina Tsikurishvili of Synetic Theater in Washington, DC. He has worked with numerous companies including The Kennedy Center, The Public Theater, Lincoln Center Directors Lab, Indiana Repertory Theatre, Opera Carolina, Seattle Repertory Theatre, The Actor’s Playground, The Ilkhom Theatre of Mark Weil, P.S. 122, Opera Omaha, Julliard, The Jacobs School, Island Stage Left, Cardinal Stage Company, Seattle Opera, Indiana Festival Theatre, Washington Ensemble Theatre, Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival and the Dayton Opera. He is the co-founder and artistic director of the Dynamic Presence Project, a company focused on the revitalization and proliferation of movement theatre and physical storytelling. As a freelance movement consultant, Adam has helped to shape, build ensemble, and construct movement vocabularies for operatic, cinematic and theatrical projects. Adam has taught movement at Indiana University, California State University of Fresno, and the University of Washington. He has taught master classes at the Houston Grand Opera, Illinois State University, the University of Nebraska at Omaha, Rice University, Earlham College, The SOMA Theatre Collective, and Central Washington University. Adam is a member of the Actors Equity Association, a Fight Director and Certified Teacher with the Society of American Fight Directors, and the Treasurer for the Association of Theatre Movement Educators. He is a trained stuntman who has taught movement and stage combat both nationally and internationally, and he has choreographed the violence for over 100 stage and film productions.

Annette Thornton

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Annette Thornton

Featured: September 2013

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