Spring Update 2017Submitted by becky on Wed, 03/08/2017 - 23:14
What a whirlwind 2017 has been so far! Overall, I'm working with a giant handful of creative, brilliant, generous people. I'm incredibly blessed and inspired.
1) I am the Technical Director for Saint Leo University. It's not a position I expected, but it's an incredible opportunity to work with wonerful people in a fledgling theatre program. So far, I've developed systems to round up students for set construction and building, as well as systems to require students to work the shows. It's all help we need, and all part of learning what it means to be a theatre practitioner. I've also developed purchase lists for capital funding to support our shop, our lighting systems,a nd our sound gear. It's funny the paths we end up taking.
2) I'm Director of Puppetry for Phantasmagoria Orlando, and we have a show in the Orlando Fringe this year. We just finished out February Boot Camp. I'm having a fantastic time developing ensemble exercises that teach the fundamentals of puppetry. As we develop a base training in puppetry within the ensemble we develop the ability for the performers to initiate devised content not only as actors, but as puppeteers as well. It's an exciting step in the growth of the troupe, and an incredible opportunity for me. I'm pleased to collaborate with this talentend group of artists.
3) Also in the world of puppetry, I am teaching Puppet Design at Valencia College this semester. Last semester was Puppet Manipulation. This semester culminates in an original Spring Mainstage show called Creation - Births of Mythology, which features creation myths and, of course, puppetry. John DiDonna is the show's director, and I am directing and leadign the design of the puppetry. I'm working with some incredible student designers, and the work they are bringing to the table is superb. The show runs April 7-9 and April 13-16, 2017. I think it will be worth the trip. The students are hungry for this, and it's exciting to see.
4) I'm testing out an entirely new class structure with my Speaking for Business and the Professions class at the University of Tampa. I usually have students complete three speeches, but this semester I more than doubled the speaking assignments. The results are incredible! They're making huge strides, and I've been able to focus each assignment a little more specifically. Of course, the fact that UT has a Center for Public Speaking (equivalent to a Writing Center), makes an even bigger difference here.
5) I've developed two new Corporate Training courses! These are specifically geared towards helping your team focus on your mission statement and hear the ideas within your group. I'm utilizing creative tools I've used in theatre for more than 15 years, but shifting the focus to help businesses meet their goals. I've added the fliers to this website, and I'm already booking trainings. If you have an interest, I am available to work with your organization.
6) And finally, I just returned from an inspiring weekend in NYC. I completed the third prerequitiste for the Laban Institute of Movement Studies Certification. It was incredible. The teacher was Anastasi Siotas, and he was incredibly knowlegable about the human body and how it functions. He was generous with our questions, and I learned some foundational and important exercises to help actors and puppeteers prevent injury. I also got to see a stunning shadow perofrmance by Kimi Maeda, sponsored by The Tank. And I got to hang out with puppeteer, designer, and creator of The Depict-o-mat, (among other things) Amy Rush. She is a freelance designer in NYC, and she's doing some incredible work. Check her out!
7) Finally, I'm writing grants and looking for collaborators do develop new work. I have two original shows in the fire right now, and I'll get a chance to truly focus on them in May of this year. Updates to come when those start to crytalize!
All in all, Orlando is beautiful, and Tampa is beautiful, and NYC is beautiful (and Baltimore is beautiful). Re-entry after grad school was a lot more work than I anticipated, but the rewards are more diverse and more exciting than I could have predicted. I'm still seeking opportunities as a full time professor. I'm also interested in touring, sharing tips and teaching courses for professional speaking, puppetry, movement, and devising techniques. Above all, I'm interested in developing original theatre, and I'm seeking the best balance to support that pursuit.
Love to all.