Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Get to Know Our New Teaching Artists!

If your kid attends one of our partner schools, if you make a habit out of joining us for our Family Workshops, or if you love TXT Marks the Spot, you have surely crossed paths with one of our incredible teaching artists! This group of talented, New York-based artists have expertise in a variety of art forms (puppetry, clowning, dance, musical theater, etc.) and are integral to our operation here at the New Vic.

For each show, the New Vic teaching artists help our Education team develop lesson plans and activities, and then facilitate in-classroom workshops, professional development for teachers, as well as our Family Workshops, Arts Express, Kids Weeks and TXT Marks the Spot events. Some of our teaching artists have worked with us for over 10 years! But with each new season, we also have the opportunity to hire new artists to join the team. Below, we've profiled the first-season teaching artists joining us this year. Look for them around the theater and get ready to learn lots from them in the coming years!

I'm Robert Stevenson and I'm a theater-maker and performer.

I'm a native New Yorker! I started doing Shakespeare when I was 14-years-old, then went to NYU and studied Educational Theatre so I could keep learning and teaching. Now I make theater for adults and young people.

As an adolescent, my favorite book was The Search for Delicious. It's about a boy who has to poll the kingdom to find what food should stand for Delicious in the royal dictionary.

One of my favorite things to do is to make things with other people. When I was a kid, my brother and I would make short movies, build forts, write stories and engineer little machines. We didn't always finish our projects, but even then we felt accomplished. I still love making things and I even keep a list of the different things I want to make -- plays, songs, puppets, lots of things! Then, when I want to start a project, I just go to the list, ask a friend if they'd like to help me, and start imagining what we could do. It's amazing what you can make if you just get started.

My name is Marisol Rosa-Shapiro. I am a theater-deviser, movement-based creator, clown, mime, performer and director.

I am a native New Yorker. After college, I went to study movement-based theater-making in Italy for three years. It was amazing--I got to live in Florence! Birthplace of the Renaissance! There, I studied movement analysis, clown, mime, martial arts, voice, acrobatic play, mask play and mask making, commedia dell'arte, tragedy, comedy, melodrama, bouffon, slapstick and much more. I completed my studies in May of 2014, and recently returned to NYC after time spent performing, facilitating and teaching in Israel and the West Bank, Jordan, Princeton and Philadelphia. It's been a delightful whirlwind!

When I was a kid I LOVED watching my VHS tape recording of Stephen Sondheim's Into The Woods and also used to watch The Wizard of Oz over and over again. I guess that I was always drawn to highly imaginative and slightly dark tales.

I am so happy to be working at the New Vic and I can't wait to meet you!

My name is Sam Gold. I am an actor, puppeteer, and theater artist, though I usually just tell people that I make stuff for the stage and for screens of various sizes.

I came to New York and the New Vic by way of Southern California, where I trained as a stage actor and Corporeal Mime before receiving a Watson Fellowship to travel the world exploring different traditions of puppetry. I’m still at it because I love it! And— in large part— because a not small number of friends, family, teachers, and colleagues along the way all encouraged me to keep going, to continue training, experimenting, making, collaborating and learning from those around me.

As a kid, these were some of my favorites: Book— the Frog and Toad series. Movie— Hot Shots! Part Deux. Play— The 8th Grade Musical Review at my middle school. Activity— Legos.

I’m looking forward to sharing that special kind of excitement found in making something out of nothing and in discovering that you can do more than you thought you could.

My name is Liz Parker and I am a performer, puppeteer, deviser and community director

At my hometown High School in West Windsor, NJ, I had the opportunity to direct a play about school shootings that concluded with an audience talk-back. After witnessing the impact of the production, I knew I wanted to pursue theater and use the theatrical experience to connect with audiences beyond the performance space.

As a little kid, I was fascinated by poems and a book called Geraldine's Blanket by Holly Keller about a little pig who won't give up her security blanket even though she's too old to carry it with her. Eventually, she turns the blanket into a dress for her doll! I guess I've always appreciated object transformation.

I hope to bring joy to New Vic families.

My name is Chesney Snow. I am a beatboxer/poet/actor/songwriter/producer.

I moved around a lot as a kid so it's hard to pinpoint exactly where I'm "from," but I identify mostly with Wisconsin, Mississippi and, of course, Brooklyn!

My favorite books as a kid were the Hardy Boys series. My favorite movie was Stand By Me and my favorite activity was writing short stories and performing them.

I look forward to sharing the magic of beatbox and human vibration through storytelling at the New Vic!

My name is Josh Rice and I'm a theater artist. Specifically, I am a puppeteer, physical theater-maker, clown and improviser.

I'm originally from Silver Lake, NY, and I got to the New Victory by way of Shakespeare's Globe in London, Geva Theatre Center in Rochester, NY, the Arkansas Arts Center Children's Theatre in Little Rock, AR, graduate school at Sarah Lawrence College-- all that sprinkled with some luck, working really hard, being nice, and doing what I love! I love being in NYC because it's an epicenter of arts and culture that I am constantly learning from and stimulated by. My favorite activity as a kid was playing outside, especially during the summer, because we could go swimming for hours in Silver Lake.

Something I'd like to share with kids and families is the idea that we all have an artist inside of us. We all can make, do, express and create. If I can empower an artist within someone to open up, imagine and play, then I feel like I've done my job as a teaching artist.

My name is Adia Tamar Whitaker. I am dancer, choreographer, vocalist, playwright, educator and visionary.

I am from San Francisco, California. I got to where I am today through the power of hard work, my ancestors, guardian angels, community and parents. I also made a decision not to believe anything anyone else had to say about who they think I am or should be, which has taken me far.

As a kid, The Wiz was my bible. I also loved Kindred by Octavia Butler-- it changed my life. I grew up memorizing music videos and making up dances with my friends.

As a teaching artist, I want to remind NYC kids and families that "it's a beautiful world out there," like my grandma Dot always says.

My name is Jamie Dibos Roach. I am an actor/playwright/filmmaker/physical actor.

I am originally from San Diego, California. I am here following many travels (across 6 continents) and interactions with incredible people along the way. I am here in New York to collaborate with inspiring artists, to create beautiful and fun art that asks important questions to find ways to better serve the world at large.

My favorite activity as a kid was theater! Particularly, acting. My favorite play as a kid was my first, Oliver! I loved singing out without any judgment of myself or artistic merit back then.

To families and kids, I'd like to say that I am just as much an explorer and learner as you are. I hope you can teach me things and help me to learn from your perspective, as well as allow me to share mine. I hope that we can discover new ideas together and create beautiful moments of artistry together that contain joy.

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