My love for teaching studio and scholarly courses in theater is based on my own diverse performance training at the undergraduate and graduate level, artistic work as a director, professional background in clinical social work, and academic research that analyzes theater-making and its social, political, and aesthetic impact through an interdisciplinary framework. The majority of my acting courses at UC Berkeley teach action-based, psychological realism in relationship to dramatic texts. I have also taught devised performance and psychophysical, intercultural techniques that draw upon environmental theater, classical South Asian performance theory, yoga, and contemporary science on affect and emotions. I can teach Shakespeare and other heightened text, the actor’s relationship with multiple Western genres and styles, movement for the stage, improvisation, audition techniques, and theory and practice in stage direction. My own performance training is considerable, including many conservatory courses in various acting genres, voice for the stage, and an array of movement-based practices such as Rasaboxes, Laban/Barteneiff, modern dance, and contact improvisation.
At Berkeley I’ve designed and taught scholarly courses in theater that have covered introduction to theater, canonical western drama, the history of the 20th Century avant-grade, representation of race, ethnicity, gender, and disability, postdramatic theater, how to research live theater, madness and performance, and introduction to performance studies. At Stanford I collaborated with a team of faculty and professional guest artists to teach students over the course of a year how to critically engage a wide range of art practice, including theater, dance, music, painting, photography, sculpture, and poetry, through praxis, reading, and writing. All of my courses have emphasized a liberal arts framework designed to be accessible and compelling to a diverse range of students.
I greatly enjoy working with student actors, designers, and faculty on theater productions. I have directed theater at the collegiate level in a variety of spaces and styles with different budgets. My last production, The Interrogation, at Stanford University, was a successful cabaret that brought together various departments and included students and professional artists-in-residence. My last two shows at UC Berkeley were awarded recognition for outstanding artistic accomplishment. When working at a university, my choice of text or subject matter and directorial vision is firmly guided by the institution’s curricular needs, resources, and community interests. Regardless of budget constraints, I believe that there is always room for exciting exploration, whether that may be examining a potent political, aesthetic, or community issue, pushing traditional expectations with postdramatic strategies, or pursuing the deep application of a specific performance technique.
I consistently find students to be passionate and eager to experiment and grow. I emphasize ensemble learning that is supportive and encourages risk-taking. My student evaluations from both onstage and the classroom reflect high enthusiasm and experiences of self-growth.