MFA Class of 2015
Allison Caw: Allison Caw has spent the last 7 years in Philadelphia as an actor, singer, dancer, creator and teacher but is originally from Columbus, Ohio. She received her BFA in Musical Theater at The University of the Arts and attended Headlong Performance Institute. She co-founded Bright Light Theater Company and constructed/performed in several pieces that merged traditional story telling and stylized movement in site-specific locations including the woods, a loading dock and an elevator. Allison also worked with various companies in the area including Center City Opera Theater, Plays & Players and New Paradise Laboratories. As a teacher she got her start at the Please Touch Museum for children, where she acted as the Dance/Movement Specialist. Currently, Allison is a Teacher Trainee in Williamson Technique of which she is fortunate enough to learn from the founder, Loyd Williamson.
Victoria Gonzalez: Victoria Gonzalez received her BA in Philosophy in 2013 from Westminster College in Salt Lake City, Utah where she also had the opportunity to study visual and performing arts. Drawn to stories as a constant reader in her grade school years, performance fascinates her as an intersection of art forms. Among her favorite pieces to date was taking part in the creation and 2 day performance of Speaking Your Peace/Piece, a verbatim play co-authored and produced by a cohort of students and professors in a one month class at Westminster in 2012 to raise awareness of domestic abuse in Salt Lake City. She has also taken part in group instillation pieces, painted a mural or two, written a couple shorts, and paints or draws from time to time be it physically or digitally.
Stephen Geering: A native of Ohio, Stephen received his BA from Denison University in 2009. He worked as an acting intern at the Ensemble Theatre of Cincinnati during their 09-10 season. Recently, he attended Miami University working towards his MA in theatre. It was his time there that sparked a professional interest in Performance Studies, as well as electronic, multimedia, and hybridized theatre forms. His time spent at Miami teaching a Theatre Appreciation course has also kindled an interest in pedagogy, including Aesthetic Education. While attending Naropa, he is concurrently finishing his thesis on the intersection of electronic gaming and theatre. He presented Bodhisattva at 1839 Wylie Avenue: August Wilson and Buddhism at Miami's 2013 MEGAA symposium. He has performed multiple times at the Cincinnati Fringe Festival Some favorite past performances include Ahn-Sam-Bul (Ensemble), Trust, and The Doppleganger Cometh and Overtaketh. Stephen hopes that his time at Naropa will help him grow, not only as an artist, but as a scholar as well. Stephen is a member of American Mensa.
Bobbi Kaye Kupfner: A Montana based Performing Artist and Musician. She has a BA in Communications: Theatre from Montana State University-Billings. In Montana she taught competitive Speech, Drama, and Debate at a high school level and was involved with the local theatres, Venture Theatre and Billings Studio Theatre. Some of her favorite acting credits are: Macabre Steampunk Sweeney Todd, Sunset Boulevard, That Face, Is He Dead?, The Vagina Monologues, Crimes of the Heart, and HAIR. As a Director: The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged), The 39 Steps, and Venture Theatre's Annual 24-hour Wet Ink Festival. She was also an active member of the Venture Theatre Improv Troupe. Bobbi Kaye has found herself in Boulder, CO at Naropa University to pursue her MFA, it is providing the steps she hopes will lead to becoming an active traveling performer and someday college professor.
Katie Jones: Katie Jones obtained her B.A. in Performing Arts from Clemson University in South Carolina. She then spent a year interning at the Asolo Theatre in Sarasota, FL, in their Education Department. Subsequently, she moved to Chicago, where she spent the next eight years as a director, performer, puppeteer, and teacher. Katie worked with many companies during that time, including Northlight Theatre, American Theatre Company, Citadel Theatre, Von Orthal Puppets, Theatre Zarko, Steppenwolf's Cross-Town Teen Ensemble and the International Center for Women Playwrights. Katie is a founding member of Directors Lab Chicago. In 2008, she founded Wishbone Theatre Collective with other Clemson alumni. They created many original works, and most recently performed their play, SPANDEX, at the International Fringe Festival in Edinburgh, Scotland.
Kate Moore: A product of the Midwest, she comes to Boulder on an artistic quest. Kate received her BFA in acting from Ball State University where she developed an affinity for movement and experimental theater. Most recent training includes Suzuki and slow tempo with Pacific Performance Project East and Peter Kyle. Additionally, she had the pleasure of spending a summer at the Tshwane University of Technology in Pretoria, South Africa studying theater and dance. Favorite performances include the Midwest premiere of Alice Austen's The Destruction of Curves and the premiere of The Daughters of Trinity created by Professor Jennifer Blackmer and students of the BSU/Virginia Ball center.
Gabrielle Orcha: Moving to Colorado and pursuing an MFA in Theatre: Contemporary Performance has made Gabrielle the happiest she's ever been in her entire life. A recent Boston transplant, Gabrielle, while studying with Anne Waldman during Naropa's legendary summer intensive, writes in her poetry manuscript: "I have traded the ocean for the mountains, salt for salt, skyscrapers for sky. It's as if another self were birthed from this earth..." Credits include choreographing the nine month national tour of the musical adaption Call of the Wild (book and lyrics by her mentor, the late Jon Lipsky); receiving runner-up for the KCACTF National Student Playwriting Award for her play Song of Miriam, which she wrote, choreographed, directed, and produced; choreographing for regional theatre (Fiddler on the Roof, Jacques Brel—Olney Theatre, MD) and off-Broadway (The Dybbuk—Marvel Rep); and performing her ever-evolving solo show, The Gabrielle Orcha Tour de Force Dance Theatre Extravaganza. Prior to the Big Move, she helmed, for the past ten years, her dance company, Orcha Dance Theatre, which cross-navigates "opera"— Shulamis (Harvard University), Cunning Little Vixen (Boston Opera Collaborative); "concert dance"—most notably Dancing Through The Torah, an epic undertaking in which she choreographed and her dancers performed a one to three minute dance piece for each weekly Torah portion and major Jewish holiday; and lastly "straight plays"— she choreographed the American premier of Once Upon A Time by Nobel Laureate Elie Wiesel. A two-time alumna of the School at Jacob's Pillow and a 2006 graduate of Boston University with a B.F.A in Theatre and Dance, Gabrielle is delighted to be here doing what she loves: exploring, unearthing, risking, breathing, being, becoming. To the journey! And the mountains!
Ben Waugh: Recently received his BA in Theatre at Kansas Wesleyan University, where he was the recipient of the "Outstanding Theatre Performer of the Year" Award in 2013. Ben also has a past as an athlete, mainly as a runner and cheerleader, with misguided stints in football and wrestling as well. While at KWU, Ben was a member of the competitive cheer team. He has been in productions ranging from "Crimes of the Heart" to "The Odyssey." He recently produced his own production dealing with the uniquely universal aspects of love, entitled "<3"
Stephanie Wilbert: Received a B.A. in Theatre Arts from Cleveland State University where she primarily studied Voice and Movement. Since 2012, she has been working with Talespinner Children's Theatre in Cleveland, Ohio and has performed in the inaugural production of The Tale of the Name of the Tree, as well as coordinating movement/percussion for the original adaptations of Magic Flute and The Emperor's Ears. She has also spent the past year touring Ohio as an actor/teacher for The Illusion Factory. With an interest in creating performance pieces that are based on the fusion of mythological and futuristic elements, she has performed with her existentialist theatre group; A World Without Windows at both the Ingenuity Festival 2012 and Cleveland Public Theatre's Pandemonium 2011: Amuse Me. She is an Equity Membership Candidate and member of Capoeira Brasil Cleveland.
MFA Class of 2016