Emilya Cachapero joined Theater Communications Group in 1991 after nine years as the Conservatory Director for the American Conservatory Institute followed by a year as an associate director for the Non Traditional Casting Project. She also played an integral role in creating and producing the San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival and also currently serves on the US National Commission for UNESCO board and on UNESCO's Young Professional Program. Her role as TCG Director of Artistic Programs has involved many of the travel grants it awards, particularly the ones given in conjunction with the International Theater Institute—where she is a member of the executive committee and board. These awards are meant to "foster cultural exchange and artistic partnerships between theatre professionals in the United States and their counterparts in Russia and Eastern and Central Europe." She has said of these grants that they "represent worthy projects and goals and are prime examples of international artistry at work." Cachapero's commitment to international collaboration is longstanding. In her past work with the International Theater Institute she was project manager for the New Project Group's production of The Borges Project, an eight country collaboration that opened the Manila International Theatre Festival and performed during the ITI World Congress. She also produced the group's 2008 project IfDENITY for the Congress in Madrid. (Spring 2017)
Bonnie Bainbridge Cohen is a movement artist, researcher, educator, therapist and developer of the Body-Mind
Centering® (BMCSM) approach to movement and consciousness. BMCSM is an exploration
of how we embody our body systems, tissues and cells as well as our developmental
movement patterns and embryological development. In 1973 she founded The School for
Body-Mind Centering®. Her work has influenced the fields of dance, bodywork, yoga,
body psychotherapy, infant and child development and many other body-mind disciplines.
She is the author of the book, Sensing, Feeling and Action and numerous DVDs on dance,
embodied anatomy, embryology and working with children with special needs.
Ami Dayan is a Boulder based Israeli-American playwright, director, actor, and instructor. He
has studied, and worked professionally in the United States, Europe, and Israel. His
play The End received the 2002 Westword Award for Best Original Script. His production
of MASKED garnered him the 2006 Westword Award for Best Actor in a Drama, before transferring
Off Broadway were NY Magazine noted it as one of the three Theatrical Events of the
Year (2007). Other Off Broadway credits include Nobel Laureate Dario Fo's A Tale of
a Tiger, Aland Drury's The Man Himself, Oren Neeman's Conviction (subsequently developed
into a film by director Steve Klein), and Iddo Netanyahu's A Happy End. His Colorado
productions include Master Class, Reason, and Betrayal. Recently Ami was seen in the
role of Tevye in a revival of Jerome Robbins staging of Fiddler on the Roof.
(Spring 2016, Fall 2016)
Barbara Dilley is a dancer, performance artist, improvisor, choreographer and educator, best known
for her work as a prominent member of Merce Cunningham Dance Company (1963-68), and
then with the ground-breaking dance and performance ensemble The Grand Union (1967-76).
She has taught movement and dance at Naropa University since 1974, developing a pedagogy
that emphasizes what she calls "embodied awareness", an approach that combines dance
and movement studies with meditation, "mind training", and improvisational composition.
Erik Ehn is an American playwright and director,and currently Director of Writing for Performance
at Brown University. His published works includeThe Saint Plays, No Time Like the
Present, Wolf at the Door, Tailings, Beginner, and Ideas of Good and Evil. & The Soulographie
project, a series of 17 plays written over 20 years, on the history of the US in the
20th Century from the point of view of its genocides (produced at La MaMa, NY, November
2012). He conducts annual trips to Rwanda/Uganda, bringing teams to study the history
there and explore ways art is participating in recovery from violence. Artistic Director,
Tenderloin Opera Company which generates new works of music-theater by, for and about
people who are homeless/homeless advocates and Producer of Arts in the One World Conference,
which engages themes of art and social change.
(Fall 2015, 2016-2017)
Gaylon Ferguson, PhD, graduated from Exeter, Yale University, and Stanford University. He received a doctorate in cultural anthropology at Stanford. A senior teacher (Acharya) in the Shambhala Buddhist tradition, he has led meditation retreats for thirty-three years and teaches mindfulness in prisons. As a core faculty member at Naropa University, he teaches both Religious and Interdisciplinary Studies. He has authored several books includingNatural Bravery: Fear and Fearlessness as a Direct Path of Awakening (2016), andNatural Wakefulness: Discovering the Wisdom We Were Born With.
Leigh Fondakowski was the Head Writer of The Laramie Project and has been a member of Tectonic Theater
Project since 1995. She is an Emmy nominated co-screenwriter for the adaptation of
The Laramie Project for HBO, and a co-writer of The Laramie Project: Ten Years Later.
Other original plays include: The People's Temple, based on interviews with the survivors
of 1978 Jonestown tragedy, which premiered under her direction at Berkeley Repertory
Theater and received the Will Glickman Award for Best New Play in 2005; I Think I
Like Girls, which premiered at Encore Theater in San Francisco and was voted one of
the top 10 plays of 2002 by The Advocate; SPILL, a play and art installation (co-created
with visual artist Reeva Wortel) based on interviews with the people of southern Louisiana
in the wake of the BP oil disaster; and Casa Cushman, a new play about the hidden
love between women in the 19th-century. Leigh is a 2007 recipient of the NEA/TCG Theatre
Residency Program for Playwrights, a 2009 Macdowell Colony Fellow, and a 2010 Imagine
Fund Fellow at the University of Minnesota. Stories from Jonestown, her first work
of creative non-fiction was published by the University of Minnesota Press in 2013.
(Spring 2015, Fall 2016)
Gary Grundei is a composer, pianist and teacher whose music has been heard at the Kennedy Center,
Denver Center Theatre Company, New York Stage and Film, Boulder Theater, Ogden Theatre,
Boulder’s Chautauqua Community House, Vintage Theatre, Occidental College, and The
Ohio State University. He also writes for and plays with the band High Fiction, and
directs goldenLotus studio in Lafayette. Gary has been a frequent guest faculty with
Naropa's MFA program since its inception, teaching Music Composition For Performance,
Improvisation, Music-Theatre, and as musical director/compose/arranger for numerous
productions including Celebration Service with Meredith Monk and The Tempest and NOW
(for something completely different) with Stephen Wangh.
Geoffrey Hyland, Head of Theatre and Performance Programmes at the University of Cape Town in South
Africa, directs theatre, opera and dance professionally and teaches a wide range of
courses with a special focus on the staging of gender and sexual politics in theatrical
productions. He has taught in Canada (Associate Teacher, Professional Actors Lab,
Toronto), the UK, New Zealand and the USA, and directing work has been seen in Ireland,
Germany and Peru. Directing highlights include Madame de Sade, Les Liaisons Dangereuses,
Women Beware Women, Wounds to the Face, Slowly, Opera 5:20, Kissed By Brel, Blood
Wedding, as well as numerous productions of Shakespeare. Geoff’s teaching is focused
on acting and directing technique. In his current practice he makes extensive use
of David Rotenberg’s acting terminology and methods, employing these specifically
in the area of heightened text and acting in extension.
Xu Jiali has studied Beijing Opera since she was 10 and worked for Shanghai Beijing Opera Company
for two and half years. In 2003, she went to Singapore to take a three-year course
in Theatre Training and Research Program with full scholarship, studying various western
acting methods and traditional theatre performances of India, Japan and Indonesia
under David Zinder, Robin Payne, Kanze Yoshimasa, William Sun, Cao Lusheng. She directed
and performed a solo performance Karaoke Medea, directed Dario Fo'sMichele Lu Lanzone,
and made a solo performance Shakuntala integrating Beijing Opera and Indian Kutiyattom
Elements. Now she works in International Cooperation Centre at Shanghai Theatre Academy,
and taught Beijing Opera classes in the US, UK，Italy, Australia, Romania and Bulgaria.
Dr. Baron Kelly is the Director of the African American Theatre Program at the University of Louisville.
He is a three-time Fulbright Scholar and a member of the National Theatre Conference.
He earned his PhD in Theatre from the University of Wisconsin - Madison, a diploma
from London's Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, and an MFA in Acting from California
State University Long Beach. He has traveled extensively as a Cultural Specialist
for the United States Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs teaching and lecturing
on the theatre in Russia; Scandinavia; Africa; Europe; and Asia. He has been a fellow
at Harvard University's W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for African American Research. Currently,
he serves on the boards of both the Comparative Drama Conference and Stanislavsky
Institute. Acting assignments include Broadway (Salome and Electra); Royal National
Theatre of Great Britain; Stratford Shakespeare Festival of Canada; Edinburgh Theatre
Festival. Over thirty of America's regional theatres including the Oregon Utah, and
California Shakespeare Festivals; Actors Theatre of Louisville; Shakespeare Theatre
Company, The Guthrie; San Diego's Old Globe; Mark Taper Forum; South Coast Repertory;
McCarter Theatre. Film and television credits include Bird, A Day without a Mexican,
Loving, Frasier, The Innocent, and Majority Rule. His book, An Actor's Task: Engaging
the Senses, published by Hackett Publishing, is forthcoming fall of 2015.
Carol Mendelsohn was living in a kibbutz and working in Israel in 1981 when she met members of the Roy Hart Theatre, and moved to France in 1983 becoming an actress in the company and a master teacher of the extended voice work. Performance work includes international tour of Moby Dick(adapted especially for the Roy Hart Theatre with original music by Jonathan Hart and directed by Linda Wise), an adaption of Sam Shepard and Joseph Chaikin“Tongues”, and a European Union-supported performance of Euripides’ "The Bacchae”. Carol has taught actors in the US as a guest artist at Brandeis University, University of Delaware, Asolo Conservatory, University of Wisconsin, & University of Minnesota.
Saule Ryan met Roy Hart in London in 1974 and became a founding member of the Roy Hart Theatre,
performing in many of the seminal performances in the 70's and continuing to tour
with the company throughout the 80's and 90's. Performance work includes Mariage de
Lux, Moby Dick, Tongues (by Sam Shepard & Joseph Chaikin), and Fermata, based on the
life of painter Charlotte Salomon. Saule teaches throughout Europe and is a guest
artist for acting programs in the US, including Yale Drama School, and MFA programs
at Brandeis University, University of Delaware, and Asolo Conservatory.
Damaris Webb is a performer, theater deviser and teaching artist who recently (re) relocated to
Portland after 26 years making and producing work in New York City. Ms Webb has created
new works for the stage with diverse communities around the US and internationally.
Her work lives in the intersection of contemplative dance, improvisational performance
art, and contemporary theater and is often seen in non-traditional performance venues
such as late night parties, warehouses and church basements. It is sometimes epic
and may involve zombies, superheroes or sock puppets. The Oregonian calls her solo
play The Box Marked Black"A look at race in a way that's open-hearted and even-handed".
Ms Webb holds her MFA from Naropa's Contemporary Performance Program, and her BFA
from NYU's Experimental Theater Wing. In Portland, she offers Contemplative Dance
Practice through Be Space, has been a coach for PlayWrite Inc. and The August Wilson
Monologue Competition, and is a co-founder and co-Artistic Director of The Vanport
Mosaic Festival. www.DamarisWebb.com
Lee Worley, a senior student of Tibetan Buddhism founded the Theatre Studies program at Naropa
in 1974, and has since developed contemplative exercises for the arts in education
and contemplative education programs. Lee is one of a very few holders of the Mudra
Space Awareness lineage, a performance training derived from Tibetan Yoga, and a founding
member, actress, and teacher in the Joseph Chaikin's renowned experimental company
The Open Theatre (NYC,1963-73). Her recent book, Coming From Nothing: The Sacred Art
of Acting, outlines her contemplative acting method.
Farin Zahedi received her PhD in Comparative Drama from the University of Oslo, Norway, and her
MA in Drama from the University of California, Los Angeles. Zahedi is currently the
Chairperson of the Drama & Film Department at the University of Tehran in Iran. She
is the author of a numerous essays, lectures and books, including Henrik Ibsen and
Modern Iranian Drama (2006) and From Ritual to Performance in Japan (2013). She has
been involved with presentations and theatrical collaborations throughout the world,
including in China, India, Russia, Denmark, Italy, Norway, and the US.