Wendell Beavers was a founding faculty member and early director of New York University’s Experimental Theater Wing (ETW) where he taught from 1978 to 2003 and was named a Master Teacher at Tisch School of the Arts in 1996. He is one of three major teachers and developers of The Viewpoints, a widespread mindfulness/awareness based performance technique integrating dance and theater, along with originator Mary Overlie, with whom he danced from 1977 to 1985, and the director Anne Bogart. He began choreographing his own work based on somatic techniques in the early ‘90s, eventually creating Developmental Technique™ from the Body Mind Centering® material of Bonnie Bainbridge Cohen.
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.
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, Fall 2017)
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.
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.
Emilya Cachapero (Spring 2017)
Bonnie Bainbridge Cohen (Fall 2015)
Geoffrey Hyland (Spring 2016)
Xu Jiali (Spring 2017)
Dr. Baron Kelly (Fall 2016)
Carol Mendelsohn (Spring 2016/17)
Saule Ryan (Spring 2016/17)
Farin Zahedi (Fall 2016)