All the work I do - be it lecturing, instructing an acting class, performing, directing, choreography, research, or writing - is a
combination of learning and teaching. I believe that the two must co-exist if inspiration and an exchange of ideas are to truly take
place. I believe the role of "teacher" to be one that is more of a facilitator than some fount of knowledge. I encourage my students, and any group of performers I work with, to think for themselves and to explore possibilities. More often than not they come up with miracles I could never have imagined.
In both directing and teaching I work very viscerally. I believe that any learning takes place in the whole body, not just the in the brain. My dance and movement background has led me to find the physical routes to an end and I find that my directing and teaching reflects my interest in corporeal means of expression. In upper-level lecture courses I always incorporate some kind of project-based learning where students are in some way embodying what they are learning rather than merely memorizing information. I have taught a variety performances courses at all levels, as well as upper level undergraduate courses in World Theatre, Theatre for Young Audiences, and Intro to Theatre. In every course I link mind to body and encourage creative projects linked to critical thought.
One of my favourite courses was a series of experimental performance classes taught through UBC which focused on the use of space and time. These classes combined students from four institutions and had upper level undergraduate and graduate cohorts involved. In one one of these courses, called "Mediative Bodies, Mediative Space" (co-taught with Sachiyo Takahashi), this was accomplished through emphasis and awareness of ma a Japanese aesthetic term indicating the spaces between objects or the silence between sounds or time between actions. In another of these special courses, called "Mapping Empire" the focus was on the use of "site" and the placement of bodies and objects in that space to create a meaningful visual or performative installation. "Mapping Empire" also looked at body mapping, mind mapping, location and journey, and used online space as a creative and communicative "site."
I taught as a guest artist at the University of Hawai'i where I directed the English language premier of Kishida Rio's avant-garde masterwork Thread Hell. I also taught and upper-level performance course on angura aesthetics and practice. Angura is the Japanese term for "underground" theatre and refers to a movement/style of performance that took precedence in the 1960s and 70s (and into the 1980s). I worked with a group of upper-level and graduate students, introducing them to the plays and performance aesthetics of the major artists in the angura movement. Students used these principles and techniques to create their own site-specific work, and finally to direct their own versions of scenes from angura scripts.
I strive to give my students a place - in theatre and the world. I can offer them the best tools I have and encourage each of them to use their own voice. Virtuosity is something to work towards, but recognizing the whole person is what is important. Each student’s personal stories, embodied knowledge, and experiences are what makes an artist out of a skilled craftsperson. Artists must be able to apply their skills and talents to the creation of impactful and charged performances that express something of themselves. Creation of one’s own work requires keen thinking, intense curiosity and an understanding of the world and audiences. Today’s performers need to be politically aware, ethically connected, and business savvy. I want to help train these kinds of artists – not only to work in the arts, but to be our next generation of leaders and thinkers.
- 2018-present: Teaching Assistant - University of British Columbia
As a PhD student I have been able to TA for the first time! I have learned so much through this process and will incorporate everything into my next teaching opportunities.
- 2008-2015: Sessional Instructor - University of the Fraser Valley
Taught combined lecture & practical courses on Theatre for Young Audiences and World Theatre. Also taught studio acting classes at various levels and scene study and directed shows for the department.
- 2013: Guest Artist/Instructor - University of the Hawai'i
Directed the world English language premiere of Kishida Rios' play Thread Hell. Taught and upper level specialized performance class in Japanese avant-garde practice and aesthetics.
- 2005-2009: Adjunct Professor - University of British Columbia
Taught movement for actors to all three levels of the BFA acting program and 300-level and an Intro to Theatre class. I also taught regular classes in Asian and Japanese Theatre combining lecture, visuals and some hands-on practice.
- 2009-Present: Nihon Buyoh Instructor - TomoeArts/Dance Centre
Teaching ongoing introductory classes and intermediate lessons in Japanese Classical dance/kabuki movement. Also leading workshops in kabuki movement and voice either in studio or for various community groups and schools in Vancouver.
- 2009: Noh Instructor -Noh Training Project
Taught noh chant and dance to first year participants of the Noh Training Project in Bloomsburg Pennsylvania.
- 2005-2008: Instructor - Great Northern Way Campus (UBC)
Facilitated experimental performance/design classes and interdisciplinary performance creation classes through UBC to students from four different partner institutions. Classes focused on the use of space and time, and site-specific performance/installation creation, and emphasize the use of online space as a creative and communicative tool.
- 2004-2010: Noh Dance and Chant Instructor - The Dance Centre (Vancouver)
Leading regular classes in the movement and vocalization of noh theatre at a dance studio in downtown Vancouver.
- 2005-2008 - Artist in the Schools - Learning Through the Arts
Co-instructed classes in Vancouver public schools in partnership with regular classroom teachers, using theatre and dance skills to teach curriculum. This program focused both on teaching children and on professional development for the teachers.
- 2005 - Sessional Instructor - Simon Fraser University
Taught Introduction to Acting for the School of Contemporary Arts. Focusing on voice, bodywork and collaborative creation.
- 2001-2004 - Acting Instructor/Lecturer - University of Hawai'i
Taught courses geared for non-major and major beginning actors, which focused on the basics of Western realistic acting: exercises, theatre games, improvisation and basic text work.
- 1997-2001 - Movement Instructor at the UPS Academy - Tokyo
This is a two-year professional training course for actors, focusing on American Method acting techniques. Movement classes consist of basic body awareness and centering as well as creative expression in the form of contact improvisation and physical character development.