At Dartmouth College, I created a series of improvisational acting exercises which helped my creative writing students to develop point of view, character development and a strong narrative voice in both fiction and nonfiction. This technique was highly successful because when the students stepped into the shoes of a character with a clear objective, they found it easier to translate what they experienced viscerally on the stage into the written word. At Aberystwyth University in Wales, I taught these same workshops with groups of entering university students, as well as additional classes in the broader adult community through the Old College. Before embarking on an academic career, I taught theatre in New York City schools, developed cross-discipline arts programs in Los Angeles and worked for many years at the All Children’s Theatre in Providence, Rhode Island, where I developed multi-age musical theatre curriculum. The All Children’s Theatre is a nonprofit committed to bringing out the unique qualities in each individual child. When I started my own children’s theatre workshops in Vermont, I took what I’d learned at ACT and applied it to my own work. I am a trained Rudolph Steiner teacher (Elementary Education Certificate, Antioch Graduate School, 2004) and taught in the Waldorf educational system for many years. The emphasis in Steiner schools is on the imaginative and artistic life of the child, the fostering of independent thinking and the taking of intellectual risks. The Waldorf curriculum works to integrate these aspects into the development of each young person.
Though my teaching focus has moved from children to young adults and adults, I maintain my role as an advocate for arts in education.