Freeing Your Performance Juanita Rockwell & Jo McGinley
Saturdays, 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM PST
April 10, 2021 – April 24, 2021
Schedule: 3 session3
Class dates: April 10, 17 & 24, 2021
Class length: 2 hours (6 hours total)
Class size: 12 students maximum
Prerequisite: Foundation 1 or Higher. **This class requires Head of School Approval. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with a concise list of your improv experience to determine eligibility.
Improvising from Stillness, Silence, and Spaciousness
As performers and as storytellers, restrictive habits of mind can disconnect us in ways that limit our expression. Each week, this workshop will focus on a different aspect of connecting to your authentic presence: alone, connecting to another performer, and connecting to an audience. In conjunction, you will learn new models and storytelling aspects that offer alternatives to conventional narrative structures. Specific guided meditation practices and engagement with alternative narrative structures will lead to on-your-feet improvisational exercises.
Juanita Rockwell is a writer and director with over one hundred works of theatre, opera, radio, multimedia, puppetry, music theater, dance theater, and site-specific projects presented on five continents. Recent projects include the opera libretto for Backwards from Winter (composer Douglas Knehans, at Ablaze Records) which premiered at Symphony Space in 2018, produced by The Center for Contemporary Opera; followed by a second production by IHOS Foundation Amsterdam at the Dark MOFO festival in Tasmania, AU. In 2019, Rockwell wrote the libretto for The Suitcase/Der Koffer (composer Ljiljana Jovanović) and directed the premiere mini-tour including performances at An die Musik LIVE (Baltimore), Rep Stage/Horowitz Center for the Arts (Columbia, MD), and Howard University (DC).
Other produced writing includes the play with songs Between Trains with composer Chas Marsh (Blue Moon Plays); libretto and direction for The World is Round, from Gertrude Stein with composer James Sellars (Hog River Music); the translation/adaptation of Playing Dead from Bros. Presnyakov (Center for International Theatre Development digital publication); and the site-specific audio promenade performance The Circle (banishedproductions.
In the 1990’s she was artistic director of Hartford’s Company One Theater, directing professional premieres of early work by Suzan-Lori Parks, Paula Vogel, Donna DiNovelli, Erik Ehn, and Rachel Sheinkin. She has also directed in venues from NYC to Budapest to São Paolo.
As founding director of Towson University’s M.F.A. in Theatre Program, Juanita created a rigorous multidisciplinary laboratory environment training the self-generative artist, where she is now Professor Emerita. She is also faculty in the low-residency MFA in Creative Writing at Wilkes University, and a Presenter with The 3 Doors, an international educational organization dedicated to transforming lives through meditation practices grounded in the Tibetan Bön Buddhist tradition. Awards include a Marion Fellowship in the Visual and Performing Arts; a Rubys Artist Project Grant; a Fulbright in Costa Rica, and funding from the National Endowment for the Arts and National Public Radio. Writing residencies include Ucross (WY), The Studios at Key West (FL), Virginia Center for the Creative Arts/VCCA (VA), Playa (OR), and a Scientific Delirium Madness residency at Djerassi (CA).