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“Those who can, do; those who can’t, teach.” - George Bernard Shaw

It’s the old adage every aspiring artist has heard. It’s the excuse used to explain why that one acting teacher was so bitter, why that one dance professor never demonstrated the combination, and why that one instructor used the same, dated curriculum year after year.

It’s an assumption I’ve always found odd, because my art teachers were (and still are) some of the most talented artists I know. As a child they were my superheroes - the stewards of imagination who helped me explore and make sense of this wild world. As a young adult they became my mentors - inviting me into their professional arenas and giving me space to test my burgeoning artistic voice. And now, I am lucky to have those same teachers as artistic peers.

I saw my teachers, mentors and colleagues freed by the academic environments they found themselves in, empowered by the spirit of inquiry and innovation that abounds on college campuses and in conservatory settings. They made me realize from a very young age that teaching the performing arts would be a part of my artistic life.

The more I studied the art of teaching (through formal instruction or working with master educators), the more I was humbled by the opportunity that arts classrooms provide to both develop the next generation of artists and help students develop their humanity, their empathy, and their critical thinking. At the end of the day, art is about story - the stories we tell others and the stories we tell ourselves. Story becomes history and how we engage with narrative can shape not only our individual lives but also the collective experience.


My drama classroom is supported by four pillars - my belief in Proven Pedagogy, the value I place on Inclusivity & Respect, my emphasis on Student Generated Work and my insistence on Connection to the Industry.


As my CV demonstrates, amidst my acting and performing, I completed my undergraduate degree at Pacific Oaks Teachers College. Pacific Oaks provided me with a curriculum in traditional education practices (i.e., the work of Montessori, Piaget, Skinner and Vigotsky) and instilled in me the importance of teaching pedagogy, student-centered learning, and relying on research and data to drive teaching technique.

This work was a perfect parallel to my years of study with Anne Green Gilbert at Creative Dance Center. Gilbert was a pioneer in the dance world, developing a system of brain compatible dance education and insisting that technique and instruction were only beneficial insofar as they developed students' bodies and minds.

As I completed student teaching, I saw firsthand the value of employing educational systems and philosophies. When it came time to choose an MFA program, I was drawn to NIU because it adhered strictly to the progression of Meisner Acting Technique, Fitzmaurice Voice Work and Williamson Movement.

We are all actors and storytellers in some capacity - children will play without instruction. But students seek acting training so they can be prepared for the moments when inspiration doesn’t strike, when the muses aren’t with you.

Having technique that I can fall back on is essential to my own artistic practice and to the value I provide students in the classroom through implementing proven pedagogies.


I have always seen hard conversations about where we come from, how we identify, confirmation bias, and more as essential to helping an individual develop critical thinking skills, empathy, an independent point of view, and teamwork abilities.

When I became a teacher, I knew that fostering diversity and discussions regarding diversity were of the utmost importance. I drafted a commitment to my students which I could update as the years went on, but which would hold me to a rigorous standard of acceptance, inclusion, sensitivity and support in my teaching. The following is the commitment as it stands today:

In my classroom respect is valued above all else. Respect is a verb. A daily practice. I promise to respect my students. I expect respect in return. And students are expected to respect one another.

Every student in my classroom has a right to feel at home. That they belong. That they are free to be the fullest expression of themselves. This means that I do not tolerate discrimination of any kind - racial, religious, sexual (LGBTQIA+), gendered, marital, ability based, socioeconomic or political.

I understand that friction and conflict are inevitable when diverse people come together. In my classroom I emphasize conflict resolution and equip students with the communication and emotional skills to work with and through their differences.

I acknowledge that it is important for students to step out of their comfort zones intellectually. Thinking big, thinking independently, and taking the risk to change one’s own mind often feels scary. I hold space for intellectual risk and growth in my classroom.

In my classroom diversity of thought is respected. I teach students how to think - critically, carefully and compassionately - not what to think. I teach students how to dexterously articulate and communicate their thinking and/or convictions. And I teach my students how to challenge their own thinking - a skill necessary for becoming one’s own teacher and a lifelong student.

I treat each of my students as unique individuals, honoring the life experience, stories, skills, and innate wisdom they bring to the classroom. I am committed to listening to, engaging, and addressing the interests, needs, and strengths they bring into the learning environment. I see my students as teachers in their own right, and seek to learn from them and let them lead others in the classroom when appropriate.

I acknowledge the power dynamic between student and teacher. I believe every student should have a voice and a channel for self-advocacy in the classroom. I always provide my students with an outlet for feedback - both anonymous and non-anonymous. Furthermore, I provide my students with the resources necessary to engage school administration should they have concerns about the classroom, learning environment, or my teaching.

Alongside the commitments I have to my students, I’d like to take a moment to share the diversity of skill and knowledge I bring to a school or performance setting. I have a great deal to offer with regard to accepting, celebrating, and accommodating neurodiversity on a campus and onstage. Since middle school I have volunteered and worked with differently abled adults and teens - in both adult day care centers and the drama classroom. While working at Seattle Children's Theatre, I had the opportunity to assist special drama classes for children with autism and to attend training on building curriculum for children with special needs. I have a professional relationship with the National Disability Theatre, and in my two years teaching at Sing With Emily, I had the pleasure of coaching professional child actors with Down Syndrome and young adult actors with autism spectrum disorder as they transitioned from college to being professional actors.

I appreciate how making space for neurodiversity in a school, workplace or performance space helps all people to become more sensitive and clear in their communication, more thoughtful about the physical environments we build and maintain on a daily basis, more self aware, and more attuned to many different kinds of intelligence.

As discussions around DEI can be sensitive, I welcome your questions, thoughts, concerns, or ideas about this statement.


I understand that a career in the arts is difficult to sustain and subject to a dynamic industry. Since 2019 the medium for auditions and callbacks has drastically shifted - from in-person to largely online. The American theatre establishment has undergone many changes to include a diversity of voices in season programming and casting decisions. And we are still witnessing the financial fallout of Covid on theatres nation-wide.

With this in mind, I see it as my duty to support students in creating and producing their own work. Self-generated projects are not only artistically and financially prudent, but they offer students a window into understanding how passion drives performance. When students create their own work, they also learn to focus on “audience not instructor.” It is easy in a theatre classroom to seek affirmation from your teacher. This instinct is not bad, per say, but at the end of the day, we should make theatre to share stories and connect with our community. There is no better way to learn these skills than through student generated work.


As a teacher, I believe it is critically important to stay connected to the industry. This includes:

  1. Staying Current

    • What kind of work is being produced on Broadway, regionally, abroad?

    • What skills are needed to be a professional today? How are auditions being conducted? What kind of work is in vogue (e.g., puppet plays, actor musicianship, immersive theatre)?

  2. Making Connections for Students

    • The performing arts is a networking industry and it is my role as an instructor to help my students connect with those who can employ them.


I maintain my connection to the industry through continuing my own theatre education, acting professionally during school breaks, attending plays/conferences/symposia (both nationally and abroad) and remaining in active dialogue with existing practitioners and emerging theatre artists.


In this video series, my educational philosophy comes alive. Join me as I work with groups and individuals - giving you a front row seat to the student experience.

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