I look upon the instruction and mentoring of the next generation as a central responsibility of the artist. In the classroom, as on the stage and in my research, I aim to engage my students with the drama, poetry, and politics of the theatre. I view the theater not only as entertainment, but also as a powerful cultural force that can reach a broad audience and set the agenda for a national conversation. As a teacher and mentor, I work hard to embolden my students to engage critically with text and audience, to work with discipline and dedication to develop high-level artistic skills and a broad knowledge of the combined arts of the theater, to build relationships with collaborative partners, and to initiate their own projects.
I am currently Assistant Professor of Performance at Cornell University. I previously taught at Harvard University and Vanderbilt University. I have experience teaching both practical and theoretical courses. I have taught classes in acting (Stanislavski, Knebel, Practical Aesthetics, Shakespeare in Performance, embodied history of acting), voice and speech, creating and devising theatre, and playwriting. I have also taught scholarly courses on theatre of protest, contemporary world theatre, Middle Eastern theatre, and drama in translation.
As a theatre artist and scholar who loves to teach, I have given considerable thought to how theatre techniques can improve pedagogy across various disciplines. From 2006-2010 I was Founding Director of the Program in Speaking and Learning at the Derek Bok Center for Teaching at Harvard University, where I worked with professors from over thirty departments. I have devised approaches to integrating performance techniques into the classroom and given numerous workshops and courses on the dynamics of classroom discussion, the lecture as performance, and the role of the physical voice in student learning.