The Faculty

2019 Teachers

Stephen WanghSTEPHEN WANGH is a playwright, director, and teacher of acting. He studied with Jerzy Grotowski in 1967. For 20 years Steve taught acting in the Experimental Theatre Wing at NYU. And for seven years he was Guest Faculty at the MFA Theater: Contemporary Performance program at Naropa University where he taught physical acting and pedagogy.  For the past five years he has been teaching acting and pedagogy workshops in Thailand, Singapore, Hong Kong, Australia and Taiwan, and for the National Alliance of Acting Teachers in New York and Los Angeles.

Steve is the author of two books: An Acrobat of the Heart, a physical approach to acting inspired by the work of Jerzy Grotowski (Vintage, Random House, 2000), and, The Heart of Teaching: Empowering Students in the Performing Arts, (Routledge, 2012).

He is also the author of 15 plays, and was one of the writers of The People’s Temple (Glickman award: Best play in the Bay Area, 2005).  He was Associate Writer for The Laramie Project (Emmy nomination 2002), and dramaturge of Moisés Kaufman’s Gross Indecency, the three trials of Oscar Wilde.

Steve is now Arts Professor Emeritus at NYU.

Wendell BeaversWENDELL BEAVERS, a choreographer, director performer, and educator, founded Naropa University’s MFA Theatre: Contemporary Performance Program in 2004, Directing that program until 2015. He was a founding faculty member and Director (1984-1990) of The Experimental Theatre Wing (ETW) at NYU teaching there from 1979-2003 where he was involved in applying the Viewpoints in collaboration with originator Mary Overlie.

He was also a co-founder and early director of Movement Research Inc. His work has been seen in New York at the now historical Dance Theater Workshop (now NY LIVE ARTS) and PS 122. Also at MR at Judson Church, Danspace Project, Dixon Place/Vineyard Theatre and as part of many loft space projects.  He also has taught his own Developmental Technique™ extensively in the American Dance Festival’s Six-Week School and in numerous university venues in the US and in Europe. He currently teaches, directs and performs under the auspices of his company SomaticPerformer Inc. He recently retired as Associate Professor of Performance at Naropa University and continues to teach in the Naropa MFA and ETW/NYU.

His work is deeply influenced by Mary Overlie’s Viewpoints, the work of Bonnie Bainbridge Cohen, developer of Body Mind Centering®, and the Shambhala Buddhist path. Recent Guest Artist Residencies include Ohio University (Sept ‘15), SITI Co. Saratoga Intensive (June ‘15 ‘16 ‘17 ‘18), NYU/ETW (Spring ‘16 and Fall ‘17, Spring ‘18, Fall ‘18), Nine Years Theater/Singapore (Nov. ‘16), University of Colorado, Boulder (2018).

Lizi WattLIZI WATT works as a director, educator, performer and writer, based in Los Angeles.  She has taught at New York University’s Experimental Theater Wing, Naropa University, Rhodes College, the William Inge Theatre Festival, and the National Alliance of Acting Teachers: Teacher Development Program. She is currently a member of the faculty at Marlborough School.

Lizi’s study of psychophysical acting began in 1999 when she attended the Grotowski symposium at UC Irvine. Later, after two years as Steve Wangh’s student at Naropa University, she began to work as his assistant, first collaborating with him in 2007 on his original work, The Testimony Project, at Princeton University. Since then, she has worked alongside him on numerous projects and teaching ventures.

Some performance credits include Daedalus’ Daughter at REDCAT Studio (as a part of Carol Katz’s ongoing Daedalus Cycle), Hamlet with Prison Performing Arts (featured on This American Life), Weetzie Bat at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, 2.5 years touring with Metro Theatre Company (US and Taiwan), The Lysistrata Project (part of the Global Peace Initiative) and Big Love and Midsummer Night’s Dream with Boulder/Denver-based theatre, Band of Toughs.

As a mother of three young children, Lizi is dedicated to investigating the intersection of parenthood and artistry, and her writing and performance often reflect this investigation. She has also spoken on this topic at “Adventuring Together: Ensembles, Collectives, Laboratories & Networks,” a weekend-long gathering of performance artists and scholars, from across the U.S. and Europe.

Nora WoolleyNORA WOOLLEY is a NYC and LA based teacher, actor and writer.  She teaches Physical Acting at NYU’s Experimental Theater Wing and has served on the faculties of New School University’s Eugene Lang College and Naropa University’s Contemporary Performance program.  She has led workshops in Physical Acting at UC Riverside and Georgetown University. As an actress, Nora has collaborated with directors Paul Bargetto, PD Michnewicz, Karin Coonrod, Kate Whoriskey and Jill A. Samuels, among others.  She toured extensively with the Drama Desk Award-winning, Charlie Victor Romeo and co-starred in the critically-acclaimed film version of the same play (Sundance Film Festival headliner, Netflix release). Other film includes,The Transfiguration (Cannes Film Festival) and Chase Me. Her multi-character solo play, Hip, directed by Raquel Cion, was nominated for two New York Innovative Theater Awards.  She is co-recipient with Kim Katzberg and Raquel Cion, of the 2016  NYIT Award for Outstanding Short Play for Strays, also included in The Best American Short Plays anthology.  She is a writer on a dark comedy series currently in development for cable TV.

Nora holds a MFA in Playwriting from UC Riverside and a BFA in Acting from NYU/ETW, where she trained with Stephen Wangh, Wendell Beavers, Raina von Waldenburg, Saskia Hegt, Christopher Bayes, Rosemary Quinn, Catherine Coray, Kevin Kuhlke and Terry Knickerbocker, among many brilliant others.  She served as a teaching apprentice to master teacher, Erica Fae.  Nora is the proud mother of a young son.

Producer

Chris NicholsCHRIS NICHOLS is a theatre director/producer and multimedia web/graphic artist. He has conceived and directed thirteen original works for the theatre, each exploring sociopolitical themes through the deconstruction of classic texts and forms. Creations include: DystopiaThe Trial of KARCANA: Cycle of the FoolIconShadow of the Invisible ManUbu 2000, and Tamatebako {the box}. Chis is one of the founding members of Synaesthetic Theatre.

Chris has created multimedia presentations for New York University, The Public Theater, and Chamber Music America, to name a few. Through Synaesthetic Theatre, Chris has produced workshops for Stephen Wangh, Erica Fae, Wendell Beavers, Jonathan Hart Makwaia, Saskia Hegt, and others. He has taught workshops ranging from Viewpoints to Grotowski-based physical acting to collaborative piece making. Chris is the father of two young boys.

 

Previous Teachers