Class of 2006
Jonathan Bender is a director, actor, writer and solo performer, currently based in Boulder. He teaches acting, public speaking and "everyday performance" to performers, the general public and corporations through his business, WholeSpeak. Before coming to Naropa, he worked as a theater artist and teacher for many years in the San Francisco Bay Area, and also earned a master's degree in performance studies and speech communication at Southern Illinois University, Carbondale. Jonathan's solo show on Jewish identity (originally his MFA thesis production), In the Belly of the Whale, is beginning to tour around the United States.
Joan Bruemmer, Interim Co-Director, BFA Performance; BFA, New York University; MFA, Naropa University; has taught movement and acting at Naropa University, Working Classrooms in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Capitol Hill Arts Workshop, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, Dance Theater of Cologne, Festival D'Avignon, School for New Dance Development in Amsterdam, The Moscow Art Theater, CounterPULSE and San Francisco Dancer's Group. She is artistic director of San Francisco’s Marijoh DanzTheatre, a movement theater company known for integrating multidisciplinary techniques and original text for the stage. In San Francisco, her work has been performed at ODC Theater, the San Francisco Edge Festival, San Francisco Fringe Festival, Women on the Edge Festival, Theater Artaud, Dance Mission and The Marsh. In New York she performed at The Kitchen, P.S. 122, St. Mark's Church, Theater Regenesis, ABCnoRio and St. John the Divine. She was invited to perform twice at the Festival D’Avignon in France and her work has been performed internationally as part of works-in-residence in Germany, France, the Netherlands and at the International Theater Festival in Arezzo. She was selected Pick of the Fringe for 2005 and 2006 for original works produced at the Boulder International Fringe Festival. She has performed with Meredith Monk, and been directed by The Siti Company and Leigh Fondakowski of the Tectonic Theater. Recent acting credits include Mrs. Freeman in square product theatre’s GOOD COUNTRY PEOPLE; Carol in Theatre13’s THE DEER AND THE ANTELOPE PLAY; and the Nurse in Boulder Ensemble Theatre’s ANTIGONE.
Jessica Cerullo is a New York–based performer, writer and teacher. She is a board member and managing director for MICHA, the Michael Chekhov Association. Her play, Miracle Tomato, premiered at P.S. 122 as part of the soloNOVA Festival and continues to tour in the United States. Her work has been part of the Brooklyn Arts Exchange First Weekend Series and she has been the artist in residence at the Tin Shop in Breckenridge, Colorado. A former member of the Stanislavsky Theater Studio in Washington, DC and the Flock Theater in New London, Connecticut Jessica has created experimental works with The Actors' Ensemble in New York and has performed in regional theaters such as the Folger Theater, Horizons Theater and Walking the dog Theater at New York's Stage Works. She is on the faculty of MICHA and has been a guest artist at universities and training programs in the U.S. and abroad. She is a featured actor in the 6.5 hour dvd teaching series, Master Classes in the Michael Chekhov Technique. Jessica earned her BA in communications from Hofstra University. She trained at the National Theater Institute in the USA, London and at the Moscow Art Theater in Russia.
Krista DeNio is a choreographer, and movement theater performer/director/educator based in Brooklyn, New York. In the San Francisco Bay Area, Krista produced her own work, and collaborated with Jo Kreiter and Flyaway productions, Kim Epifano/ Epiphany Productions, violent dwarf, Gabriel Todd, Rachael Lincoln, Susannah Martin, Joan Bruemmer and others over the last decade. She co-founded the Experimental Performance Institute (EPI) at the New College of California (2002), where she has served as faculty, administrative director (2002–03), and outreach director (2006–07) ( www.epi.newcollege.edu). Krista received her BA in dance/dramatic art from UC Berkeley and her MFA in Theater: Contemporary Performance from Naropa University. One of her current movement theater works, Sally:MIA, was recently produced at CounterPULSE in San Francisco (February 2007), where she was an Artist-In-Residence. Recent choreography credits include The Man of La Mancha, directed by Jon Tracy (San Francisco Playhouse); Three Seconds In the Key by Deb Margolin, directed by Leigh Fondakowski (San Francisco Playhouse); Onward, a solo for Ashley Hayes; Casa Cushman, a workshop production of Leigh Fondakowski's play in development (New York Theater Worskhop); Bayard Rustin, a workshop production of Laura Eason/Paul Stovall's play in development.
Jennifer Hicks, MFA, RYT, is a performer, choreographer, teacher and artist. Her BFA is from Tufts University with a focus in theatrical design, performance art and fine arts. She won the Traveling Scholars Award from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston in 1996 for an installation/performance called Training for Uncertainty. She has been performing and teaching for more than twenty-five years and has studied Butoh for over fifteen years with artists such as Katsura Kan and Maureen Fleming as well as all the artists who taught at the San Francisco Butoh Festivals. She is a member of Katsura Kan’s Global Butoh Company and tours with him regularly. Besides her work in Butoh, she is also certified Shintaido Instructor, a certified Trance Dance Facilitator with Trance Dance International and a Yoga teacher registered with the National Yoga Alliance. Jennifer is an accomplished painter, designer and installation artist. She is a former member of Mobius, a performance company in Boston which focuses on experimental theater. Her teaching credits include Naropa University, Omega Institute, Kripalu Institute, The Dance Complex in Cambridge, MA, Earthdance, national and international Shintaido Conferences, Brandeis University as a guest lecturer and touring smaller studios nationwide.
Carey-Jo Hoffman lives in Vancouver, British Columbia where she teaches at Simon Fraser University’s School for the Contemporary Arts and facilitates movement, voice and acting workshops. She recently performed as ‘the devil’ in A Soldier’s Tale and directed kut, influenced by p’ansoriand addressing issues of faith, patriotism and identity in relationship to Korean Christianity and American Buddhism. She also continues to develop Angry Ella, her thesis performance piece created in collaboration with Dr. Daniel Banks and Leigh Fondakowski. Carey-Jo is moving to New York in January of 2008 to pursue both performance and teaching opportunities.
Ashley Hughes is a director and performer currently residing in New York City. Most recently she directed Sarah Kane's Crave for Holderness Theatre Company at the Boulder International Fringe Festival. At Naropa, directing projects included House of Daughters, a new play written by Elizabeth Watt; Sally: MIA, written and performed by Krista DeNio; and Lightning in the Storm: The Clara Barton Story, written and performed by Christa Ray which later transferred to the Dairy Center for the Arts in Boulder, CO. For more information on current and past productions, please visit: www.ashleyhughes.com.
Kwesi Kwarteng-Justice received his BFA in theatre/drama, with a focus in experimental theatre from the Tisch School of the Arts at NYU in 2001. He has also trained in Amsterdam, Netherlands and London, England, and was born and raised in Ghana, Western Africa. He has taught theater at the University of Louisville, Kentucky, and is a Master of Science candidate in the Professional Communication Program at Clark University. His recent theatrical work, "Segregation" was performed in the Boulder International Fringe Festival Mini Fringe Festival event.
Remi Lahaussois is originally from Montreal, Canada, but has lived in Italy, France, Cuba, Boston and New York City. He has now returned to Montreal where he teaches music and language in high schools. His interests continue to be songwriting, playing musical instruments, dance, theatre and woodworking. He has an undergraduate degree in music from Berkeley.
John Milosich is a cross-disciplinary performer based in the DC area. He has performed at the Kennedy Center with DC's Synetic Theater most recently in Hamlet... the rest is silence, winner of the '07 Helen Hayes Award for Outstanding Ensemble. He has directed and composed original works for Classika Theater and co-directed The Fiddler Ghost as part of the Capital Fringe Festival 2008. John directed Everything that Breathes, Naropa's Student Produced Open Theater project of 2005 and is currently building a solo, multidisciplinary work addressing racism. He studied music at Edinboro University of Pennsylvania and serves as director of the Newport Mill Middle School choral program.
Wm. Perry Morgan-Hall appeared on tour in MASS APPEAL opposite Tom Delaney, and later, John Boucher. He was conservatory director at Playhouse On The Square; Director of Fine Arts at Hutchison School; and Head of Theatre at Apple Farm. Most recently, Perry spent five seasons at the famous Barter Theatre in Virginia. He is a Grammy-nominated composer, premiering ballet scores in Europe. New Jersey's Theater Awards are named after him: The Perry Awards. Perry is currently the Director of Musical Theatre Studies at Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, Louisiana.
Alumna Eleni Papaleonardos is based in Ohio where she teaches, creates and performs movement-based original and classical work. A visiting assistant professor at Denison University, Eleni teaches classes in acting, movement and ensemble creation and is currently working on a new project about dyslexia and visual disorientation. She was most recently seen as the title role in Mary Stuart with Actors’ Theatre of Columbus, and in the original work Tomorrow is the Question with Available Light Theatre. Eleni lives in Granville, Ohio, with her husband, Mark Evans Bryan, a playwright and historian, and her two cats, Red and Mary Todd.
Christa Ray, MFA, has worn the hats of producer, writer, director, actor and treasurer for Giving Voice Productions, a theater company she co-founded based in Boulder, Colorado. GVP produces the award winning play Power to Pleasing: The Sex Lives of Teenage Girls and Pressure to Prove: The Sex Lives of Teenage Boys at Fringe Festivals and University campuses. In 2007, she produced, wrote and acted in her one-woman play, Lightning In The Storm: The Clara Barton Story. Christa received her BS in script writing from Syracuse University and a diploma in voice movement therapy from the Royal Society of Arts in London in 1996. She has taught voicework in various forms for seventeen years, including classes at Naropa University’s Extended Studies School (2003–06).
Liz Stanton is a theater artist and lives in New York City. Before attending Naropa she performed Off Broadway at Lincoln Center Institute, (The Rover, Much Ado About Nothing, Twelfth Night) Raw Space (Hamlet, Hedda Gabler) and The Culture Project (Winter’s Tale, Cymbeline, The Changeling) as well as at many regional theaters around the country (The Buddy Holly Story, Pump Boys and Dinettes, Cole, Closer Than Ever, Romeo and Juliet, Parallel Lives). At Naropa University, she wrote her first short musical, Vision of Flight and her first opera, The Bacchae: In Song and Vocal Extreme. She also worked with Leigh Fondakowski and Moisés Kaufman on the award winning play, Power to Pleasing: The Sex Lives of Teenage Girls, which she developed with Naropa colleagues. This led to the development of Pressure to Prove: The Sex Lives of Teenage Boys. Both shows are on the Fringe circuit. Liz was a founding member and resident sound designer/composer for Holderness Theater Company in New York City. Liz toured nationally and internationally with the bowed piano ensemble for 5 years and studied new music and electronic music composition with Steven Scott at Colorado College. Upon returning to NYC, Liz continued her training with SITI Company, which led to performing 365 Days 365 Plays with SITI Company. She produced and performed in Zen Cabaret with Nina Rolle at the Brooklyn Clown Festival. Liz continues to create theater and teach voice and acting in New York City.
Bethany Jean Urban graduated with a BA in theatre from St. Cloud State University in MN in 2001. There she performed various acting and dance roles and directed Frank McGuiness' Carthaginians and Tennessee Williams I Can't Imagine Tomorrow. Between 2001 and until coming to Naropa in 2004, Bethany made her living as a circus performer based in Belfast, Ireland. She created and performed various aerial and acrobatic shows and performed in venues and on streets all over Ireland. She also taught circus to children and teens as cross-community outreach in Belfast. Bethany has spent time living in Los Angeles where she has worked both on and off camera. She has trained in Ireland, Germany and throughout North America.
Lizi Watt has recently directed three award-winning shows at the Boulder International Fringe: Le Caricter Feminin, Maria est Perdue and Anatomy of a Yell; and is currently working with Steve Wangh on a project exploring the rift between conservative Christians and secular Americans, presently in residence at Princeton University. She has been teaching as a guest artist at both Rhodes College and Naropa University. Lizi was recently seen in Joan Bruemmer's The Rules, featured in the Denver Choreographer's showcase, in Savage in Limbo with Boulder Ensemble Theatre, and in Chaos on the Camino Real, directed by Colleen Mylott. She is a founding member of wreckingball theatre lab, which will shortly be presenting Slavomir Mrozek's Striptease. Before moving to Boulder, Lizi worked for the Shakespeare Festival of St. Louis, toured with Metro Theatre Company around the United States and to Taiwan to perform in the Taipei International Children's Arts Festival, and worked with Prison Performing Arts on The Hamlet Project, which was featured on Public Radio International's This American Life.
Kirsten Wilson received her MDiv at Union Theological Seminary; her BA in English literature from Barnard College, and studied art at the Institute for American Indian Arts. She was the founder and artistic director of the Santa Fe–based, choreographed theater company, Friendly Fire. She taught performance art at the College of Santa Fe and Playback Theater through Bard College in New York. She was a former member of Community Playback Theater and Big Apple Playback. In Boulder, she currently performs with Playback Theater West, and teaches Letting the Body Speak: the Autobiographical Monologue Class.