MFA Class of 2015
Allison Caw: Allison has spent the last 7 years in Philadelphia as an actor, singer, dancer, creator and teacher but is originally from Columbus, Ohio. She received her B.F.A. in Musical Theater at The University of the Arts and attended Headlong Performance Institute. She co-founded Bright Light Theater Company and constructed/performed in several pieces that merged traditional story telling and stylized movement in site-specific locations including the woods, a loading dock and an elevator. Allison also worked with various companies in the area including Center City Opera Theater, Plays & Players and New Paradise Laboratories. As a teacher she got her start at the Please Touch Museum for children, where she acted as the Dance/Movement Specialist. Allison is a Certified Teacher in Williamson Technique of which she is fortunate enough to have learned from the founder, Loyd Williamson.
Victoria Pilar González: Hailing from San Diego, Victoria graduated from Coronado High School's Coronado School
of the Arts (CoSA) Musical Theatre and Drama Conservatory in 2009. While continuing
studies in visual and performance arts Victoria received a B.A. in Philosophy in 2013
from Westminster College in Salt Lake City, Utah. Drawn to stories as a constant reader
in grade school years, Victoria primarily focuses in performance for it's intersection
of various artistic forms and life itself. Artistic works include acting here and
there, collaborating in various productions, taking part in group instillation pieces,
painting a mural or two, writing a couple shorts, and painting or drawing both physically
Stephen Geering: A native of Ohio, Stephen received his BA from Denison University in 2009. He worked as an acting intern at the Ensemble Theatre of Cincinnati during their 09-10 season. Recently, he attended Miami University working towards his MA in theatre. It was his time there that sparked a professional interest in Performance Studies, as well as electronic, multimedia, and hybridized theatre forms. His time spent at Miami teaching a Theatre Appreciation course has also kindled an interest in pedagogy, including Aesthetic Education. While attending Naropa, he is concurrently finishing his thesis on the intersection of electronic gaming and theatre. He presented Bodhisattva at 1839 Wylie Avenue: August Wilson and Buddhism at Miami's 2013 MEGAA symposium. He has performed multiple times at the Cincinnati Fringe Festival Some favorite past performances include Ahn-Sam-Bul (Ensemble), Trust, and The Doppleganger Cometh and Overtaketh. Stephen hopes that his time at Naropa will help him grow, not only as an artist, but as a scholar as well. Stephen is a member of American Mensa.
Bobbi Kaye Kupfner: Bobbi is a Montana-based Performing Artist and Musician. She has a B.A. in Communications: Theatre from Montana State University-Billings. In Montana she taught competitive Speech, Drama, and Debate at a high school level and was involved with the local theatres, Venture Theatre, and Billings Studio Theatre. Some of her favorite acting credits are: Macabre Steampunk Sweeney Todd, Sunset Boulevard, That Face, Is He Dead?, The Vagina Monologues, Crimes of the Heart, and HAIR. As a Director: The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged), The 39 Steps, and Venture Theatre's Annual 24-hour Wet Ink Festival. She was also an active member of the Venture Theatre Improv Troupe. Bobbi Kaye has found herself in Boulder, CO at Naropa University to pursue her MFA, it is providing the steps she hopes will lead to becoming an active traveling performer and someday college professor.
Katie Jones: Katie obtained her B.A. in Performing Arts from Clemson University in South Carolina.
She then spent a year interning at the Asolo Theatre in Sarasota, FL, in their Education
Department. Subsequently, she moved to Chicago, where she spent the next eight years
as a director, performer, puppeteer, and teacher. Katie worked with many companies
during that time, including Northlight Theatre, American Theatre Company, Citadel
Theatre, Von Orthal Puppets, Theatre Zarko, Steppenwolf's Cross-Town Teen Ensemble
and the International Center for Women Playwrights. Katie is a founding member of
Directors Lab Chicago. In 2008, she founded Wishbone Theatre Collective with other
Clemson alumni. They created many original works, and most recently performed their
play, SPANDEX, at the International Fringe Festival in Edinburgh, Scotland.
Kate Moore: A product of the Midwest, she comes to Boulder on an artistic quest. Kate received her B.F.A. in acting from Ball State University where she developed an affinity for movement and experimental theater. Most recent training includes Suzuki and slow tempo with Pacific Performance Project East and Peter Kyle. Additionally, she had the pleasure of spending a summer at the Tshwane University of Technology in Pretoria, South Africa studying theater and dance. Favorite performances include the Midwest premiere of Alice Austen's The Destruction of Curves and the premiere of The Daughters of Trinity created by Professor Jennifer Blackmer and students of the BSU/Virginia Ball center.
Gabrielle Orcha: Gabrielle does not remember much of her early years, pre-Naropa, and pre the “re-patterning” process. She does remember packing up her belongings in a kerchief, hopping a train, and eating apples with a pocket knife. She fell asleep for most of the ride and when she awoke the train was stopped outside the Nalanda campus. So she hopped off and decided to be a Warrior Artist. It’s been a piece of gluten free cake ever since. But seriously, she has discovered Somatics, Body Mind Centering, her Voice, her Performative Self, Viewpoints (because prior she lacked perspective), different kinds of Acting techniques, and a Tender Heart of Sadness (contact if you'd like her to explain). She is still on the hunt for her Thesis. And her Clown. If you find either, please don’t shoot; just cajole them with gluten free cake or little bits of apple cut into bite size pieces. So her ego doesn’t die: her way into theatre was through choreography and playwriting. She is very good at both. She has won many awards; knows all the important people.
Ben Waugh: Ben recently received his B.A. in Theatre at Kansas Wesleyan University, where he was the recipient of the "Outstanding Theatre Performer of the Year" Award in 2013. Ben also has a past as an athlete, mainly as a runner and cheerleader, with misguided stints in football and wrestling as well. While at KWU, Ben was a member of the competitive cheer team. He has been in productions ranging from Crimes of the Heart to The Odyssey. He has also produced his own production dealing with the uniquely universal aspects of love, entitled <3.
Stephanie Wilbert: Stephanie received a B.A. in Theatre Arts from Cleveland State University where she primarily studied Voice and Movement. Since 2012, she has been working with Talespinner Children's Theatre in Cleveland, Ohio and has performed in the inaugural production of The Tale of the Name of the Tree, as well as coordinating movement/percussion for the original adaptations of Magic Flute and The Emperor's Ears. She has also spent the past year touring Ohio as an actor/teacher for The Illusion Factory. With an interest in creating performance pieces that are based on the fusion of mythological and futuristic elements, she has performed with her existentialist theatre group; A World Without Windows at both the Ingenuity Festival 2012 and Cleveland Public Theatre's Pandemonium 2011: Amuse Me. She is an Equity Membership Candidate and member of Capoeira Brasil Cleveland.
MFA Class of 2016
Kristopher Dorje Baker: Kristopher became a Buddhist monk under his main teacher Chokyi Nyima Rinpoche and lived in his monastery, at Ka-Nying Shedrup Ling, for seven years. As a monk, he had the opportunity to earn his B.A. from Boston University via a study abroad program at Kathmandu University. Afterwards, he served as a Tibetan translator for several Tibetan Buddhist Lamas in Nepal and North America. Upon arriving back to the United States in 2010, he returned my monastic vows and began pursuing my career as an actor. In 2011, he studied acting at the Actor’s Theatre Workshop in New York City, and in 2012-2013, he studied at the Berkeley Repertory Theatre and the American Conservatory Theatre in San Francisco. He looks forward to his time at Naropa University, where he can creatively bring Buddhist ideas and contemplative traditions of the “East” and the “West” to aid in illuminating how we can better live together in our global world. He aspires to have a long career as a stage actor.
Leslie Grasa: Leslie has an M.A. in Theatre from Florida State University and a B.A. in Theatre from the University of Tennessee. In addition to performing, writing and directing for the stage, she is also initiated and teaches in the Hungarian Basca Shamanic tradition and is a Reiki Master and teacher in the Usui Shiki Ryoho System. On stage, as well as working with students and clients, she is passionate about the ancient practice of using stories to bring healing to individuals and communities. She came to Naropa seeking new tools and training for her work as an artist and a teacher and to explore the bridge between theatre and ritual.
Kate Holden: Kate has come to Naropa after obtaining a B.A. in Theatre and a B.A. in English from Pine Manor College in Boston, MA. Kate is an academic, theatre artist, visual artist, dancer and vocalist. She completed a thesis on clowning and Shakespearian bawdy characters. She has directed musicals, plays, and was an intern for the Actor's Shakespeare Project in Boston. She has also taught theatre to children. Kate has delved into her other passions as well; she's written multiple books, academic essays, and participated in several gallery shows and exhibitions. Also, Kate has starred in several films. She enjoys challenging audiences, and creating new worlds on stage, screen and canvas. Kate hopes to further her theatre career in academia as a professor, as well as a performer. Additionally, she would like to have a non-profit community art space for urban youth.
Nathan Logan: Nathan received a B.A. in Communication Studies from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in December 2013. In 2014 he received the award for "Outstanding Achievement in Performance Studies" at UNC for his work during his senior year. Spending most of his life on stage as a musician and then actor, he has also enjoyed working in film production and sound design. Nathan hopes to take his love of performance to an all new level of concentration and awareness by emphasizing the role of performative arts in our daily lives and learning processes and bringing the world closer together through performance outreach as an educational means for awareness.
Troy Jaguar McCall: Troy arrives from Below Above and Under the Below Above and Under. Troy is a senior
officer in The Advanced Guard of the Lunar/Solar Inter-relations Task Force (LSITF).
T is on a reconnaissance mission preparing Earth for the arrival of the 3rd Sex (neutral social particle) between now and the year 2050.
Caitlyn Tella: Caitlyn is a theater maker from San Francisco with a passion for cross-disciplinary collaboration. She is the co-founder and artistic director of scatterstate theater, a small company in the Bay Area, CA that produces new plays and devised work. As a writer and director she has created two original shows in collaboration with other artists and musicians, How Little I Know and persephone dot plath, which were presented with the support of San Jose Rep Emerging Artist's Lab. She has performed in classical, contemporary and devised theater in Los Angeles and the Bay Area. Caitlyn is also a teaching artist and educator who, for the past two years, worked at a special education school for social-emotional learning. She received a B.A. in Theater from UCLA and also trained classically at the British American Drama Academy at Balliol College, Oxford.
Teresa Veramendi: A graduate of the Tisch Drama Department at New York University, Teresa received her M.A. in Performance Studies from NYU while she performed and wrote Off-Off-Broadway. There is nowhere she would rather be right now than close to the mountains, studying in Naropa's M.F.A. performance program. Originally from Chicago, she discovered her passion for performance and the power of her poetic voice at a young age, which propelled her into the world of devised theatre and slam poetry. More recently she has established herself as a teaching artist, a community facilitator as co-founder of Theatre of the Oppressed Chicago, and as an organizer of political artists with the Rebel Arts Collective. Enjoy excerpts of Teresa’s first book and her 2010 performance piece Vincent's Yellow at www.vincentsyellow.com, a multi-stellar project which centers on her mentor-lover relationship with Vincent van Gogh.