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Teacher Tribute Series

We interviewed Richard Crawford, MTS Founder

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Full-time Faculty

Richard Crawford (Founder/Director)

Richard Crawford studied with Jacques Lecoq, and also at Rose Bruford College, London. He is a founding member of the internationally-acclaimed New York physical theater ensemble The Flying Machine and played for two years on Broadway in War Horse. He also played the lead in the off-Broadway hit show Slava's Snowshow from 2004-2006 and has directed clown work for Cirque du Soleil including Dralion, MJ1 (Vegas) and the newest Cirque show Volta. He is an award-winning director whose projects have included a Commedia dell'Arte version of Petrushka at Carnegie Hall; The Bourgeois Gentlemen at the UMN/Guthrie and Comedy of Errors at TheatreWorks, Colorado Springs. He also performed in the 2002 OBIE Winning [Sic] at Soho Rep., NYC, and as the lead in La Jolla Playhouse's groundbreaking The Adding Machine in 2007. Richard has been teaching for the past twelve years in London, Paris, Santiago, Montreal and New York. In the U.S. he has taught Neutral Mask, Commedia dell'Arte and Lecoq Technique at NYU/Tisch, SUNY Purchase, Yale School of Drama, Sarah Lawrence College, Bard College, The Actor's Center, Marymount Manhattan, Lee Strasberg Theater and Film Institute, Michael Howard Studios, The Stella Adler Studio, and the University of Minnesota. He is currently on the faculty at PACE University and Rutgers, Mason Gross School of the Arts.

Adrienne Kapstein (Co-Director)

Adrienne Kapstein is a director specializing in the creation of original, interdisciplinary, physically-based work with a particular interest in creating high-quality theater for audiences of all ages. She was the Associate Director of Movement and Horse Choreography for War Horse (Broadway; National Tours) and is co-founder of Movement Theater Studio. For nine years, she was the co-Artistic Director of the award-winning international ensemble, SaBooge Theatre. New York directing highlights include Washeteria (Soho Rep), Light, A Dark Comedy (Triskelion Arts; New Victory LabWorks), WandaÕs Monster (Vineyard Theater), Beast (Figment Festival), Crime Scene Cleaners, Inc. (Mabou Mines Resident Artist), Every Day Above Ground (PS 122) and Fathom (Ice Factory Festival; Winner Best Production, Dublin Festival 2004). AdrienneÕs work has been presented internationally including Canada, Ireland, Scotland and Romania. Adrienne is an Associate Professor of Acting and Movement at the Pace School of Performing Arts in their International Performance Ensemble BA program. Previously she has taught physical acting, mask and movement at Brooklyn College, LIU, Stella Adler Studio, NYU, and Marymount Manhattan. Adrienne is a graduate of École Jacques Lecoq, the University of Edinburgh, and Brooklyn College (MFA Directing).

Sophie Amieva

Sophie Amieva has taught Bouffon at the famed Experimental Theater Wing at Tisch School of the Arts, NYU, since 2004. She has performed internationally with Philip Genty and La Rumeur theater company as well as in New York with NTUSA, the International WOW company and Bindlestiff Family Circus. Born and raised in France, she trained in physical theater at L'École International Jacques Lecoq and in clown with Philippe Gaulier. Sophie has also studied mime technique and mask with Carlo Boso from the Teatro Piccolo di Milano. After establishing her own critically acclaimed theater company, La Grappe De Bouffons, she came to the U.S where she continues to perform and teach and where the New York Times reviewed her one woman show Pessimist Moi? saying that "Sophie Amieva displays a fine talent for comedy".

Emmanuelle Delpech

Emmanuelle Delpech is an award-winning actor, teacher and director. She was classically trained at the École Superieur d'Art Dramatique de la ville de Paris, and then studied physical theatre at l'École Internationale de Théâtre Jacques Lecoq. She recently graduated from Temple University and earned an MFA in Directing. With Pig Iron Theatre Company, Emmanuelle has been a performer/co-creator of Gentlemen Volunteers, Flop!, Hell Meets Henry Halfway and James Joyce is Dead and So Is Paris (Barrymore Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Musical). She has created and performed in various self-devised pieces winning a Best of Philly 2011 Award by the Philadelphia Magazine as Best Theater Artist. She has worked at Second City in Chicago, Just For Laughs festival in Montreal and as a physical theater consultant with New York's acclaimed Civilians theater company.

Emmanuelle has taught at University of the Arts, PA, Swarthmore College and Temple University. She is also on the faculty at the Headlong Performance Institute and of the Pig Iron School of Advanced Training. Emmanuelle's recent production of Tartuffe was called "A production so meticulous, kinetic and aptly modern" by The Philadelphia Enquirer. Emmanuelle is an Assistant Professor at UArts, teaching in the MFA Devised Theater Program. emmanuelledr.squarespace.com

Charlotte Ford

Charlotte Ford is a Philadelphia-based theatre artist who creates avant-garde slapstick performance art that celebrates sublime stupidity with joyful abandon. She has toured her original work to Edinburgh's Traverse Theatre, the London Barbican and Paris's Maison de Métallos. Original work includes CHICKEN, Flesh and Blood & Fish and Fowl (Fringe First, Edinburgh, 2010, short-listed for Total Theatre Award) and BANG. She has worked with Pig Iron (Welcome to Yuba City), 1812 (Cherry Bomb, the upcoming Women in Comedy), Theatre Exile (Red Light Winter, That Pretty Pretty, Gruesome Playground Injuries), the Arden Theatre and the Lantern Theatre, among others. She has been a teaching artist with Pig Iron Theatre, the Arden Theatre, Bryn Mawr College, and Arcadia University. She is two-time recipient of the Philadelphia Theatre Initiative grant, the Independence Foundation fellowship, and the Leeway Art and Change grant. She was a 2011 and 2012 finalist for the F. Otto Haas award, and "Best of Philly Theatre Performer" 2012. BA, Bryn Mawr College, MFA, LISPA.

Trey Lyford

Trey Lyford is a New York-based theatre artist and Co-Artistic Director of rainpan 43 performance group. He has co-created and performed in all of their works to date. Following a world tour of rainpan 43's first piece all wear bowlers (Drama Desk Nomination, Innovative Theatre Award), r43 followed up with Amnesia Curiosa (2006) and the OBIE award-winning kinetic junk sculpture play machines, machines, machines, machines, machines, machines machines and most recently Elephant Room. In addition to his pieces with rainpan 43, Mr. Lyford develops and produces works as an individual artist and is an Associate Artist with the celebrated company The Civilians (Gone Missing, Paris Commune, Nobody's Lunch, The Great Immensity). Mr. Lyford has performed his original works in four continents as well as Philadelphia Live Arts Festival, LA's Center Theatre Group, La Jolla Playhouse, Berkeley Rep, Studio Theater, and theaters throughout NYC. He is a Princess Grace Award recipient as well as the Fabergé Theatre Excellence Award. His work has also received support from NYSCA, Princeton Atelier and Creative Capital. He is a professor at the SUNY Purchase Conservatory and lives in Brooklyn with his beautiful wife and their daughter. He also designed the shwag for Elephant Room. MFA: UCSD

Alexandra Posen

Alexandra Posen is a graduate of Brown University and L'Écolecole Jacques Lecoq in Paris. She studied physical and visual theater with an emphasis on mask making and puppetry, which lead to her performance works in the late nineties. In 2000 she began her ongoing wax drawing series, fields, and soon after co-founded Zac Posen, where as creative director she worked for nearly a decade to establish the label as a global brand. Alexandra's extensive knowledge of couture fabric and technique has translated into a unique formal language in her recent abstract paintings. Posen's work has been exhibited at Lynch Tham, Nycams, Temp Space and the Watermill Center, reviewed in Bullet magazine and featured in numerous blogs. Alexandra lives and works in Red Hook, Brooklyn

Virginia Scott

Virginia was named by clown master Christopher Bayes (Head of Physical Acting at Yale School of Drama) as the first faculty member of his Funny School of Good Acting and is certified to teach his clown technique. She has served as Bayes' assistant for eight years and is working on a book with him, which will detail his approach to clown. Along the way, she assisted Bayes in the creation and direction of Clowns presented at the Public Theater and Ruzzante at the NYU Graduate Acting Program. Virginia has taught Clown in New York at the Actor's Center, Marymount Manhattan College, the Michael Howard Studios, CAP 21, the Glass Contraption Clown Theatre Company, the Leviathan Lab and Christopher Bayes' Funny School of Good Acting. She also directed the NYC Clown Lab; the first training environment in New York designed to bring together clowns of different backgrounds for exchange, experimentation, material development and training. As a director and deviser, Virginia is known for her fast-paced, comic and visually exciting style. Her work has been seen in New York at UCB, The Irish Repertory Theatre, Ars Nova, 59E59, The Barrow Group Theatre, Chasama's Palace of Variety, The New York Fringe Festival, The PIT and the International Clown Festival; regionally at The US Comedy Arts Festival in Aspen, The Comedy Central Theatre in Los Angeles, and UCB LA in Los Angeles; and internationally at The Guilded Balloon in Edinburgh, The Centaur Theatre in Montreal, the Grahamstown International Festival in South Africa and festivals throughout Canada.

Geoff Sobelle

Geoff Sobelle is a theatre artist dedicated to the "sublime ridiculous." He is the co-artistic director of rainpan 43, a renegade absurdist outfit devoted to creating original actor-driven performance works. Using illusion, film and out-dated mechanics, R43 creates surreal, poetic pieces that look for humanity where you least expect it and find grace where no one is looking. R43's shows include: all wear bowlers (Innovative Theatre Award, Drama Desk nomination), Amnesia Curiosa, machines machines machines machines machines machines machines (OBIE award design), and Elephant Room (commissioned by Center Theatre Group). His independent work includes Flesh and Blood & Fish and Fowl and the upcoming Object Lesson. He has been a company member of Philadelphia's Pig Iron Theatre Company since 2001. Pig Iron works include: Gentlemen Volunteers, Mission to Mercury, Shut Eye, James Joyce is Dead and so is Paris, Hell Meets Henry Halfway, Chekhov Lizardbrain and Welcome to Yuba City. All of his work to date has premiered at the Philadelphia Live Arts Festival. Geoff is a core teacher at the new Pig Iron school in Philadelphia. His work has been supported by the Independence Foundation, the Philadelphia Theatre Initiative, the Wyncote Foundation, US Arts International, the Princeton Atelier and the New England Foundation for the Arts. He is a 2006 Pew Fellow and is a 2009 Creative Capital grantee. He is a graduate of Stanford University, and trained in physical theatre at École Jacques Lecoq in Paris, France.

Norman Taylor

Norman Taylor taught at the École Internationale de Théâtre in Paris for 20 years. He teaches with MTS in New York each summer and all over the world giving Master Classes in Lecoq's approach. Prior to this, he was a student of Lecoq's himself, first as an actor and then as a student of his pedagogy. From 1998 - 1999, Norman was the Pedagogical Coordinator at the school. He now teaches Lecoq's techniques throughout Europe and Latin America and is on faculty at the renowned Lassaad International School Theatre in Belgium. www.lassaad.com

Justine Williams

Justine Williams is an interdisciplinary artist and performer working across the disciplines of devised-performance, film/video and music, with a hearty background in clown, commedia and physical theater. She has collaborated extensively with director and teacher, Christopher Bayes, for over 15 years, performing at the Public Theater, Berkeley Rep, Yale Rep and the NY Clown Theater Festival, and is one of only a handful of individuals certified to teach his unique pedagogy of clown and comedy. She has received over 14 grants and artist residencies to develop new work, which has been presented at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Rubin Museum/Foundry Theater, and the Queens Museum, as well as the Maryland Film Festival, Lincoln Center/MoMa's New Directors/New Films, Slamdance and the Rotterdam International Film Festival. She studied clown/le jeu/bouffon and movement at École Philippe Gaulier in Paris, holds a BA in Theater from Brown University and an MFA in Performance and Interactive Media at Brooklyn College. She has taught for the Brown University/Trinity Consortium, NYU Tisch, CalArts, and is a faculty member in New Games at the Yale School of Drama. www.play-mountain.org

Catherine Mueller

Catherine Mueller (pronounced Miller) is an interdisciplinary artist, actor/creator and educator working in performance, image, language, movement and music, based in New York City. From 2005-2013 she was a Co-Artistic Director/performer with The Glass Contraption, a Brooklyn-based not-for-profit physical theater company permanently on hiatus from making new work. TGCÕs original, ensemble-devised performances were developed and/or shown in partnership with The Orchard Project, The Nancy Quinn Fund, The Public Theater, The Kitchen, Ars Nova, Jalopy, Gowanus Arts, and The New York Clown Theater Festival (select list). She has written, developed and performed in multiple solo works which have been presented at Dixon Place, IRT, ChicagoÕs Single File Festival and many others. Her work can also be seen in numerous national network commercials, voiceovers, and films. She directed Dwellicle as part of the 3B Development Series at IRT and has created ensemble-devised works presented in Women CenterStage and FuseBox. She is an alumnus of DirectorÕs Lab Chicago.

She has studied physical comedy, clown and its related forms since 1999 with many, many teachers, including Philippe Gaulier, Jane Nichols, Richard Crawford, Felix Ivanov, Per Brahe and most notably Christopher Bayes, currently Head of Physical Acting at Yale School of Drama, with whom she apprenticed. She currently leads workshops and residencies in Clown/Physical Theater, Improvisation, Character and/or Collective Creation at universities, secondary schools, community arts organizations and professional actor training programs throughout the country and is adjunct faculty in the Theater Department at Drew University in Madison, NJ. She is also the Orchard Project Core Company Director and Master Teacher. She has been associated with the 52nd Street Project since 1999 as a performer, director, clown teacher and mentor. Since 2011 she has written regularly about independent theater for New York Theatre Review. She is a founding member of The Best Thing Ever, a collective of theater directors, and the founder/director of CAT LAB, an experimental, performance-based laboratory for artistic research. She is currently writing a book about the approaches and practices of interdisciplinary artists with longtime collaborator John Borstel.

Education: BA in Theater from Hofstra University, with minors in Dance and Creative Writing. MFA in Interdisciplinary Arts, Goddard College.