IWU faculty often spend part of the summer re-tooling their knowledge and skills. For Dr. Katie Wampler, Assistant Professor and Artistic Director of Theatre, re-tooling meant going back to fundamentals at a New York acting workshop just for teachers.
Wampler set three goals before she left for the Actor’s Center Teacher Development Program: Connect. Collaborate. Learn. She joined other educators in an intensive, 100 hour program from 10am-10pm, Monday through Friday for two weeks, with five master acting teachers.
Workshop faculty included Slava Dolgachev, Artistic Director of the Moscow New Drama Theatre, Ron Van Lieu, Chair of the Acting Program at the Yale School of Drama, Jane Nichols, formerly of the Yale School of Drama, and J. Michael Miller, Founder and President of the Actor’s Center.
They discussed teaching methods, acting choices and body movement techniques. All of the participants developed and performed scenes and character assignments of their own. Wampler was given Nora Helmer from A Doll’s House.
“I stopped thinking like a teacher. I fully immersed myself into the mindset of the student. Only during the breaks would I allow myself time to think about the very different methods of each teacher,” Wampler said.
Each day, one or two scenes would rehearse and the workshop faculty gave notes, direction and led discussions around the acting choices. “The activities promoted being in the moment and risk taking,” Wampler said.
Wampler called the workshop one of the best professional experiences of her life, and said her being a student again will bring added benefits to her teaching on the stages and classrooms of IWU.
“God has revealed to me more of who He has created me to be,” Wampler said. “That is what I have asked God for, to see students for who they think they are and who God has created them to be.”