I am passionate about discussing Opera, Dance, Lighting Design, and the relationships between art, the viewer, and the artist. Over the past three years, I have developed two classes: "Stage Design & Opera" and "Visual Identity: Aesthetics, Style, & Beauty." Each class has been developed for a 13-week semester. However, either topic could be modified to touch on a smaller amount of material for a 2 or 3-week class lecture length. I am in the research phase of developing my next course titled "Human Monsters in Operas and their shared humanity" which looks at what the title characters of Don Giovanni, Onegin, and Elektra can teach us about our humanity.
In addition to teaching, I am currently researching a series of essays titled "5 Questions for Collaboration in Dance" and a series of discussions in watercolor called "The Shape of Color."
My teaching philosophy breaks down into 5 basic points:
Finding and understanding connections because art doesn't happen in a vacuum.
Illuminating connections can help students discuss global themes and cultural currents, such as complicated social issues, and understand a shared sense of humanity.
Fostering a community in the classroom where students feel empowered to fail & grow.
Building a safe community that allows for critique & and feedback.
Emphasizing an inquiry-based classroom with projects that encourage self-guided learning and helps de-centralize the classroom, allowing for a broader base of ideas explored in the classroom.
Read my full Teaching Philosophy & DEI Statement.
Stage Design & Opera
This course has been devolved as an upper-level class that examines opera as a form of drama through the lens of design. Using design-based projects, students will discuss how elements of design can help strengthen the audiences’ relationship to the drama and structure of the opera while developing strong musical dramaturgy skills. Students will get an overview of Baroque, Classical, and Romantic periods, including those periods' conventions and uniques styles. In the second half of the semester, the discussion will shift to how we can take the conventions of Opera and explore how it can fit into the 21st Century (either through new interpretations or site-specific work). Through the class, opera is used to look at the portrayal and subversion of gender and class roles through history, cultural appropriation and examines the complex emotions and intentions of flawed characters as a lens to discuss our shared humanity. Sample Syllabus
Visual Identity: Aesthetics, Style, Beauty
Aesthetics, Style, and Beauty are three words that can have murky and problematic definitions. By studying these words, we can hope to define the art we wish to make in relation to the viewer. Styled after a seminar-type class, students will be guided through these and other problematic/multifaceted terms (Like culture, taste, form, and content) through class discussion. Each class will have the students discuss the week's reading with additional prompts from visual media related to each week’s readings. Students will also be required to do weekly prompts as well as three short papers. The class will culminate in students writing an Artist Statment that reflects the type of art they wish to create.