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I got hooked into the theatre at a very young age, playing the Page in a church production of “Good King Wenceslaus” when I was 5 years old. For a while I thought I was going to be the next Joni Mitchell and started out as a music major. I enrolled in a beginning level acting class during my first semester, and by the end of that semester I changed my major to theatre, dashing my parents’ hopes of me becoming a secretary in the Foreign Service.

Upon graduation, I moved to NYC, working as an actor, and 2 years later enrolled in the MFA Acting Program at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. I spent summers performing in New Hampshire, upstate New York, and Massachusetts doing summer stock. After receiving my degree, I toured the country performing the role of Nancy in Oliver!, while looking for a new artistic home that had a vibrant theatre community. Choosing DC as my new base, I spent several years working as a professional actor before teaching my first class – to Kindergarten students! I soon found an aptitude and a passion for teaching, finding delight in how theatre can change lives, and passing that artistry on to the next generation of artists.

Education

MFA in Acting, New York University Tisch School of the Arts
B.A. in Theatre Arts, San Francisco State University

Research Interests

  • Voice and dialects

  • Japanese theatre

  • Musical theatre

Recent Courses

  • FYS 1113: Acting: Onstage and Off

  • THE 2230: Non-Western Theatre

  • THE 2232: Acting II: Creating a Character

Selected Publications

  • 3 chapters of "Barrier Free Theatre" by Sally Bailey

  • 2 exercises in "The Complete Voice and Speech Workout" by Janet Rodgers

Clubs and community involvement

  • Faculty Advisor, Alpha Psi Omega Theatre Honors Society

  • Leadership Positions, Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival

Awards and Honors

  • JF Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts Gold Medallion

  • Faculty Creativity Award

  • Faculty Special Achievement Award

"Thanks for encouraging me to broaden my horizons and being friendly anytime I stopped by the department."

Shannon Bernier, '19 Chemistry & Physics