I have been an actor for 40 years, a director for 30, and an Acting Lead Instructor for over 15 years. I was the Southwest Shakespeare Education Outreach Director, and I have built curricula in every school where I have worked. My students in 2020 placed as AZ State One-Act Festival Winners and as a National Thespian Chapter Select Featured One-Act. Additionally, I work with current college and private students to gain college entrance Two students have received full-ride scholarships to Carnegie Mellon University in Acting and Musical Theatre and a third in Acting at AMDA. My mentorship of students has helped them be accepted at schools such as RADA, the University of Essex in England, AMDA, Carnegie Mellon, Boston Conservatory, CALARTS, etc.
While in San Diego, I worked to help develop standards for the AIR (Actor in Residence) program with VAPA leaders in San Diego County. In Indonesia I built a relationship with Balinese and American students for four years and bridged Western/Eastern Acting methodologies while working in three languages, English, Indonesian, Balinese. I also built a company while I worked in SE Asia called “Wandering Players”.
I have Implemented JEDI in practices and in performances, encouraging actors to find their voices through devising and spoken word. 2020/2021 has been a time fraught with obstacles and social issues which have changed how we see and perform theatre. These social issues have also changed the face of education. I aim to advocate for a diverse and equitable theatre where all students/casts will feel safe and supported, to create a continued conversation so casts through theatre can speak of these social issues and how they affect their worlds. I also advocate the power of women both in theatre and other walks of life. Women have been unsung creators in theatre as actors, writers, directors; it is time to assure young women that their voices can be heard, should be heard.
For my casts, I create a safe space where I allow them to be who they are as people and who they are as budding artists. Play discussion in person and online frequently include topics of systemic racism and social justice. I facilitate anti- racist thought and behavior in the room and in the work by devising projects which support JEDI, and which use pieces by BIPOC.I continue to coach and mentor former students, many of whom are now on stage, in film, or teaching/directing themselves.
I seek to work in an environment open to making change through theatre. I have workshopped with Southwest Shakespeare Company, at local/state competitions, organized theatre programs in small charter schools, studied/worked abroad in Europe and Indonesia, and been involved in theatre on/off stage all my life; I feel my diverse international experience gives me a unique perspective for working as an artistic director.
I would like to talk about your program, what you are looking for, and how I might make a good fit should you have an opening for a theatre teacher/mentor. Please look at my webpage https://www.jennbanda.com to have a more precise idea of what I have done. Then, if you would be interested, send me an email to set up a time to connect.
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