"The school of the future, will perhaps, not be a school as we understand it -
with benches, blackboards and a teacher's platform - it may be a library,
a museum, a conversation or a theatre." ~ Leo Tolstoy
I believe everyone is born with intelligence, capability, and creativity. As a Theatre Educator, (who has worked with more than 1500 students between the ages of 5 and 95 to date), I have an extraordinary opportunity to water these seeds inherent to our humanity.
Whether I am working with seasoned professionals, supporting career-bound Artists, handing students their first theatrical building blocks, teaching in my content areas, or facilitating arts-integrated curriculum, I utilize the art and craft of theatre to ignite learning, and engage, empower, enlighten, energize, and educate people. I facilitate discovery, honor vulnerabilities, celebrate strengths, and help Learners and Growers of every age and stage find the conviction to embrace their truest Selves, and walk confidently and enthusiastically through life.
Life ... is constant evolution. Interpersonal and intrapersonal awareness shifts, physical and physiological changes occur, intelligence expands and diversifies, friendships develop and dissolve, and people are continually attempting to define their own Identities in, and connections to, the world. When integrated productively, involvement in theatrical activity can provide invaluable and profound opportunities for successful academic, personal, and artistic growth, development, and awareness for all learning levels, styles, staminas, and intelligences. My goal is to develop versatile, balanced, confident, capable performers … and people.
Theatre education is often misunderstood, misrepresented and misinterpreted as a “frill” program, an extra-curricular, or a talent contest. On the contrary, theatre is academic, and is one of the most multifarious and powerful learning processes available. Everything we do on a daily basis is, essentially, theatrical: we use our voices, faces and bodies; we exchange information; we respond and react; we engage our senses; we think; and we feel. Theatre also provides opportunities to interface with every content area. From language arts, to music, history, painting, math, science, sociology, (and the list extends), no other course of study can stimulate, inspire and blend so many layers of learning and revelation the way theatre can.
I believe theatrical involvements should be enriching, activated, organic and authentic; not forced, phony, copied, competitive or impractical. Whether taught as a singular subject, integrated into an academic classroom to enhance knowledge, or utilized with communities for social exploration and social action, theatre is one of the most effective resources we have for active, experiential, blended and progressive education.
I create professional, nurturing, supportive, validating, interactive and energetic classroom and rehearsal environments so students are comfortable exploring, experimenting with, and expanding upon their skills and can apply them consistently. I create opportunities for students to gain trust in and rely on themselves, both as individuals and as part of a community. I cultivate tolerance for all temperaments. I honor each participant’s ideas and contributions. My hope is for each student to uncover and practice their full artistic and personal potential.
Theatre fosters infinite opportunities for research, reflection and discussion, lends itself to observation, investigation, and analysis, and serves as a catalyst for creative expression, collaboration and connection. Theatricality has been a source of communication for societies across cultures since the beginning of recorded time. Political theatre director/writer/activist, Augusto Boal, stated, “Theatre is a weapon, and it is the people who should wield it.” I am intent on applying my knowledge, skills and energy, and ‘wielding the weapons’ of Theatre, to train, guide and positively impact as many people as I can.
Some icons who
continue to inspire me:
-Musical Theatre education and performance
-Acting / Non-musical Theatre education and performance
-Voice / Vocal education and performance
-Educational Theatre & Drama In Education
-Social/Emotional/Personal explorations through theatre
-Arts-integrated curriculum design and implementation
-Ice-Breakers & Team Building
**I can create personalized programming to address your content-specific needs!
**Happy to work one-to-one, and/or with groups of all sizes, ages, and capabilities!
"Diane does not just deposit knowledge or skills in students' heads; she creates a context for them to learn, and requires them to grapple, risk, collaborate, inquire, discover and challenge assumptions and taken-for-granted truths. She creates a rich context for students to learn and grow emotionally, spiritually and relationally, all while providing a site for creative expression and community." - Lynne Rosen, PROFESSOR
"Diane completely set the groundwork for my love of musical theatre. She is a pioneer for young, aspiring dreamers, and has helped so many of us make our dreams a reality. She helped me believe in myself and in my talents, and I forever grateful." - Gabrielle McClinton, ACTRESS (PIPPIN and CHICAGO, Broadway)
"Words seem inadequate as a means to convey what a great experience my daughter had with you, Diane. it was beautiful to watch her expand her horizons outside of her usual environment. You have managed to create an environment that inspires and embraces anyone and everyone. That is a testament to you and the people you have surrounded yourself with. THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart!"
"Your dedication is tireless, your talents incredibly brilliant. The invaluable tools I obtained working with you will last a lifetime!" - Alyce Cohen Grossman, FOUNDER, COLY L.A.
"I first discovered my love of the stage working with Diane and her theatre company, CCLO. She instilled the tools I needed as a child to get into a performing arts high school and start my journey to becoming a professional actor." - Andrew Chappelle, ACTOR (HAMILTON and MAMMA MIA, Broadway)
"Diane: Our daughter has developed a strong work ethic, discipline, passion, confidence, and the self-knowledge necessary for success in life all because of her participation with you and with theatre. She is well-prepared to navigate road-blocks with grace and compassion thanks to your commitment, hard work and love." - Jackie and Keith Elkins
"You instilled confidence in me at an early age when I don’t remember getting that kind of support from anywhere else. You are an incredible talent and an amazing force with young artists! It was a blessing to have had you as a teacher and director!" - Natalie Woolams, ACTRESS (TINY BEAUTIFUL THINGS, Off-Broadway)
"Diane, your processes are nothing short of TRANSFORMATIVE for both the students and parents involved. Your energy is so focused on pulling out the best in EVERYONE. You are truly inspirational and a gift to us all!" - Bonnie Wacker
Various projects and processes over the years ...
Working with alums from the past 25 years!
Master Classes for artists age 18 and up
For young Artists age 5 - 8
For young Artists age 5 - 8
Musical Theatre program for students in grade K - 2