After many years of working with the ensemble, the members of SITI Company recently invited me to join the company and I couldn’t be happier! I wanted to share just a little bit about how I first came in contact with the company, and what it has meant to me to work with them over the years.
My first encounter with SITI Company was twenty years ago, during my freshman year of college at University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM). I had been training in Suzuki and Viewpoints with Richard Hess, who had trained with SITI. During that school year, I also saw my first SITI production, Cabin Pressure, at the Wexner Center for the Arts. This was my first experience seeing devised theatre of any kind and the performances of the actors really resonated with me. To this day, I still remember a very theatrical scene, where the actors were running upstage and downstage, falling to the floor, popping back up, with precision and specificity, all while speaking to each other. After seeing the show, I was eager to have the opportunity to train with the Company, so that I could explore more of what was behind the work. This led me to my first direct encounter with the Company—at the summer training intensive in Saratoga Springs. From day one, I felt that a large component of what was behind the work was the fact that the Company members had a strong collective work ethic and focus. From the minutes before the class started until the time they left the room, they set a tone with their focus towards the training and the work that left a strong impression on me. It was that same focus that I had seen on the stage in Cabin Pressure, which created such a strong physical performance.
I enjoy all the shows that I’ve done with SITI, but if I had to choose one, I would have to say, the theatre is a blank page, an immersive project that SITI Company co-created with visual artist, Ann Hamilton. What I really love about this piece is the fact that not only was the rehearsal process extremely collaborative, as it is with all SITI work, but this particular project is different in that the audience is also involved in the collaboration and creation of the piece throughout the performance. This collaboration results in a symbiotic experience between the ensemble and audience that was magical to take part in.
It’s an absolute honor to officially become a member of SITI Company at this point in the Company’s history. Over the years, I’ve had the great fortune of seeing first hand not only how dedicated SITI Company is to their work as an ensemble in creating groundbreaking theatre, but also the dedication to their mission of training and collaborating with artists from all over the world. After 28 years, SITI’s community around the world is vast. It’s really exciting to go deeper and dedicate myself to the mission of SITI Company over the next two years and to have a voice in whatever happens next for the Company and the incredible SITI community.