Monica H. is a solo performer who creates docu-adventure shows. Her first play, Reading the Water, produced at HERE Arts Center, explores the mysterious death of her scientist father and illuminates the dangerous conditions at his laboratory. Blondie of Arabia, was nominated for a NY Innovative Theater Award for Best Solo Performance, Winner First Place Audience Choice Award Apostrof Festival in Prague, was selected for the Theater of Change Festival in Athens, Greece, produced in De Parade in Utrecht and Amsterdam, produced in Sibiu International Theater Festival and at The Living Theatre in NYC. Her latest play, The Wild Finish, the adventure of her bicycle trip across Poland to find the story of her grandfather, was originally produced in Culture Project’s Women Center Stage Festival and has since been chosen for the Amsterdam Fringe Festival as well as toured to the International Theater Festival in Porsgrunn, Norway and recently in Sydney, Australia at The Horse’s Mouth solo theater festival in 2013. Monica earned her BFA in Drama from the Experimental Theatre Wing and MA in Educational Theatre at NYU and has taught in Thailand, Greece, India, Australia, trained in Amsterdam, at the Grotowski Center in Poland and finished her Masters at Trinity College in Dublin. Monica H. teaches Physical Storytelling and performs in NY and across the world with her own shows. She has performed with LesFreresCorbusier, International WOW, Scott Lyons and Co. and The Living Theatre. Monica is also a dedicated activist working with Time’s-Up!, Occupy The Pipeline, Rev. Billy and The Church of Stop Shopping, Occupy Wall Street and bicycle dance troupe- NYBikeDance. Monica’s creative direct action techniques within the OWS movement have been featured in the documentary film, “Everyday Rebellion” by the Riahi Brothers. Take a class with her! Lessons are very physical explorations where actors have the chance to break out of old habits and try new things, to work in a free and safe environment.
*** Lesson Details ***
Get in your body! Free yourself up to become a more flexible, aware and impulsive actor.
The class will utilize various physical theater techniques including Viewpoints, Grotowski’s plastiques and corporals, improvisation, clowning, Linklater vocal techniques, dance and my own brand of developing solo material to explore the world of the participants' stories, monologues and other materials. We will approach each piece physically, finding the specifics, emotion, story, characters and action within our bodies and rely on the genius of impulse to set free new discoveries. Participants will examine how playing with physical forms, experimenting with time and space and exhausting your usual acting safety’s can reveal the truth and inner life of the story that celebrate your individuality and unique choices. How you tell this story/ monologue is different than how anyone else can tell it. We will create a safe environment in which to take risks and break out of old patterns, clichés and stereotypes.
Testimonials from Students:
"Monica is a wonderful teacher. She creates an open and trusting environment. In the one day workshop I attended, I thought the day was structured very well with a perfect balance of exercises that were achievable and challenging and an afternoon of opportunities to expore the craft of storytelling."
- Claudia Barrie
(participant in Horse's Mouth Theater Festival Workshop in Sydney, Australia)
"I saw and experienced first hand that the body & imagery work that Monica does so well truly does work and is very effective. She created a safe environment where I was able to physically manifest all of my wildest dreams. No matter how badly my day is going, her class lifts me up. Monica has fire, passion, an extraordinary sense of play, a wonderful sense of humor, and beautiful insight to teach and inspire all of us."
"I had a really amazing time. It was important for me as an out of work actor to remind myself how important it is to always keep moving. Keeping yourself fit is very important in our line of work but also keeping up physical exploration. I benefited mostly from realizing how much information and material is stored in our physical body and how it can lay dormant unless your discipline yourself to let it out to play. play with yourself more often and art will flow. Thank You Monica."
- Jessika D. Williams
"Monica's Physical Storytelling workshop is a blast! She'll make you sweat and feel and explore and ponder. If you give yourself to the work, you'll discover varieties of personal subjectivity, that will astonish and help create compelling theater."
*** Studio Equipment ***
Hard wood floors
CD and computer for playing music
*** Travel Equipment ***
It would be helpful if you could provide a mat or towel, a clear open space to work in a focused environment and something to write with.
*** Specialties ***
.Physical theater methods- Grotowski, Viewpoints, Linklater, clowning, mask work, yoga, dance, physical approach to vocal work, building characters
. Working on developing new material
. Getting the body in shape to be a more adaptive and flexible performer
. I have many years experience teaching teenagers and middle school age kids too as a teaching artist in New York City
· Acting · A great way to gain confidence and sharpen your physical theatre skills!
Monica creates a safe, inviting space that allows participants to keep an open heart and take risks! Monica gave me a better understanding of Grotowski methods and the purpose of the tools we learned. I loved the way she incorporated viewpoints into the workshop. I gained a better understanding of how I can use my body as a means to communicate story and emotion. The class was physically challenging in the best way possible. I learned some great vocal warm-ups and even some great forward and side rolls (which I never thought I could do!) I left feeling revitalized and inspired to create new work and breathe some life into my current work.
· Acting · A born teacher
Monica is a born teacher just as she is a born actor. (It's hardly inevitable for one to also be the other.) I was skeptical at first, but I found the exercise liberating. I've never been so out of breath! However, Monica understood and accepted my limits, which is cool, and she relates to her students emotionally, which is better than cool. Her method for teaching actors is not the only viable method or even necessarily the best, but she makes it work for her.
· Acting · Fun, challenging exercises
I took Monica's physical storytelling class. I really enjoyed the different kinds of exercises she gave us to do. They were fun and could be useful for creating new material.
· Acting · Great, Boundary-Expanding Class
I took one of Monica's one-day performance workshops - her approach helped me become more fully-embodied, and more intimately connected to the stories I wanted to tell in my work. Monica has a unique gift for helping the people she works with open up and find the truth in their own lives, which helps fuel their artistic work. Athletic, bold, and highly recommended.
· Acting · One of the best in New York
I have taken physical theatre workshops in Australia, Poland, France and the UK and Monica's class is definitely on par with the leading physical performance teachers out there. As far as value for money goes. This class is a steal. The great thing about working with Monica is that she is a successful practicing Artist also. Her methods are drawn from her own experiences as an international touring artist. Also, it's a lot of fun. Highly recommend for working professionals and beginners.
· Acting · Breakthrough-making creative experience
I took a physical storytelling workshop with Monica in a small group setting (6 students) and didn't know what to expect. I'm an experienced performer, but not an actor, and had no theater training background. The class blew my mind -- the exercises Monica led us through dissolved my defenses and self-consciousness, and made me think about my body as an instrument of expression in a way I never had before. She created a safe space for us all to be vulnerable, take risks, and tell the truth, and I felt I could really trust her as a teacher and guide. I feel like I made some real discoveries and connections in her workshop that continue to reverberate in my approach to communicating and being present in a performance setting.