Brittany Bara

“My hope is that my students will able to become more emotionally available humans both onstage and off” Brittany Bara

Ms. Bara is a second year Master of Fine Arts student at the University of Pittsburgh, working towards a degree in theatre arts pedagogy. Before joining the theatre department at Pitt, she was a working actor and theatre practitioner in New York City and New Hampshire. She was a founding member of a summer stock theatre company where she was able to wear the many hats of general manager, box office personnel, company manager, performer, and board member. Early on in her professional career she worked as a director for several children’s theatre companies. Working with young children and teaching them how to become great actors inspired her to pursue a career in theatre education. Seeing the importance of, need for, and value in developing vocabulary and tool boxes of acting techniques resonate through her experiences, Bara continues to seek out new training opportunities to help perfect her own skills as well as to explore new ways of teaching and helping others with their craft.

For her thesis class at Pitt, Voice and Movement: Explorations on Connection, Brittany engages her students in fun and rigorous exercises that assists them in becoming more physically and vocally aware. The class is structured so that the students “begin with exploring internal connections to self, then self to others and building [their] awareness out so that they can be more present both on and offstage.” For example, she starts off a day by asking the class what has surprised them in the last week, encouraging them to take notice of how their body reacts in moments of surprise and in the moment of retelling the story of the surprise: an internal connection to self. A lively dance party then grows to warm-up their bodies allowing each student to lead the class in improvised dance choreography, making them physically available to connect to the space and one another. It is evident when watching her teach that the students are curating awareness of self and awareness of other. In reflections on their opening activities students are excited to articulate their experiences and foresee how the exercise can relate to life as a human or as an actor on a larger scale.

Utilizing her training in Kristin Linklater’s vocal techniques, Brittany guides her students through warm-ups to strengthen the connections between mind, body, and breath. She believes building this foundation will help performers become more empathetic, emotionally available, and connected as humans. Combining individual coaching with ensemble work allows her to hone in on specifics to insure her students are getting the most out of their experience in her class.

When asked what she has enjoyed most about her time at Pitt, Brittany immediately discusses the community between students, faculty, and staff. It is their passion and drive that continues to inspire and encourage her to be the best version of herself and help her students find the best versions of themselves. In her short time at Pitt, Brittany has immersed herself in the university and Pittsburgh communities. She recently performed in the Pittsburgh New Works Festival where she won Best Actress for her role as Bria in Destiny is a Carless Waiter by Julie Zaffarano and she is currently in rehearsals for the musical Parade directed by Robert Frankenberry where she will be playing Lucille Frank. She has served as an assistant director on 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee last spring and she is also serving as the dialect coach on Parade this fall. A triple-threat in her own right, Brittany strives to continue work in voice and movement training, acting coaching, and musical theatre practice among other work. She frequently travels to NYC to attend workshops at the Linklater Center and The Movement Studio (a Lecoq training center). She plans on auditioning for this upcoming designation group to travel to Scotland to work and train directly with Kristin Linklater for the summer.  In her twelve plus years of professional acting experience, the stepping-stone of the University of Pittsburgh’s Theatre Arts Department is another milestone in what will be an exciting life in the theatre for Ms. Bara.