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Vitoria Rhoades - Guest Director



Photo by Enrico Spada

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Education

PhD Educational Theatre, NYU's Steinhardt School

Biography

Victoria Rhoades is a director, performer and teacher of theatre.  Additionally, she specializes in the integration of the performing arts and a psychology that acknowledges the role of gender, culture and relationship throughout human development.   Tori holds a PhD in Educational Theatre from NYU’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development where she developed an integrated teaching methodology weaving together Shakespeare & Company’s (Lenox, MA) approach to performing Shakespeare with the fields of Relational Psychology, Educational Theatre and the arts therapies as her foundation.  Tori’s work is rooted in the ways our human relationships and creative selves are affected by cultural messages of gender, their impact on our bodies, voices and the way in which we imagine ourselves in the world.  She focuses on the creation of learning environments where both men and women can begin to be at ease expressing their full selves as human beings and in relationship with one another, rather than feeling judged and silenced by what we imagine is required of us in order to be women and men.

In her Masters’ work, Tori began this integration specifically focused on the way in which girls’ voices and sense of themselves are strengthened through the process of creating and performing the plays of William Shakespeare.  Integrating the psychology work of Carol Gilligan and her colleagues, as well as the teaching pedagogy of Shakespeare & Company (Lenox, MA), she found ways to help young women (and later, young men) strengthen their resistance to cultural messages that when internalized, become painful, sometimes life-threatening, and veil their trust in what they know within themselves.

Tori has developed her own workshops for artists and teachers, focused on the thmees of her graduate work.  For eighteen years, she has taught in Shakespeare & Company’s Actor Training Program and Education Programs. In the Training Program, she is a senior teacher of acting Shakespeare, movement and Elizabethan dance.  In the Education Program, she has worked as a teaching artist/director in the Fall Festival of Shakespeare, Riotous Youth Program and Young Company. Tori was the Performing Arts Director at Sonoma Academy (Santa Rosa, CA), where she developed the classroom curriculum and theatre program during its first few years as a developing secondary school. She has worked as a guest director at Shady Side Academy and the Brooks School (N. Andover, MA), and as a teaching artist at Winchester Thurston School, Shady Side Academy, and through Pittsburgh Irish and Classical Theatre’s NEA grant to teach Shakespeare in the schools.

In teaching and learning environments, Tori has directed both Romeo & Juliet and Tweflth Night on two occasions, Othello, King Lear, Julius Caesar, The Tempest, Sense & Sensibility, The Scarlet Letter, and various evenings of collected performance pieces to showcase student talents.  Professionally, she has worked as Movement Director for Julius Caesar (Shakespeare & Company, dir. Tina Packer), Assistant Director for The Othello Project (Shakespeare & Company, dir. Tina Packer), and as an actor in The Merchant of Venice, Taming of the Shrew, As You Like It, Edith Wharton’s Summer, The Turn of the Screw, and Oleanna (City Theatre, dir. Mark Masterson) among others.   As a dancer, she has performed with mentor, Susan Dibble in four different Dibble Dance productions held at Shakespeare & Company in Lenox, MA.  She has worked in film and commercials as an actor and in production. 

Tori is a member of AEA and SAG/AFTRA.  She holds a BS in Theatre from Northwestern University in addition to an MA and PhD from New York University.  She has volunteered for various arts and education organizations, and she serves on the Board of Trustees of Shakespeare & Company.  Tori is a native of Pittsburgh, and is delighted to return to begin working this fall with the University of Pittsburgh’s program in Theatre Arts.