PNW Theatrical Intimacy Professionals Collective Members
Ian Bond (he/him)
Seattle (willing to travel)
I believe the most impactful theatre comes from highly collaborative rehearsal rooms built on respect and trust. Whether I am fight directing or intimacy directing, I see my role as that of a storyteller-facilitator supporting the building of trust with best practices and clear communication in service of a dynamic, collaborative story. In a space of trust, artists work with confidence and enthusiasm knowing the team respects each others' boundaries, advocates for each others' needs, and celebrates each others' strengths. This artistic space of integrity leads to the vulnerable truths of human existence we strive for when telling stories.
As an intimacy director with particular skills in stage combat and high risk elements of performance I foster production specific practices that will best support this group of people developing this project at this time. Working from a foundation rooted in Intimacy Directors International's Five Pillars of Intimacy, drawing heavily from Adam Noble's "Noble Method" and Theatrical Intimacy Education's Ingredients, and filtered through my experience as an actor and teacher, I help individuals and teams develop a caring, resilient, consent-based space. This begins by defining together the goals of the project or scene, determining the boundaries of those involved and the systems that best fit our team, focusing on a consent-based, performer-first style of choreographing, and staying in clear and open communication throughout the process.
Through a trauma-informed and body positive approach to choreographing I work from performers' expertise and director's vision to shape safe, repeatable moments that dynamically tell our story. I advocate for performer safety and confidence by using de-sexualized language, moving through a process efficiently, but at a performer led pace, and openly acknowledging the power dynamics at play in the room. After documenting the specific intimacy choreography we've created I advocate for ongoing dialogue about it to ensure safety, consistency, and ongoing consent. As with fight choreography, I teach closure and de-roling practices for intimacy choreography so work can be left at work and we don't take home the emotional burdens of our show.
A room of people that trust themselves and each other is the most exciting and creatively fruitful room to work in. As an intimacy director it is my joy to help create that room.
Kate Drummond (she/her)
I believe that the key to compelling physical storytelling is consent, bravery, and trust. My work is defined by levity, clear communication, and ritual structures, and my intimacy practice is informed by Theatrical Intimacy Education, the IDC pillars, and my own experience as an actor, director, and movement-based creator.
When choreographing intimate moments, I believe in clearly communicated structure and empowering actors to have autonomy in articulating their inspirations, boundaries, and needs. Beyond choreography, I believe that cultivating a strong and joyful community in the room creates a culture of trust and communication that fosters positive results. I advocate for ritual-based rehearsal rooms to build patterns and muscle memory in connection. In intensely ensemble-based work like Dacha's Dice series, I additionally strive to forge trust on an individual basis through laughter-based techniques like silly handshakes to bookend rehearsals for all individuals in the room: actors, creative team, and admin team alike!
This year, I have been using consent-based practices to build confidence and trust for a return to in-person rehearsals, advising on and enacting structures to acknowledge the reality that for most of us, sharing space right now is an intimate act in and of itself.
Sarah Harlett (she/her)
I believe that creative, powerful art comes from a place of communication, respect and trust of the people in the room. That dynamic, expressive, physical storytelling must be created within the boundaries expressed by artists involved and that serves the director’s vision of the story.
I work to create and foster consent-based environments so that artists can safely work in a place that allows for physical and emotional vulnerability. I employ boundary practices, apply desexualized/ deloaded language and create specific, repeatable, documented choreography (using “Ingredients” developed by TIE) that respects the boundaries of the actors involved and supports the vision of the director. I also offer self-care cues and closure practices to enable artists to self-advocate and to exit the work. I apply training from Theatrical Intimacy Education (TIE), the pillars from IDI/IDC and additional intimacy, Mental Health First Aid, and Bystander Intervention training as well as my own practice as an actor and collaborator. I currently teach intimacy protocols in my classrooms and am the Intimacy Director at Cornish College of the Arts. As TIE says, I work to “make it less weird.”
I believe we have an incredible opportunity in the practice of our arts, to become and continue to foster a healthier, consent-based and trauma-informed practice.
Alyssa Kay (she/her)
Seattle, WA + Tacoma, WA (willing to travel)
I come to theatrical intimacy work with a background in physical theater, ensemble-generated theater, and a particular specialization in stage combat, and am passionate about the safe and effective portrayal of both violence and intimacy onstage. My preference is for a highly collaborative process, one in which the instincts of the actors and the vision of the director and other members of the creative team are as important as the tools I bring to the room to help tell those stories.
I typically begin each process by discussing my role with the cast and creative team and giving a brief overview of the intimacy practices I use, including consent and boundary definitions, communication tools, desexualized language, etc. From there, we'll discuss the context of the intimacy in each scene and throughout the play so as to develop a shared understanding of the story we're working to tell. Once on our feet, we'll work choreographically, developing the physical story in layers from general shapes and use of space to specific tempos, degrees of touch, and use of breath/vocalizations. My goal is to create an objectively definable and repeatable framework that is rooted in the volatile emotional life of the characters but is emotionally and physically safe for the performers to embody. I also recommend the use of closure practices and can help actors, casts, or creative teams develop their own closure practices to create a healthy boundary between the work we do in the room or onstage and the lives we live outside of it.
I currently serve as the resident fight and intimacy choreographer for both Harlequin Productions and Seattle University, and have experience working with both youth and adults as an educator as well as choreographer. I'm committed to helping offset the power imbalances present in every creative process and ensuring that everyone in the room feels a sense of agency and empowerment. And most of all, I love the collaborative, physicalized telling of stories and enjoy creating brave, supportive spaces to do that work.
Emily Rollie (she/her)
Central Washington (willing to travel)
In my practice and rehearsal, I strive to support a brave space which focuses on establishing and communicating boundaries, creating structures for communication and advocacy, encouraging dialogue among collaborators, and mitigating as well as repairing harm. Within this brave space, we recognize the power imbalances that exist, and then I incorporate and offer anti-oppressive/antiracist, consent-based tools such as a self-care cue, community-created agreements, physical boundary practices, and recognition (and celebration!) of boundaries beyond the physical to include personal, cultural, professional. In choreographing intimacy, the storytelling comes first - there are many ways to support and tell the story via intimacy that work within actors' boundaries. Intimacy is specifically choreographed and documented - using de-loaded, de-sexualized language - to ensure it is safe and repeatable (including a "Plan B" as needed). It is my sincere hope this consent-based practice expands beyond the rehearsal space to recognize the import of informed consent, honoring boundaries as they are, and working together to create a more equitable, inclusive collaborative process and field. As an associate faculty member with Theatrical Intimacy Education, a theatre educator with experience teaching elementary, high school, and university settings, as well as a freelance director/intimacy choreographer and yoga instructor, I bring a passion for education, trauma-informed practice, and interdisciplinary artistic collaboration to the process.
Jess K Smith (she/her)
Seattle + Tacoma, WA (willing to travel)
In my work as an intimacy director and educator, I apply trauma-informed practices as I facilitate a discussion with a company about the ingredients necessary for being able to give informed and enthusiastic consent, highlight the pathways for accountability that are available to all, and develop a shared vocabulary and practice for establishing boundaries and addressing boundary violations based in Theatrical Intimacy Education's pedagogy. Company members are empowered to consider their boundaries, the shifting contexts that may alter their boundaries, and the plethora of ways that boundaries can be honored while collaboratively telling a compelling story. The foundational beliefs that undergird the work are that a performer's boundaries are right just where they are and that when boundaries are respected, everyone is empowered to do their best work. When choreographing, we start with a grounding in the script and story we are telling, then work from a boundary practice utilizing de-sexualized language to build specific and repeatable technical choreography that is documented by the actors and stage management team. Before leaving, the rehearsal team understands how they can perform necessary intimacy calls, incorporate placeholders, address shifting boundaries, and develop de-roling practices that support the mental well-being of the company. As a director who specializes in devised, site-specific, immersive, physical, and interdisciplinary work in addition to more traditional and educational theatre and as an Associate Professor and Chair of Theatre Arts at the University of Puget Sound with over a decade of experience working with and advocating for survivors of sexual violence, queer, trans, and non-binary young adults, and students of color, I come to intimacy direction with a commitment to collaboration, an imaginative and deeply physical practice, and an investment in advocating for those with the least power in the room.