Vak Magic Productions
Vak Magic Productions is a therapeutic theatre and media company that tells stories that may be challenging or difficult to hear while exploring the myriad of possible expressions that can best give voice to the story. VaK means "speech" in Sanskrit. Vak is also the name of the goddess known for giving energy for visions that need to be communicated through the voice.
• original therapeutic theatre performance and film
• street theatre
• community based healing ritual and performance
I have been working in theatre since I was a child. As a youth I performed in summer stock, regional theatre, educational films, dinner theatre, and children’s repertory theatre for many years. I had the opportunity to work with innovative directors such as Tina Landau, Stephen Schwartz, and Ken Rus Schmoll. In addition to this more cutting-edge work, I learned the art of vaudevillian comedy from aging actors for 5 summers at the Hampton Playhouse in Hampton Beach, New Hampshire.
During college I immersed myself in radical theatre studies and was mentored as a thinker, playwright and performer by the late Arthur Sainer, author of the “Radical Theatre Notebook.” Enchanted with the history of political theatre in the U.S., I wrote and directed experimental/political plays and simultaneously refined my training as an actor at the Moscow Art Theatre. Formal studies in cultural anthropology and radical performance led me toward an exploration of how theatre and ritual could be used for healing, both in communal and individual ways.
Around this time, I began to explore how traditional music could affirm cultural identity and belonging. This started while learning women’s vocal music in a tiny desert town in Rajasthan. This led to a decade of undoing my formal training as a singer. I followed an interest in Balkan music and co-formed an A capella quartet, Black Sea Hotel, studying, writing and performing new arrangements of old songs in NYC and in Bulgaria. Simultaneously I dove into an intensive study of yoga, decolonizing and undoing trauma in my body, and became a full time teacher.
As a drama therapist, I bridge my interests in political theatre, folkloric studies, and the decolonization and “wilding” of the human voice and body together through therapeutic theatre performance. I have been creating performances as both a director and actor for the last several years both in the community as well as on inpatient psychiatric units.
As a theatre and music artist I have performed in diverse venues ranging from Joe’s Pub, NPR, Symphony Space and BAM Cafe to inpatient psychiatric units, hospital bedsides, community gardens, and jails.