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The UHM Department of Theatre and Dance is partnering with the campus office of Student Equity and Excellence in Diversity (SEED) and with the Hawai‘i State Theatre Council (HSTC) to bring out Claire Warden of Intimacy Directors International (IDI) to give a talk and workshops about best practices in intimacy safety for theatre, television, and film. Warden will give a public talk, titled “Intimacy Direction: Towards a Theatre of Empowerment,” to introduce the concept of Intimacy Direction, a growing artistic practice to promote psychological and physical safety in the performing arts.
Claire Warden is one of the most respected practitioners in the field of Intimacy Direction. She is Director of Engagement with IDI and one of its co-founders, and has extensive experience in working with institutions and individuals on the development of safe practices for artists. Warden consults for and intimacy coordinates on television networks, such HBO and Hulu, as well as independent films. In 2019, she made history as the first intimacy director in a Broadway production for Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune, with Audra McDonald and Michael Shannon. She was also the first woman to be nominated for a Drama Desk Award for Intimacy and Fight Direction, which she won for Slave Play in 2019, which later moved to Broadway.
Sexual harassment associated with intimacy work in theatre/film has had an overwhelming negative impact of women throughout these industries, as recent journalistic investigations have shown. This project presents an opportunity to address this unfortunate truth in a positive way: by presenting specific and up-to-date strategies for promoting safety and avoiding and harmful dangerous situations and practices; these strategies can benefit all genders.
The #metoo movement has brought national attention to the issue of safety in the rehearsal room, on the stage, and on set. SAG-AFTRA recently announced its Call to Action for “Ensuring Safe and Equitable Workplaces,” emphasizing “Empowerment through Education” as one of its four pillars of support. Locally, in June 2019 The ARTS at Marks Garage sponsored a community discussion on “Cultivating Safe Practices in our Creative Spaces;” the discussion was well-attended by artists from a wide spectrum of community theatre and arts organizations. This group recommended many steps forward to cultivate safe practices, and highlighted the need for more education of artistic directors, board members, administrators, as well as directors and actors. This residency is one step forward in that direction.
Intimacy Directors International (IDI) is on the cutting edge of hands-on work in educating theatre and film artists on work with staged intimacy. In January 2020, SAG-AFTRA announced a new set of standards, created in consultatiom with Alicia Rodis, the associate director and a co-founder of IDI: https://www.sagaftra.org/contracts-industry-resources/workplace-harassment/intimacy-coordinator-standards-protocols. This new document was created in order to standardize, codify and implement guidelines for on-set intimacy coordinators.
IDI regularly trains university theatre departments. Their website states, “Our protocols are made for those who want to educate and update their entire department on the new standards for handling scenes of intimacy and sexual violence. We specifically address not only actors, and directors, but professors, stage management and the entire production team for the promotion of health, safety, and effective storytelling.”
ARTIST BIO FROM: https://www.teamidi.org/leadinstructors
Claire Warden is an intimacy director and coordinator, fight director, teacher and actress with over twenty years experience in theatre, TV and film across America and the UK. She is an Associate Director with Intimacy Directors International and a founding member of IDI – UK, and is co-leading the intimacy direction movement across America and the world.
Warden works as an intimacy coordinator and consultant on television networks, including HBO, Hulu, Amazon, Showtime, as well major motion picture studios such as Sony and 20th Century Fox. She is part of the collaboration team advising SAG-AFTRA on their effort to standardize, codify and implement guidelines for on-set intimacy coordinators.
Warden recently made history as the first intimacy director on Broadway with Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune and also worked as Intimacy Director on the Broadway productions of Slave Play, The Inheritance, Jagged Little Pill and Linda Vista. She was recently awarded Variety Magazine’s 2019 “10 Broadway Players to Watch.” Warden is a Drama Desk award winner for Outstanding Fight Choreography for Slave Play at NYTW and was also nominated in the same category for the play Daddy. Off-Broadway, she has intimacy and fight directed Slave Play (NYTW), Daddy (Vineyard/New Group), Miss Julie and Dance of Death (CSC) and BLKS (MCC Theatre) as well as others both in New York and regionally.
Warden has trained faculty & students in acting training institutions across the country, including Yale, NYU, Brown/Trinity, Brandeis, Stella Adler, the O’Neill Theatre Center, Muhlenberg College, Sarah Lawrence, HB Studios and numerous others. She has presented and given workshops for conferences and theatre communities on both sides of the Atlantic. She is also part of the teaching team of Intimacy Directors International, training the next generation of intimacy directors and coordinators.
Warden’s residency is funded by the Roger Long Western Theatre fund and the Edward A. Langhans Guest Artist fund, with additional support from the UHM office of Student Equity and Excellence in Diversity (SEED) and from the Hawai‘i State Theatre Council (HSTC).
“Intimacy Direction: Moving Towards a Theatre of Empowerment”
A free public talk by Claire Warden
PRESENTED BY: UHM Department of Theatre + Dance
WHEN: April 4, 1:30pm
WHERE: UHM Kennedy Theatre, 1770 East-West Road, 96822
Saturday parking on campus is usually a $7 flat rate fee paid at the kiosk or using pay-to-park machines in the campus parking lots.