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Intimacy Direction

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Challenging “Certification”: Revising Hiring Practices in Fight and Intimacy Choreography
Essay
Challenging “Certification”: Revising Hiring Practices in Fight and Intimacy Choreography
by Kate Busselle, Danielle Rosvally
18 October 2022
Celebrating the Spirit in Intimacy Work
Essay
Celebrating the Spirit in Intimacy Work
A Conversation with Cha Ramos
by Ann James, Cristina (Cha) Ramos
2 September 2022
Bringing Identity to Staged Intimacy
Essay
Bringing Identity to Staged Intimacy
A Conversation with Adi Cabral
by Ann James, Adi Cabral
1 September 2022
Six masked performers gather on or around a bed on stage.
Challenging “Certification”: Revising Hiring Practices in Fight and Intimacy Choreography
Essay

Challenging “Certification”: Revising Hiring Practices in Fight and Intimacy Choreography

18 October 2022

Fight director and theatre artist Danielle Rosvally and founder of Heartland Intimacy Design and Training and associate professor Kate Busselle come together to interrogate the concept of “certification” in fight direction and intimacy coordination by illuminating current training practices, opportunities, and programs in the field.

Two actors in their underwear caressing one another.
Celebrating the Spirit in Intimacy Work
Essay

Celebrating the Spirit in Intimacy Work

A Conversation with Cha Ramos

2 September 2022

Ann James interviews Cha Ramos about her approach to intimacy direction, which pulls from Cha’s multidisciplinary theatrical career, her Cuban American upbringing, and—perhaps most crucially—her intentional rediscovery of spirituality as an essential part of artistic practice.

An actor touches the face of another actor while standing on a darkened stage.
Bringing Identity to Staged Intimacy
Essay

Bringing Identity to Staged Intimacy

A Conversation with Adi Cabral

1 September 2022

Ann James talks to Adi Cabral about Cabral’s path though the intimacy industry. As a practitioner and professor, Cabral approaches intimacy choreography by centering harm prevention while working to create opportunities for students to identify and grow within their boundaries.

A woman sits looking at a camera while two others kiss in the background.
Being Authentic in a New Theatre Practice
Essay

Being Authentic in a New Theatre Practice

A Conversation with Jyreika Guest

31 August 2022

Ann James chats with Jyreika Guest, who works as both an intimacy specialist and an actor, about framing intimacy work for actors. Jyreika shares her hopes for a future in which consent is an automatic part of rehearsal processes.

Two actors staring lovingly into each other's eyes.
Erasure is Not an Option: Intimacy Advocacy Through a Transgender Lens
Essay

Erasure is Not an Option: Intimacy Advocacy Through a Transgender Lens

A Conversation with Raja Benz

30 August 2022

Ann James sits down with intimacy choreographer Raja Benz to discuss her experience implementing cultures of consent in rehearsal rooms, cultivating a localized approach to intimacy work, and centering trans perspectives in theatrical processes.

Two actors kissing on stage.
The Queering of Intimacy: Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion in Action
Essay

The Queering of Intimacy: Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion in Action

A Conversation with Brooke Haney

29 August 2022

Ann James interviews Brooke Haney, creator of The Actor’s Warm Down, about closure practices in intimacy practice, when to pass work to someone else, and the need to represent queer stories through an authentically queer lens.

Balancing Power Through Intimacy in the Rehearsal Space
Essay

Balancing Power Through Intimacy in the Rehearsal Space

26 August 2022

Ann James chats with Rocio Mendez about her work as an intimacy director, connections between intimacy choreography and fight direction, and getting excited about theatre’s fieldwide trend toward including intimacy specialists in production teams.

Actors working together during rehearsal.
Making Our Own Table: Defining Black Intimacy Practice
Essay

Making Our Own Table: Defining Black Intimacy Practice

A Conversation with Kaja Dunn

25 August 2022

Ann James interviews Kaja Dunn, who works both as an intimacy specialist and a scholar of race and choreography, about her decade-long path through the intimacy industry. They discuss the way to bring intimacy professionals into a production process, the importance of citing Black women’s contributions to the field, and the need diversify who is telling stories on our stages.

A person in the foreground with another person behind them.
Minding the Gaps: Making Space for All Identities in Intimacy Work
Essay

Minding the Gaps: Making Space for All Identities in Intimacy Work

24 August 2022

Ann James sits down with Chelsey Morgan to discuss the way their background in multiple intimacy work methodologies informs their work as a facilitator, director, writer, and intimacy specialist. Across all their work, Chelsey curates a practice that individualizes approaches to intimacy based on the needs of both the actors and the story.

sculpture floating above a theatrical stage.
Intimacy and Equity: A Balancing Act
Essay

Intimacy and Equity: A Balancing Act

23 August 2022

Ann James introduces the Rebuilding for the Future: A Convergence of Thought Leaders in Intimacy Practice series with this call for intimacy professionals to build a foundation of equity in the industry by interrogating available mentorship and training structures. This essay begins that work by highlighting the need for a diverse pool of training ideologies and methods; and the interview-based series that follows takes up that need by highlighting the perspectives of eight practitioners who navigate the intimacy industry in a variety of ways.

event poster for no summary: Tap In, Tap Out: On Dangerous Storytelling.
NO SUMMARY: Tap In, Tap Out: On Dangerous Storytelling
Video

NO SUMMARY: Tap In, Tap Out: On Dangerous Storytelling

Kholoud Nasser, theatre artist and trauma-informed therapist, hosts a conversation with intimacy coordinator Maya Herbsman and fight director Carla Pantoja

Thursday 28 April 2022
United States

Golden Thread Productions presented NO SUMMARY: Tap In, Tap Out: On Dangerous Storytelling livestreamed on the global, commons-based, peer produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Thursday 18 April 2022 at 11 a.m. PDT (San Francisco, UTC -7) / 1 p.m. CDT (Chicago, UTC -5) / 2 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC -4).

Gender Euphoria teaser image.
Gender Euphoria, Episode 4: Training Cisgender Producers and Directors: It’s More than Remembering Pronouns
Podcast

Gender Euphoria, Episode 4: Training Cisgender Producers and Directors: It’s More than Remembering Pronouns

With Maybe Burke

3 March 2022

Gender Euphoria, the podcast, host Nicolas Shannon Savard sits down with actor, writer, and human rights advocate Maybe Burke to talk about her role at the Transgender Training Institute and their signature course, “Supporting Transgender Actors & Creatives.”

Several actors standing or sitting in a practice space.
Casting Roles with Nudity: Body Checks and Why They Never Should Have Existed
Essay

Casting Roles with Nudity: Body Checks and Why They Never Should Have Existed

17 February 2022

Katrina Stelk discusses the role of nudity in theatre and the problem with requiring body checks during the casting process.

Money Matters With Ann James of Intimacy Coordinators of Color.
Money Matters
Podcast

Money Matters

With Ann James of Intimacy Coordinators of Color

8 September 2021

Yura Sapi sits down with Ann James, founder of Intimacy Coordinators of Color, whose mission is to support and promote decolonized intimacy education and inclusive hiring practices in the entertainment industry.

The silhouettes of a Black woman and a Black man in an embrace against a pink-purple ombre background.
Confessions of a Black Intimacy Director: Black Love and Human Rights
Essay

Confessions of a Black Intimacy Director: Black Love and Human Rights

7 June 2021

Dr. Ayshia Mackie-Stephenson believes that when it comes to intimacy directing, choreography can celebrate Black love as an act of racial and sexual justice.

Two actors lifting another one from the top of a pile of hay.
Dismantle the Hierarchy: Best Practices for Creating a More Equitable, Consensual Theatre Classroom
Essay

Dismantle the Hierarchy: Best Practices for Creating a More Equitable, Consensual Theatre Classroom

17 May 2021

Alli St. John shares a guide she developed for directors of youth theatre to prioritize consent and safe practices for staging theatrical intimacy.

silhouette of two people embracing, with a red and purple starry background.
Confessions of a Black Intimacy Director with Dr. Ayshia
Video

Confessions of a Black Intimacy Director with Dr. Ayshia

A talk on Black sex, Black bodies, and Black love led by Dr. Ayshia Stephenson

Monday 15 March 2021
United States

Dr. Ayshia Mackie-Stephenson presented Confessions of a Black Intimacy Director with Dr. Ayshia livestreaming on the global, commons-based, peer produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Monday 15 March 2021 at 3 p.m. PST (San Francisco, UTC -8) / 5 p.m. CST (Chicago, UTC -6) / 6 p.m. EST (New York, UTC -5).

two actors onstage
What Playwrights Can Learn from Intimacy Directors
Essay

What Playwrights Can Learn from Intimacy Directors

A Conversation with Gaby Labotka

1 September 2020

Playwright Hallie Palladino chats with intimacy director Gaby Labotka about how intimacy directors approach scripts, the importance of a well-chosen adverb, and the necessity of innovation, now more than ever, to keep performers healthy and safe.

two actors onstage
Intimacy Direction in the Time of Physical Distance
Essay

Intimacy Direction in the Time of Physical Distance

25 August 2020

As artists and companies re-examine the failures of their infrastructures and unconscious biases, Emily C. A. Snyder argues that the lessons learned and challenges faced so far within the field of intimacy direction may be of particular value.

Event details styled to look like a search engine window.
Is There Still Hope for Integrity and Intimacy in Online Performance?
Video

Is There Still Hope for Integrity and Intimacy in Online Performance?

Moderated by Corrie Tan, with panelists Katrina Stuart Santiago, Maria Tri Sulistyani, and Bernice Lee

Tuesday 28 July 2020
Singapore

ArtsEquator presented Is There Still Hope for Integrity and Intimacy in Online Performance? livestreamed on the global, commons-based, peer produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Tuesday 28 July 2020 at 7:30 p.m. SGT (Singapore, UTC +8) / 8:30 p.m. KST (Seoul, UTC +9) / 12:30 BST (London, UTC +1) / 13:30 CEST (Berlin, UTC +2) / 7:30 a.m. EDT (New York, UTC -4)

Ann James and Carly D. Weckstein.
Directors Lab West Connects: Ann James and Carly D. Weckstein (ASL-interpreted)
Video

Directors Lab West Connects: Ann James and Carly D. Weckstein (ASL-interpreted)

Using Intimacy Direction to Create a Culture of Consent Post-COVID

Monday 25 May 2020
United States

Directors Lab West presented Directors Lab West Connects: Ann James and Carly D. Weckstein livestreamed on the global, commons-based, peer produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Monday 25 May 2020 at 8 a.m. HST (Honolulu, UTC-10) / 10 a.m. AKDT (Juneau, UTC-8) / 11 a.m. PDT (San Francisco, UTC-7) / 1 p.m. CDT (Chicago, UTC-5) / 2 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC-4) / 19:00 BST (London, UTC+1) / 20:00 CEST (Berlin, UTC+2).

two actors embracing
Intimate Reform
Essay

Intimate Reform

Making Space for Leaders of Color

19 March 2020

Ann C. James reflects on the quickly growing field of intimacy direction, arguing that it is vital for the leadership to include people of color so that stories centering on racialized sexual trauma and non-white romantic intimacy can be told in the most truthful ways.

Intimacy Director Tonia Sina expressing an idea with her arms and hands in a rehearsal with two actors
The Art and Craft of Intimacy Direction
Essay

The Art and Craft of Intimacy Direction

30 January 2020

Holly L. Derr examines the history of the intimacy choreography movement in the United States and speaks to several of the artists behind it all.

a lone dancer against a black background
A Manifesto for Staging Gendered Violence
Essay

A Manifesto for Staging Gendered Violence

11 July 2019

Sharanya shares her thoughts on restaging gendered violence, including how the representation of sexual violence has the power to be scripted and also to script, the importance of de-spectacling violence, and more.

two female performers standing in the middle of a rehearsal room holding hands
Rebuilding for the Future: A Convergence of Thought Leaders in Intimacy Practice
Series

Rebuilding for the Future: A Convergence of Thought Leaders in Intimacy Practice

The intimacy industry is under pressure. While many creatives and artistic leaders see the benefits of intimacy direction and coordination as specific care and technical support for actors, the industry itself has not yet created an equitable and inclusive training process for marginalized people. In this series, Ann James, founder of Intimacy Coordinators of Color (ICOC), interviews eight queer and global majority intimacy specialists about the joys and challenges they face in the industry. What emerges from this series of interviews is a complex, multifaceted range of approaches, training models, and innovations for the future of intimacy that actively decenter whiteness, colonization, and appropriation.