LISTENING WELL // FRIDAY, SEPT 29  11:10AM-12:15PM (RM 210)

Towards a Pedagogy of Listening Well: Hearing (and Seeing) God in the Theatrical Context
Kate Muchmore Woo

Hearing God is rarely a straightforward process. Prophets in the Bible and the disciples of Jesus had the benefit of hearing from God directly, one-on-one, in ways we rarely experience. Outside of direct revelation in scripture, more often than not God speaks to us in individualized ways, requiring us to make space in our hearts and lives for practices which hone our ability to listen well. Many disciplines within the arts channel the ideas, visions, and heart of God in ways inexpressible with words, rendering the “voice of God” into sound, impressions, images, and bodies in motion. “Listening” and “hearing” therefore have multiple layers and manifestations in this indefinable realm.

This interactive presentation will examine the actual and theoretical/theological pedagogies I have been exploring while teaching acting to theatre students with an eye (or ear. . .) toward “listening well.” Practically, the art of listening is foundational to acting technique; however, the spiritual aspects of listening well open the actor to greater insights about God, themselves, and the human nature of others, ultimately leading to a deeper understanding of the humans they are portraying onstage via written texts. Through meditative preparation activities and exercises derived from the Meisner technique designed to enhance listening and human connection, participants will have the opportunity to experience “hearing” in multi-layered ways. Silence, intuition, and embodied text become avenues to hearing and seeing God.

Kate Muchmore Woo is an educator/director/actor with credits from around the United States and BC. Directing credits for SAMC Theatre include The Illusion, As Little Children, Twelfth Night, and Jane Eyre: The Musical. Other directing credits include Enchanted April (Gallery 7 Theatre); The Women of Lockerbie (Vancouver Fringe 2016); The Music Man (Theatre in the Country); Crime & Punishment (Pacific Theatre/Stone’s Throw Productions); Hairspray; A Midsummer Night’s Dream; Almost, Maine; The Female Odd Couple; Picasso at the Lapin Agile; Pericles; Auto-da-Fé and The Actor’s Nightmare. Kate holds a teaching certification in the Meisner Technique from Larry Silverburg’s True Acting Institute and a MFA in Directing from the University of North Carolina Greensboro. She has been with SAMC Theatre since 2013.