Amie Root is a movement, stage combat and theater pedagogy teacher, fight director, playwright and actor. She travels across the country teaching and working in theatre. Amie is a Certified Teacher with the Society of American Fight Directors with whom she is an official mentor. Amie has been a guest artist instructor for CSU Summer Arts for a decade and is the resident Fight Director for Unto These Hills, NC. Additionally, she is the chair of the SAFD Pedagogy Committee, as well as coordinates the pedagogy training at the Texas Intensive hosted by the University of Houston and the two-week Central Illinois Stage Combat Teacher Trainer hosted by Western Illinois University. She has a BA in drama from the University of Wisconsin Stevens Point and is pursuing her MFA in Directing at Western IL University.
Tiza Garland is an Associate Professor of Theatre at the University of Florida where she teaches in the MFA, BFA, and BA programs. Her primary teaching responsibilities including teaching the Movement for the Actor courses, Stage Combat, and Period Styles Movement.
Professor Garland has a varied movement training background. She is a classically trained actor and has trained with the Dah Theatre in Belgrade, Serbia in Grotowski-based work, she has studied Meyerhold's Biomechanics with Gennadi Bogdanov, as well as trained with the United Stuntmen's Association in Seattle, Washington. She has attended the Aerial Dance Festival in Boulder, Colorado where she trained in various aerial dance techniques and apparatus.
Professor Garland is a Certified Movement Analyst (CMA) of Laban Movement Analysis (LMA). She is a Certified Teacher with the National Michael Chekhov Association and she is a Certified Teacher with the Society of American Fight Directors (SAFD), a Certified Teacher with the British Academy of Stage and Screen Combat (BASSC), a Master Teacher with Dueling Arts International and former president of the Southeastern Theatre Conference (SETC).
DC Wright is a Society of American Fight Directors Certified Teacher and Dueling Arts International Master Instructor and Senior Fight Director. D.C. Wright has been teaching stage combat and fight directing for over twenty-eight years, and has worked from New York to LA, and Milwaukee to New Orlean and many stops in between. DC is passionate about creating opportunities for the next generation of performers and teachers of this art form, and loves bringing together amazing teachers and learning. DC is a Professor at Western Illinois University where he is the Head of Movement/Stage Combat.
Samantha (she/her) is an intimacy director, fight director, actor, and teaching artist. She is based in Chicago and works internationally. Samantha is a Certified Intimacy Director, teaching artist, and curriculum developer with Intimacy Directors and Coordinators. A Certified Teacher with the Society of American Fight Directors. A Jeff award nominated fight choreographer. An award winning actor. A certified Michael Chekhov teacher with the Great Lakes Michael Chekhov Consortium. She has been a resident artist with Oregon Shakespeare Festival and Prague Shakespeare Company. Regionally, Samantha has worked with theatres such as Lyric Opera of Chicago, Asolo Repertory Theatre, Milwaukee Repertory Theatre, The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, Lookingglass Theatre Company, Cincinnati Shakespeare Company, Cleveland Play House, among others. She has her MFA from Florida Atlantic University.
Melissa Freilich works as a director, teacher and fight choreographer in Baltimore, MD. She is an Instructor for Dueling Arts International, a Certified Teacher with the Society of American Fight Directors, and an associate member of Stage Directors and Choreographers Society. She is a certified Alexander Technique teacher and recognized member of the American Society for the Alexander Technique (AmSAT), having trained with Jane Heirich in Ann Arbor MI. She holds an MFA in Performance Pedagogy from Virginia Commonwealth University and a BA in Theatre and Classics from Washington University in St. Louis. She started her professional stage combat training at CISCO in 2010!
Olivia Willcox is an actor, fight director, and combat teacher who travels all over the US for work. After graduating from La Tech University in 2018, Olivia has gone on to work Off Broadway, Off-Off Broadway, films and many regional theaters. She is currently based in Shreveport, LA where she teaches stage combat classes and works on films for the Louisiana Film Prize. At the heart of her work is More Than OK Studios, a production company founded by Olivia and Katie Watts that brings the joy and hope of theatre to nursing home residents around Louisiana.
Lauren Gunn is based out of Memphis, TN. Currently, she is a senior resident actor and teaching artist with Tennessee Shakespeare Company where she teaches in classrooms around Memphis, juvenile detentions, as well as the local VA. Additionally, she is a company member of Playback Memphis, an improvisational theatre company founded in story sharing practices that catalyze community wellbeing. Lauren is an associate instructor candidate with Dueling Arts International in addition to serving on their governing body. Regional performance credits include: TSC: Cyrano de Bergerac, Henry VI, Macbeth, Romeo and Juliet, Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley. Theatre Memphis: You Can’t Take It With You. Southern Arena Theatre: Boeing Boeing, I Hate Hamlet. New Stage Theatre: Crimes of the Heart, Constellations, Gruesome Playground Injuries.
Rowan LaFleur (she/they) is an actor, combat choreographer, lighting designer, and theater educator from South Louisiana. Having just completed her degree at WIU, she is looking forward to a career in educational theatre at the collegiate level, where she will be able to promote her ideals of safe practices and inclusion to the next generation of artists. As a trans/nonbinary actor and advocate, they are devoted to increasing LGBT representation and intersectionality in theatre. Rowan seeks to find new approaches to choreography and unexpected weapon choices to tell the more complex stories of today. Rowan has an MFA in Performance from Western Illinois University and a BFA in Performing Arts from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.
Garrett Anderson is a guest lecturer for CISCO/TT (Inclusive Theatre). He is a Global Messenger and an Athlete Leader for Special Olympics. He has been involved with E.D.G.E. of Orion since it began and is currently a troupe member. Garrett enjoys rotating between acting and being a staff member in productions. He played the lead in the award-winning film No Easy Target as well as many other featured roles in musicals such as Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof, Javert in Les Mis and is currently playing Joseph in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.
Orion Couling is a Guest Lecturer for CISCO/TT (Inclusive Theatre). He is the award-winning founder and executive director of EDGE of Orion, an Illinois NFP. He is a specialist in project-based learning and carries 20 years of adventure-teaching experience. As a sought-after stage combat instructor, his focus on teaching safe and compassionate practices have benefited over 84 productions. Mr. Couling started his work with Dueling Arts international as an instructor for 13 years and has moved forward to create movement-based theatre for inclusion-based models. Serving as the movement Instructor for Redkite for two years his expertise is in working with actors who have Down Syndrome and Autistic actors. His barrier-free goal is strengthened as one of the few stage combat instructors who teach actors with developmental challenges. With over 100 directing credits in professional and youth theatre to his name, he remains one of the foremost experts in dynamic educational theatre. His “edu-tainment” style is known to bring levity and inspiration to classrooms and audiences. Orion is also a filmmaker, playwright, stunt coordinator, and a licensed Maritime Captain. When not leading the “inclusion revolution,” you’ll find him writing and performing on the paranormal podcast “Shadow Carriers” leading ghost tours, playing with the band Rosehill Collective or by the water.
Ashley H. White (she/her) is a Guest Lecturer for CISCOTT (Cycle of Consent). She is an award-winning director, fight & intimacy director, and teaching artist, with international credits and nearly two decades of experience. She is an accomplished Fight Director and is a Certified Teacher with the Society of American Fight Directors. Her fights have been seen on stages across the country, in more than fifty productions to date. Ashley resides in Dallas, Texas, where she is the Artistic Director of the award-winning IMPRINT Theatreworks. She is a sought-after educator and is the creator of The Cycle of Consent – an approach to building and navigating safe creative spaces. She is the recipient of 5 DFW Critics Forum Awards for Outstanding Direction as well as special recognitions for her Fight & Intimacy work. Ashley is a proud member of SDC.