Professor of Theatre (Track Advisor: Acting for Theatre Television and Film; Directing)
M.F.A. Directing, 1996 University of California, San Diego
B.A. Acting and Directing, 1992 San Francisco State University
Certificate: Stanislavsky Acting, 1984, San Francisco Theatre Academy
- Courses at ESU: Acting, Acting II, Advanced Acting, Acting for the Camera, Children’s Theatre, Stage and Comic Technique, Directing, Collaborative Theatre Workshop, Latino Theatre, Senior Seminar and Introduction to Theatre.
- At professional theatres and other academic institutions: The Old Globe Theatre, San Diego Repertory Theatre, San Francisco State University, University of California - San Diego, Las Positas College, Kids on Camera, The Hills Project (for Inner city kids in San Francisco) and Theatre Terrific (for people with disabilities in Vancouver, Canada). Prof. French also presents on panels and gives workshops regularly through the Association for Theatre in Higher Education (Acting Focus Group, Directing Focus Group and Association for Theatre Movement Educators).
- Directing New York: Merchant of Venice (Cardozo School of Law). Regional directing: the opera, A Bayou Legend and the musical Children of Broadway (San Diego Civic Chorale), Third and Oak: The Laundromat (Fifth Wall). Prof. French has worked as assistant director with Joseph Chaikin (San Francisco State), Michael Grief, Tina Landau (La Jolla Playhouse), Jess Winfield (The Old Globe) and with Sam Woodhouse on The Threepenny Opera, A Streetcar Named Desire (San Diego Repertory Theatre).
- World premiers as a director/dramaturge include: The Magdalen (The Next Stage) by Joan Bernier, SuperApeMan in the Battle for the Satellite of Love by Carey Friedman, Made Men a Little Bigger by Bob Bowman (University of California, San Diego) Parabhagavadgita by Bert Albert, Flying Colors by Alan Venable (San Francisco State University), Merely Players by Adam Rain (University of British Columbia New Play Rites), Ladies Choice (Glide Memorial).
- Playwriting: On Impact: a community of voices on the war in Iraq (East Stroudsburg University), Love & Other MisHaps (Kitchen Theatre, Ithaca NY) and Lewd Acts in Exchange for Money or Other Consideration (San Francisco State University).
- Faculty productions at ESU: Top Girls, Sold!, Blithe Spirit, Polaroid Stories, Tartuffe, Twelfth Night, Romeo and Juliet, A Streetcar Named Desire, The Hobbit, Two Weeks with the Queen, The Phantom Tollbooth, and Alice Through the Looking Glass. at San Francisco State University Mad Forest (as guest artist).
- As an actor: Prof. French completed a CD recording and Southern California Tour in Tis of Thee, a rumination on racism in the form of a jazz poem directed by Nya Patrinos and written by Fanny Howe, The Outsider (Black Repertory Theatre), The Actor’s Nightmare (Busbarn Stage), Ex-Miss Copper Queen on a Set of Pills (Fifth Wall), The Lesson (The Next Stage), The Bald Soprano, A Doctor In Spite of Himself, Monty Python’s Holy Grail (San Francisco State University). She has also performed in numerous original physical theatre pieces and devised plays including a Montreal clown workshop production directed by Cirque du Soleil artists Valerie Dean and Don Reider, Milk and Blood by Keriack, Interlocking Riffs with The Blake Street Hawkeyes, Paris Underground by Jessica Litwak, and Dostoevksy’s The Possessed by Bill Peters. She has also performed in numerous staged-readings and workshop productions.
- Research: Prof. French develops techniques and writes about actor training for the 21st century. She is currently writing an acting textbook for Routledge Press. Through workshops and presentations, she disseminates up-to-date information and techniques inspired by the culminating work of Konstantin Stanislavsky as transmitted through the oral legacy and newly available research into his methods. She integrates this with many experimental theatre techniques inspired by clowning, physical/experimental theatre (including the Viewpoints), Commedia Dell'Arte, Decroux's Coporeal Mime as well as other mask work, dance and yoga. She interweaves historical techniques with with 21st century discoveries in science and art that impact theatre and acting. She develops applications to adapt conservatory-style techniques to use in liberal arts academic environments.