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Owens theater adjunct speaks through the body

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Owens theater adjunct speaks through the body

Chloe Stevenson demenstrates the correct move to the actors.

Chloe Stevenson demenstrates the correct move to the actors.

Chloe Stevenson demenstrates the correct move to the actors.

Chloe Stevenson demenstrates the correct move to the actors.

By Claire Baker, Editor

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I had the wonderful opportunity meeting Chloe Stevenson, a theater adjunct at Owens Community College. She has taught almost all dance and theater class that Owens has to offer. She started teaching at here in 2013 (or 2014, she couldn’t quite remember.) The first class she taught at Owens was called movement for the actor. With this class she stated that “you can speak through the body.” It is a character building skill. With this she is able to tell a story through movement. Currently she is teaching technical theater, and in previous semesters she has taught classes such as acting 1 intro to theater as well as many others. She said she loves teaching acting, and dance classes are always a joy as well.

Chloe came from a gymnastics background, which she said has helped her career. An interesting fact is she didn’t start gymnastics until she was in grad school, but wishes she would have started sooner. She also has dabbled in the circus, as well, which she said helped with flexibility and strength. She said she appreciates those methods for training. It is also helpful as an instructor and choreographer to know the different ways of movement. She said that she loves the circus because it is “communal and universal.”

Chloe studied at The University of Mississippi, though she never has been there. She earned a physical theater degree and a MA in theater history. She was fortunate enough to study abroad in Italy at “Accademie dell’ arte. During this time she did a summer in Germany for a circus school. She said the students were mainly American, however, there were students from all over, such as Turkey, Greece and Ireland. With movement you are able to communicate with others who might not speak the same language as you.

If you ever want to take a yoga class, Chloe is a yoga instructor, as well. What can’t she do? She teaches something called Acro Yoga, which is a “physical practice which combines yoga, acrobatics and Thai massage. Acroyoga is arguably a bit of a misnomer as the popular movement worldwide is more commonly referred to by practitioners simply as Acro and includes all types of partner and group acrobatics in which at least someone is lifted.” You are able to create big shapes with multiple people, according to Stevenson. Yoga is important in movement choreography because it also helps in both flexibility and strength, but most importantly it helps with the actors breath and relaxation. “Breathing is very important,” Chloe states.

It is hard to fit her entire life in one to two pages, she has lived such an interesting life already! However, she does encourage students who normally wouldn’t think of performing to try it. College is the time to explore!

“Owens is a really lovely, supportive environment. This is the perfect time to have a wonderful, learning experience. College is all about trying new things. Get outside of your comfort zone,” said Chloe.

She wanted to emphasize a little of her work post college where she works with Society of Fight directors (United States for stage and film project.) She is able to learn techniques to be able to teach her students how to do a fight scene safely. If you don’t turn correctly or jump just right you could seriously injure yourself. Safety first!

Last but not least she talked a little on rejection. Hearing the word “no” is never easy. However, it is necessary. Chloe stated that her mentor told her “If you can do anything else, do it.” The fine arts world isn’t easy, but it is so rewarding. However, it takes a lot of work and dedication. She said that four out of ten times you aren’t going to get that callback you wanted, or into that gallery you were hoping for. Just because they say no doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try again. She said don’t take it personally, but it does build character.

Chloe says “when you are told no, another one presents itself. If no opportunities present themselves, create one.”

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