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ETHIC AND EXPERIENCE
Susan-Jane Harrison has thirteen years teaching experience
Susan-Jane Harrison is on faculty at The Berkeley Repertory School of Theatre where she currently teaches voice into text and dialect in Jeffrey Bihr’s Studio. She has taught at the School since 2003.

From 2011-2013, Harrison was a TA at the University of California, Davis where she taught acting to non-drama majors with a Stanislavsky focus. As a TA of DRA10 she was solely responsible for teaching, grading and curriculum development. During these two years, Harrison participated in an ongoing TA practicum within the context of a small peer group under the mentorship of Professor Bella Merlin from whom she received regular critiques and feedback regarding her teaching.

From 2009-2011 she was Co-Artistic Director for Bollyritmo (now Bollywood Groove in Chicago), a fusion dance group with an emphasis on Bollywood and Latin. She choreographed, danced and taught within this company.

In 2005 she was a Teaching Artist in California Shakespeare Company’s Artistic Integration Programme, teaching in collaboration with English, History and Drama teachers in the public schools.

From 2004 to 2005, Harrison taught at Young Rep at Center Rep, Dean Lesher Center for the Arts: dialect, text and movement. There she devised a Commedia del Arte play with teen students in collaboration with director Jessa Brie Berkner, using Laban Movement as a basis for character development. From 2000-2002 she was artistic director at The Actor’s Centre in Berkeley, offering training for youth actors with an emphasis on classical text.

COACHING
Harrison has taken on individual students for one on one coaching throughout the last 10 years. She offers support for ESL students who wish to improve their spoken English pronunciation.

Susan-Jane Harrison is currently available to take on additional teaching work.
in professional studios, conservatory environments, university, high school and elementary schools, as well as one on one coaching, with an enthusiastic student response.
"Susan-Jane Harrison is more than my acting teacher; she is a mentor. As my acting teacher, she gives me "technical solutions to emotional problems," and as a mentor, she makes astute observations. They are not pushy but simply are. She is naturally witty without pretention, making her observations all the more pleasant to receive. Susan-Jane is one of the best listeners I know. Susan-Jane's listening and thoughtful questions make me get more specific about myself and my work."
—Larisa Shaterian, Actor (one on one coaching student)

"My expectations were exceeded because Susan-Jane was able to establish an immediate rapport with the students. Because the students are at risk, rapport can be difficult; they tend to be guarded. Susan-Jane intuitively read the situation and was able to engage the students both academically and socially, for each and every session. The students in my class feel more united somehow. Because the work was challenging to them, yet was carried out in an environment of complete acceptance and openness, students were willing to work collaboratively…"
—John Geltmeyer, High School Teacher from California Shakespeare Company’s Artistic Learning Survey

"Susan-Jane - Thank you again and again! For being with the Top Girls during this critical corner-turning week – the sessions with you have been really hard working and successful. Your guidance, tips and coaching, in dialect, cultural implications and phrasings, have been hugely helpful – delightful results!"
—Virginia Reed, Theatre Director and Teacher at UCSF, Dialect coaching for "Top Girls"

"I ‘d like to thank you for your wisdom, compassion and the passion you exhibited for the craft of acting. Before these classes I never really pushed myself the ways I have this summer…. These classes not only vastly improved my own acting technique and getting into characters, but was an eye-opening experience into my own ‘character’. My passion to act has only grown through your classes…"
—Alex Breaux, high school acting student, Young Rep at Center Rep

"…it has been such an honor to work with you in the Shakespeare Internship. Your passion and enthusiasm have inspired us all to reach heights we never imagined."
—John Dana, high school acting student, Young Rep at Center Rep

ANONYMOUS SURVEYS

Berkeley Repertory School of Theater

Beginning Acting:
"Very well prepared and interested in communicating to and with the students."

"Very supportive and thoughtful."

"Excellent. Well-prepared…personal and enjoyable – I very much appreciated her handouts, the development, enactments and the great co-relation between her presentation and the materials."

"Top-drawer…A-1…made the class interesting and fun."

Approaching British Text:
"[I rate this teacher] highly. Good ideas, good variety, focused, kind, feel safe to explore with her, knowledgeable."

"A-1. Excellent. I’ve recommended her to friends."

Laban Movement for Actors
"Excellent. Passionate and fun as well."

"I could really relax my body and allow it to speak. This class released the inhibitions and gave me mental tactics along which body movement can flow."

"My expectations were to get into my body [and I feel I have done that]. My biggest challenge up until this point has been a fear of bold physicality. I’m not all the way there yet but I feel further along. This class has helped me think more about how a character moves differently than myself."

University of California, Davis

DRA 10, Acting for non-Drama major undergraduates
"Really great. Very helpful in class as well as outside of class. Treats us like adults and respects us. Would recommend Susan-Jane to anyone."

"I loved this class. Susan-Jane pushed me and I really appreciated it."

"Susan-Jane is a fantastic teacher. She did an amazing job of creating an open and creative atmosphere where people could express themselves and their thoughts and ideas. Really helped me grow as a person."

"OUTSTANDING TEACHER. Phenomenal in any way imagined. She goes above and beyond and I must say has inspired me through our processes."

"Excellent. Susan-Jane created an amazing learning atmosphere. She made it easy to learn and made me feel very comfortable."
Susan-Jane Harrison speaks Spanish and has taught in underserved urban areas as well as other communities. Herself a member of a multi-ethnic, multi-lingual family, she is attuned her students’ need to be respected and affirmed, while nourishing their own identity. It has been said that Harrison creates a supportive and engaged group atmosphere
"Susan-Jane Harrison is more than my acting teacher; she is a mentor. As my acting teacher, she gives me "technical solutions to emotional problems," and as a mentor, she makes astute observations. They are not pushy but simply are. She is naturally witty without pretention, making her observations all the more pleasant to receive. Susan-Jane is one of the best listeners I know. Susan-Jane's listening and thoughtful questions make me get more specific about myself and my work."
—Larisa Shaterian, Actor (one on one coaching student)

"My expectations were exceeded because Susan-Jane was able to establish an immediate rapport with the students. Because the students are at risk, rapport can be difficult; they tend to be guarded. Susan-Jane intuitively read the situation and was able to engage the students both academically and socially, for each and every session. The students in my class feel more united somehow. Because the work was challenging to them, yet was carried out in an environment of complete acceptance and openness, students were willing to work collaboratively…"
—John Geltmeyer, High School Teacher from California Shakespeare Company’s Artistic Learning Survey

"Susan-Jane - Thank you again and again! For being with the Top Girls during this critical corner-turning week – the sessions with you have been really hard working and successful. Your guidance, tips and coaching, in dialect, cultural implications and phrasings, have been hugely helpful – delightful results!"
—Virginia Reed, Theatre Director and Teacher at UCSF, Dialect coaching for "Top Girls"

"I ‘d like to thank you for your wisdom, compassion and the passion you exhibited for the craft of acting. Before these classes I never really pushed myself the ways I have this summer…. These classes not only vastly improved my own acting technique and getting into characters, but was an eye-opening experience into my own ‘character’. My passion to act has only grown through your classes…"
—Alex Breaux, high school acting student, Young Rep at Center Rep

"…it has been such an honor to work with you in the Shakespeare Internship. Your passion and enthusiasm have inspired us all to reach heights we never imagined."
—John Dana, high school acting student, Young Rep at Center Rep

ANONYMOUS SURVEYS

Berkeley Repertory School of Theater

Beginning Acting:
"Very well prepared and interested in communicating to and with the students."

"Very supportive and thoughtful."

"Excellent. Well-prepared…personal and enjoyable – I very much appreciated her handouts, the development, enactments and the great co-relation between her presentation and the materials."

"Top-drawer…A-1…made the class interesting and fun."

Approaching British Text:
"[I rate this teacher] highly. Good ideas, good variety, focused, kind, feel safe to explore with her, knowledgeable."

"A-1. Excellent. I’ve recommended her to friends."

Laban Movement for Actors
"Excellent. Passionate and fun as well."

"I could really relax my body and allow it to speak. This class released the inhibitions and gave me mental tactics along which body movement can flow."

"My expectations were to get into my body [and I feel I have done that]. My biggest challenge up until this point has been a fear of bold physicality. I’m not all the way there yet but I feel further along. This class has helped me think more about how a character moves differently than myself."

University of California, Davis

DRA 10, Acting for non-Drama major undergraduates
"Really great. Very helpful in class as well as outside of class. Treats us like adults and respects us. Would recommend Susan-Jane to anyone."

"I loved this class. Susan-Jane pushed me and I really appreciated it."

"Susan-Jane is a fantastic teacher. She did an amazing job of creating an open and creative atmosphere where people could express themselves and their thoughts and ideas. Really helped me grow as a person."

"OUTSTANDING TEACHER. Phenomenal in any way imagined. She goes above and beyond and I must say has inspired me through our processes."

"Excellent. Susan-Jane created an amazing learning atmosphere. She made it easy to learn and made me feel very comfortable."
optimal for process-oriented learning and skill-development. Stylistically, she is a teacher who employs humor, while encouraging students to touch on core issues.


METHODOLOGIES
Susan-Jane Harrison is an articulate teacher of movement and voice into text. Drawing on her years of training at RADA and beyond in methods developed by Cicely Berry, Patsy Rodenberg, Kristen Linklater and Rudolf Laban, she is especially skilled in unlocking dialect and classical text for students through these modalities. Harrison has recently added Grotowski-inspired exercises to her ‘teaching toolkit’, as she continues to train her understanding of the ‘spiritual’ and ‘embodied’ side of Stanislavsky through her own practice and study.


With Director Hanna Berrigan at RADA in London.