Leigh Hendrix

Leigh_Hendrix_Headshot_for_Web_737Performing Arts Theater Artist
Home Partner: ArtsPath

Email: leigh.hendrix@gmail.com
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Artist Bio

Leigh Hendrix is a theater maker, mover, and educator based in Western Pennsylvania who makes work rooted in their commitment to community and care. Leigh has been making and teaching theater for 15 years, with a master's degree in theater education from Emerson College in Boston and training in ensemble theater making and acting techniques with the SITI Company Conservatory in New York City. Leigh is a founding company member with the Syndicate, an ensemble theater company that creates and produces new theater projects and community gatherings primarily in New York and Chicago.

As an educator, Leigh focuses on playmaking and devised ensemble theater. Students create short plays and performances that introduce elements of theater making, including playwriting, acting, directing, and elements of design. Students understand these roles and learn the techniques in a spirit of play through improvisation, writing prompts, and exercises, as well as ensemble building exercises that promote collaborative storytelling. Playmaking and theater technique can be tailored to enhance classroom curriculum around reading and writing, science, social studies, or current events. This offers ways of engaging classroom teachers and the wider school community in utilizing theater as a part of teaching and learning. The focus is on process over product, giving the skills and insight students are gaining through the process of making a short play more weight than the polish of a final product.

Statement by Artist

"Telling stories is one of the things that makes us human," Leigh said. "We tell and listen to stories in an attempt to understand the world, and we do it in a lot of different ways: with words in books, music, visual art, television and movies. A person speaking in front of other people is one of the oldest ways we've shared stories with one another, and the theater continues to hold a unique place for that in a contemporary culture that is full to overflowing with ways to get information. The power of theater-making lies in what happens between peoplebetween performers in rehearsal and onstage, between the performers and the audience, and between the members of the audience. Being in relationship to one another is also what it means to be human, and theater-making requires us to engage with one another in the present moment in ways that other art forms and modes of communication do not. That is why I continue to make and tell stories in live performance."