The BSA theatre department will welcome two artists in late January to help students prepare for the Spring Production of Shakespeare’s The Comedy of Errors. Both artists will offer workshops that will focus on the special challenges of mask performance.
Sarah Bendix will lead a workshop for senior production students on the craft of mask making and Toby Mulford will offer a workshop to the senior acting ensemble.
Sarah Bendix has been working professionally in theater as a designer, performer, and director since graduating from Oberlin College in 2001. She has designed and performed in large-scale spectacle pieces that were performed in public spaces throughout the city and surrounding areas, as well as creating masks and puppets for many Chicago theaters. She has worked with Redmoon Theatre, Joseph Ravens, Beast Women, the Trap Door Theater, Mary-Arrchie, the Side Project, Greasy Joan, Red Tape Theater, Emerald City Theater and the Piven Theater. Her work has also been seen at the Around the Coyote Festival, Rhinoceros Festival, Links Hall, Heart of Gold, Gwenda Jay/Addington Gallery, Peter Jones Gallery and Chicago Cultural Center. Sarah served as a senior member of the Piven Theater Workshop, where she directed the junior high and high school companies, and as an Artist-in-Residence at Children’s Memorial Hospital through the Snow City Arts Foundation. She is a two-time recipient of the Chicago Artist Assistance Grant.
Toby Mulford is an educator, actor and playwright based in Washington, DC. He holds an MFA in ensemble-based physical theater from the Dell’Arte International School of Physical Theater, where he co-created over a dozen original works. He has also studied with Commedia Maestro Antonia Fava, and with faculty from the Moscow Art Theatre School. Toby is the Associate Artistic Director of the Traveling Players Ensemble, where he has directed six youth productions, as well as creating a five-week Commedia dell’Arte summer program for teenagers, teaching mask work, improvisation and physical comedy. As the Artistic Associate of DC’s Faction of Fools Theatre Company, he has co-created and performed in several original Commedia plays, including The House with Two Doors, Tales of Love and Sausages and Shakespeare made Foolish at the Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage. He has also performed with BigHeadHouse (Austin), the Vagabond Acting Troupe (Philadelphia), and Tribe of Fools (Philadelphia). His plays have been produced by the Dell’Arte Company (California), the Brick Playhouse (Philadelphia), and the Festival of Animated Objects (Calgary, Canada).