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Conservatory of Performing Arts

April Daras

April Daras

Assistant Professor

Contact information

Education

  • M.F.A., Directing, Florida State University
  • B.F.A., Theatre/Acting, Florida State University

Courses Taught

  • Acting
  • Voice and Speech I, II and III

Background

April Daras began her professional life as an actor, later discovering directing and teaching to be increasingly satisfying pursuits. As an actor, Daras performed in a number of regional theatres, including Florida Stage, New Theatre, Caldwell Playhouse, The Asolo and Theatre Southeast. She participated in the birth and evolution of several new plays, acting with the South Florida-based company Theatre With Your Coffee and Florida Playwright’s Theatre. Most recently, Daras played the role of Sebastian in Indiana University of Pennsylvania's Theater-by-the-Grove’s production of Dr. Rick's Traveling Circus Presents The Tempest. She is a member of Pittsburgh Playback Theatre, an improvisational theatre ensemble committed to honoring the experiences and stories of others.

Her work as a director covers a range of styles and genres from classical to contemporary, experimental to commercial. New work holds a special place in her heart and she is honored to have had the opportunity to collaborate with playwrights in the development of new work. She worked with labor poet Mark Nowak in the staging and dramatization of his collection of found poems, Coal Mountain Elementary, an event that received national attention from National Public Radio and The Poetry Foundation. Her ongoing work with playwright and producer Ian Mairs, in collaboration with an impressive cadre of performers, has led to the growth of several new plays, as well as the opportunity to stage a series of original live radio show/podcast recordings of Mairs’ Swamp Radio.

Professional Organizations

  • Voice and Speech Trainers Association
  • Association for Theater in Higher Education
  • Southeastern Theatre Conference
  • Actor's Equity Membership Program 

Selected Artistic Works

Directing

    • We are Proud to Present ..., IUP Theater-by-the-Grove
    • Soldier's Heart, IUP Theater-by-the-Grove
    • Learning Curve, Swine Palace, LSU
    • Little Shop of Horrors, Boiler House Theater, Davis & Elkins
    • Macbeth, Boiler House Theatre, Davis & Elkins
    • Antigone, Boiler House Theatre, Davis & Elkins
    • The Merchant of Venice, Capital City Shakespeare
    • Three Sisters, Florida State University

Original Projects

    • Away From Home: An Evening of Playback Theatre presented by SPaTe: Simulated Patient/Applied Theatre Ensemble, IUP
    • Coal Mountain Elementary, Davis & Elkins College, University of Pittsburgh and venues in West Virginia
    • Enter: The Fool: An Experimental Theater Project, Boiler House Theater, Elkins, W.Va.
    • Shake Up Your Shakespeare!, Tallahassee, Fla. and Cairo, Ga. 

Acting 

    • Proof, Theatre Southeast, Tallahassee, Fla.
    • Burn This, Public Theatre, Fort Lauderdale, Fla. 
    • Picnic, Caldwell Theatre Company, Boca Raton, Fla. 
    • Still Waters, Florida Stage, Manalapan, Fla.
    • Giorgio, Florida Playwright's Theatre, Hollywood, Fla. 
    • The Middle Ages, New Theatre, Coral Gables, Fla. 

Research Interests

  • Shakespeare in Performance
  • Voice, Speech and Dialects
  • Physical Approaches to Acting
  • Theatre of Service and Playback Theatre
  • Applied Theatre in Healthcare

Selected Presentations

  • "Improvisation with a Soul: An Introduction to Playback Theatre," Southeastern Theatre Conference, Greensboro, N.C.
  • "Making the Best of the Last Impression: Moving from Good to Great," Indiana Regional Medial Center, Unit Based Educator Training.
  • "Early Stages: Finding a Common Language," Central Connecticut State University (workshop presenter and performer).
  • "Conversation: Poet Mark Nowak and Director April Daras Discuss 'Coal Mountain Elementary," Public Broadcasting System, April 2009.

Selected Honors and Awards

  • Invited production: Soldier's Heart by Tammy Ryan, Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival, 2016.
  • Innovative Teaching Award, Association for Theatre in Higher Education, Kennedy Center College American Theatre Festival Region II, 2015.
  • Student Mentor Recognition, Davis & Elkins College, 2006-2013.

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