Kymberly Mellen | Breakout Session
Kymberly is joined by Shelby-Allison Hibbs for a session called It Starts With Us: Utilizing the Chicago Theatre Standards to Create an Intimate Touch Policy in Academic Settings". Kymberly will also join Jessica Renae for a discussion as part of "Intimacy Directors: Creativity and Consent".
About this session: Creating an Intimate Touch Policy for class, independent scene study, main-stage rehearsals, and performances helps to empower students, faculty, professional performers, directors, and stage managers. The focus is on establishing boundaries and procedures for clear communication and consent. Having used an Intimate Touch Policy document in my syllabi for the past 4 years, I can speak to the benefits of addressing this community need head on and the ramifications in specific Title IX incidences within University theatre departments. The workshop will examine various Intimate Touch Policies created in University theatre programs, the movement of Theatrical Intimacy Education, and paths toward Intimacy Director certification. The workshop is directed toward teachers, students, and performers while stressing self-advocacy and greater safety in story-telling. There is a need for discussions on this topic at all levels of theatre education and performance. We will also discuss the development of the Chicago Theatre Standards through the #NotInOurHouse organization as a further example of professional standards that are becoming common practice.
Kymberly Mellen is the current Head of Acting at University of Wisconsin - Whitewater. She was previously on faculty at The Theatre School at DePaul University, BYU, UVU, and CLC. Her directing credits include Sundance Summer Theatre, Hale Orem Center Theater, Utah Shakespeare Festival NAPP, BYU, Okoboji Summer Theatre, and DePaul University. In addition to numerous films, commercials, industrials, voice-overs, and narrated books, Kymberly has been seen in several seasons at the Utah Shakespeare Festival, and throughout Chicagoland theatres. Performance work includes shows at TimeLine Theatre (where she is an Associate Artist), American Blues Theatre, Writers Theatre, Court Theatre, Northlight Theatre, Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, Steppenwolf Theatre, Marriott Lincolnshire Theatre, Ravinia, Peninsula Players, and Pioneer Theatre Company. A 2x Jeff award winner, she was named the Chicago Tribune's 2003 Theatre "Chicagoan of the Year."