theArtsweb.com member login tell a friend about theArtsWeb.com index theArtsweb.com
art in Central Florida theArtsweb.com homepage join theArtsweb.com cultural partners teachers advertise on theArtsweb.com shop for art contact theArtsweb.com
art, Orlando art, Central Florida art, Orlando happenings Orlando art, Florida art, Central Florida art Orlando events, Florida events, Central Florida events Orlando cultural events, Florida cultural events, Central Florida cultural events
art, Orlando art, Central Florida art, Orlando events
 

ArtSpotlight

Sybil St. Claire, Ph.D.
Theatre Artist and Arts Educator


Sybil St. Claire, Ph.D., began her career in theatre as the Founder of All Children's Theatre in Gainesville, Florida at the age of 24. She stayed on as Artistic Director of All Children's Theatre for 17 years growing the theatre from a handful of actors rehearsing outside on a basketball court to a professional children's theatre dedicated to developing life skills in young people through the performing arts. Over the years her students have gone on to appear in movies such as "Doc Hollywood," "Parenthood," and "Gladiator."

 

As a career theatre artist and arts educator there is a philosophy that underlies her work that is rooted in fostering a flexible and adventurous approach to the life-long journey of learning. "There are many ways to learn and thus many ways to teach; my beliefs about art and arts education are centered on this axiom. I approach my work with what could be called "beginner's mind," for in the mind of an expert there are very few options but in the mind of a beginner - all things are possible. Beginner's mind allows me to remain in a creative space where I dare to make mistakes in order to grow both myself and others."

 

During her years as an Artistic Director, Sybil went on to become an award winning director and gained entrance into the Society for Stage Directors and Choreographers, a union organization for professional directors. She also wrote a dozen plays and musicals and became an internationally produced and published playwright of theatre for young audiences. Her plays, "Woolfie," and "Incantation," have enjoyed particular success with production histories in the hundreds of venues residing nationally and internationally. Her most recent work, a musical composed by Amado Bobadilla, called "The Invisible People," recently enjoyed a staged reading at Seaside Music Theatre in Daytona for an invited audience of Broadway professionals.

 

"'The Invisible People' explores the imaginary and spiritual life of children. I have a deep respect for young people, and my writing is geared toward both empowering and celebrating them. In "The Invisible People," our heroine, 12 year old Katie, is under enormous pressure to grow up and give up things of childhood, namely her blankie and her invisible friends. Simultaneously, she is struggling with her fears around growing-up, fears she must confront in order to move through life without her "security blanket." During the course of the show we spend the evening with Katie as she dances with magical leopard-spotted shoes, appears as a contestant on "You Bet Your Adolescence" the show where EVERYONE is a loser, and confronts her greatest fears, the dreaded Bogeyman. It's a true story... IF you believe in magic."

 

Though much of her career has been devoted to creating works of art with and for young people, Sybil's work outside the genre of theatre with and for youth has also earned her attention. Her latest effort, a screenplay based on her novel, "Beneficial Flowers" is a very adult love story that nonetheless shares a common theme with the "The Invisible People."

 

"Beneficial Flowers," is a very soulful story that looks not at the spiritual life of a 12 year old girl but at the spiritual rebirth of a 40 year old woman. "It's about an older woman and a younger man and the rich, black earth of the heart. Into the life of Ella Gray, a 40 year old professor who, in pouring all her passion into others has somehow misplaced her own, comes a remarkable young man who is dying of leukemia. Though he is her student, he takes her on a spiritual journey that blossoms into a sexually charged love affair threatening to tear both their worlds apart. Using the backdrop of growing a garden as a metaphor for growing one's self, we follow Ella's soul gardening as she struggles with the question that is the stuff of all crossroads; shall she live the life she dreams of, or the life others have dreamt for her? Juxtaposing Ella, who is afraid to live, with Joe, who is unafraid to die, "Beneficial Flowers," is not a tragic tale of love lost but of life lived." Sybil's other film credits include work with Academy Award nominee Bill Suchy, Emmy Award winner Charles St. Clair, and Nickelodeon Studios.

 

They say write what you know, and in reality Sybil is an University Professor who has been teaching theatre at the college level for 14 years and who was voted Professor of the Year 1999-2000. At the University of Central Florida, her primary assignment is of Lecturer in Theatre for Young Audiences. A program she runs with Dr. Megan Alrutz, with whom she co-created one of the nation's most distinctive Masters of Fine Arts in Theatre for Young Audiences. The program, which offers courses such as Circus Arts, Storytelling, Puppetry and Mask Making is one of only a handful in the nation, and is the only one of it's kind that places equal emphasis on developing the educator in the artist AND the artist in the educator.

 

"Our graduates are a very eclectic crew, they are actors, directors, writers, and administrators but they all share a common bond - they are passionate about theatre for young audiences. Personally, I believe we are born with an instrument and our environment teaches us how to play it. Accordingly, it is our responsibility as Professors to provide students with environments that challenge, with teachers that motivate, and with art that inspires. That's what we're doing at UCF, training the next generation of artists who will, we suspect, revolutionize the field. The UCF graduate programs lives at the Orlando Repertory Theatre, a professional theatre for young audiences in downtown Orlando.

 

If there is a tie that binds in Sybil's career, it is using the arts to heal and to help. She initiated a program called 'Writes of Spring' at the Orlando Rep that gives young author's a playwriting festival of their own. And she has worked with Arts In Medicine, a program that brings the arts to terminally ill pediatric patients. During her career, she has also worked with "Take Back the Night," in conjunction with Rape Awareness, and with the Guardian ad Litem Program, which provides court appointed advocates to victim's of child abuse. Recently, she has begin a series of workshops inspired by Julia Cameron's, "The Artist's Way," that are designed to access and nurture the artist within.

 

"I work in a field that is about rejection and we (artist) are the first ones in line to abuse ourselves. We work long hours for very little pay, we go without sleep and food, and often beat ourselves up emotionally because we "didn't get the part." In the workshops we look at the negative language we use, pinpoint toxic relationships we are entangled in so we can free ourselves from them, and take ourselves out on artist dates (which are essentially designated times set aside to nurture ourselves and our artist). I believe that we are born with Creative DNA - a blueprint, if you will, of our unfolding. We are, all of us, artists, and expressing ourselves creatively is essential to our well-being." She has presented these workshops as far away as Athens, Greece and even integrates them into her courses at the University. "We expect a lot from our graduate students but we rarely teach them how to give back to themselves." On a human level, if we can't nurture ourselves how can we hope to nurture others?"

Click Images to Enlarge


The Bridge to Terabithia


The Yellow Boat


The Lion, the Witch,
and the Wardrobe


The Yellow Boat


Opal


Opal


Opal


The Journey to Friday


The Bridge to Terabithia

 


Do you have an artist to recommend for a future ArtSpotlight? If you do, contact ArtSpotlight@theArtsweb.com. You can even recommend yourself!

artist, painter, photographer, designer, writer, glass blower, potter, jewelry maker, sculptor, art historian, graphic artist, animator, actor, actress, singer, dancer, musician, band, print maker, film maker, music director, movie director, crafter, sketch artist, drawer, educator
artist, painter, photographer, designer, writer, glass blower, potter, jewelry maker, sculptor, art historian, graphic artist, animator, actor, actress, singer, dancer, musician, band, print maker, film maker, music director, movie director, crafter, sketch artist, drawer, educator join theArtsweb.com artist, painter, photographer, designer, writer, glass blower, potter, jewelry maker, sculptor, art historian, graphic artist, animator, actor, actress, singer, dancer, musician, band, print maker, film maker, music director, movie director, crafter, sketch artist, drawer, educator
artist, painter, photographer, designer, writer, glass blower, potter, jewelry maker, sculptor, art historian, graphic artist, animator, actor, actress, singer, dancer, musician, band, print maker, film maker, music director, movie director, crafter, sketch artist, drawer, educator
artist, painter, photographer, designer, writer, glass blower, potter, jewelry maker, sculptor, art historian, graphic artist, animator, actor, actress, singer, dancer, musician, band, print maker, film maker, music director, movie director, crafter, sketch artist, drawer, educator
artist, painter, photographer, designer, writer, glass blower, potter, jewelry maker, sculptor, art historian, graphic artist, animator, actor, actress, singer, dancer, musician, band, print maker, film maker, music director, movie director, crafter, sketch artist, drawer, educator
artist, painter, photographer, designer, writer, glass blower, potter, jewelry maker, sculptor, art historian, graphic artist, animator, actor, actress, singer, dancer, musician, band, print maker, film maker, music director, movie director, crafter, sketch artist, drawer, educator
artist, painter, photographer, designer, writer, glass blower, potter, jewelry maker, sculptor, art historian, graphic artist, animator, actor, actress, singer, dancer, musician, band, print maker, film maker, music director, movie director, crafter, sketch artist, drawer, educator
artist, painter, photographer, designer, writer, glass blower, potter, jewelry maker, sculptor, art historian, graphic artist, animator, actor, actress, singer, dancer, musician, band, print maker, film maker, music director, movie director, crafter, sketch artist, drawer, educator
artist, painter, photographer, designer, writer, glass blower, potter, jewelry maker, sculptor, art historian, graphic artist, animator, actor, actress, singer, dancer, musician, band, print maker, film maker, music director, movie director, crafter, sketch artist, drawer, educator
artist, painter, photographer, designer, writer, glass blower, potter, jewelry maker, sculptor, art historian, graphic artist, animator, actor, actress, singer, dancer, musician, band, print maker, film maker, music director, movie director, crafter, sketch artist, drawer, educator
artist, painter, photographer, designer, writer, glass blower, potter, jewelry maker, sculptor, art historian, graphic artist, animator, actor, actress, singer, dancer, musician, band, print maker, film maker, music director, movie director, crafter, sketch artist, drawer, educator
artist, painter, photographer, designer, writer, glass blower, potter, jewelry maker, sculptor, art historian, graphic artist, animator, actor, actress, singer, dancer, musician, band, print maker, film maker, music director, movie director, crafter, sketch artist, drawer, educator
artist, painter, photographer, designer, writer, glass blower, potter, jewelry maker, sculptor, art historian, graphic artist, animator, actor, actress, singer, dancer, musician, band, print maker, film maker, music director, movie director, crafter, sketch artist, drawer, educator
Artsy Fartsy for kids
Florida museum, Florida symphony, Florida ballet, Florida theater, Florida broadway, Florida concert, Florida opera
Florida museum, Florida symphony, Florida ballet, Florida theater, Florida broadway, Florida concert, Florida opera
Florida museum, Florida symphony, Florida ballet, Florida theater, Florida broadway, Florida concert, Florida opera
Florida museum, Florida symphony, Florida ballet, Florida theater, Florida broadway, Florida concert, Florida opera
Florida museum, Florida symphony, Florida ballet, Florida theater, Florida broadway, Florida concert, Florida opera
Florida museum, Florida symphony, Florida ballet, Florida theater, Florida broadway, Florida concert, Florida opera
Florida museum, Florida symphony, Florida ballet, Florida theater, Florida broadway, Florida concert, Florida opera
Florida museum, Florida symphony, Florida ballet, Florida theater, Florida broadway, Florida concert, Florida opera
Florida museum, Florida symphony, Florida ballet, Florida theater, Florida broadway, Florida concert, Florida opera
Florida museum, Florida symphony, Florida ballet, Florida theater, Florida broadway, Florida concert, Florida opera
Florida museum, Florida symphony, Florida ballet, Florida theater, Florida broadway, Florida concert, Florida opera
artist, painter, photographer, designer, writer, glass blower, potter, jewelry maker, sculptor, art historian, graphic artist, animator, actor, actress, singer, dancer, musician, band, print maker, film maker, music director, movie director, crafter, sketch artist, drawer, educator artist, painter, photographer, designer, writer, glass blower, potter, jewelry maker, sculptor, art historian, graphic artist, animator, actor, actress, singer, dancer, musician, band, print maker, film maker, music director, movie director, crafter, sketch artist, drawer, educator Orlando museum, Orlando symphony, Orlando ballet, Orlando theater, Orlando broadway, Orlando opera, Orlando concert artist, painter, photographer, designer, writer, glass blower, potter, jewelry maker, sculptor, art historian, graphic artist, animator, actor, actress, singer, dancer, musician, band, print maker, film maker, music director, movie director, crafter, sketch artist, drawer, educator

Terms of Use -- Privacy Policy -- Links -- Site Index

Copyright © 2008 TheArtsWeb.com. All rights reserved.
Revised: August 8, 2007