About

Hello! I go by Victoria, or Victoria Maria

pronouns: she/her/hers/they/them/theirs

Arts & therapy

For many years I worked primarily as an arts educator. My love for theater expanded into a broader passion for providing space for young people as well as adults to explore intersections between presence, movement, language, performance, community, wellness, and creativity.

Through more explicitly utilizing drama therapy and social justice theater in my work, I found a deep satisfaction and natural skill for facilitating healing experiences that transcend the usual limits of the logical mind. In 2014 I incorporated Butoh dance into my professional theater work and ongoing training. Amongst many other learnings, Butoh provided insight into the mind-body connection and the role of the subconscious. Following this thread, I became certified as a hypnotherapist in 2015. I learned that, essentially, the body IS the subconscious. While I worked therapeutically with the mind and continued my dance-theater career, I recognized that somatic awareness was a catalyzing component of the healing process. As a result, I began to emphasize the body as the center of knowing and change. The body teaches us from within and without everything yearning to be understood about our deepest wishes, gifts, wounds, and nearby possibilities. Somatic therapy is my foundation for supporting the whole body-mind-spirit ecosystem.

As a somatic therapist, I am training in touch-based approaches and am concurrently pursuing studies and accreditation with the Eastwest Somatics Institute . For more about my work as a somatic therapist, click here.

ARTS & ECOLOGY

Body-Mind-Spirit quickly metamorphosed into Body-Metta-Spore. My deepening relationships with plants, fungi, animals, and the bigger-picture view of ecology and interrelationship asked me to merge dance, art, learning, and healing with “earth work.” Accordingly, in the last four years or so I’ve dedicated much of my time to learning in the fields of horticulture, mycology, herbalism, permaculture, food, foraging, and interspecies understanding. Whatever “technological singularity” we may or may not have passed, humans at present-day are still organic creatures—we are wrapped up in the dynamic elemental rhythms at play in Earth’s biosphere. More than simply understanding these rhythms, I wish to actively co-regulate with them and create communities that are symbiotic with them.

As an artist, I initiate and take part in a variety of projects that span dance, site-specific work, improvisation, theater directing, music, writing, and have recently much enjoyed collaborating with clowns. An important question for me now is: “What does it mean to create art with and for nonhuman critters? And what counts as art, anyway?” Is it a gift, a subversion, a provocation, a liminal space, a frame around an honest moment, a frame around an intentional lie, a divine token brought back from an otherwise unknowable journey, life resonance itself? My favorite method of creation so far is inspired by non-hierarchical Moment Work, as coined by the members of the Tectonic Theater Project. Ultimately, I hope to call on my somatic and environmental practices to find new methods that respond to the problems and beauties of current life on Earth.

Abbreviated Resume

TRAINING, CERTIFICATIONS, WORKSHOPS

  • Bucknell University, B.A. (English/Writing & Theatre/Directing)
  • Hakomi Mindful Somatic Psychotherapy, Experiential Introduction with Melissa Grace
  • Using Somatic Interventions with Depression, workshop with Maureen Gallagher 
  • Butoh Dance @ Vangeline Theatre (Vangeline, Katsura Kan, Mari Osanai, Vanessa Skantze, Natalie Cuellar, Moeno Wakamatsu, Eri Chian);  @Ume Group (Jordan Rosin and Yokko); @Subbody Resonance School, Dharamsala India; short workshop with Yuko Kaseki in Philadelphia; workshop with Maureen Momo Freehill (Butoh Landscape: Dancing on the Edge)    
  • Hypnotherapy, Certification through IACT, mentored by Kristin Prevallet;  Precision Hypnosis course by Mark Tyrell 
  • Somatic Therapy — Transformative Touch, L1 partial training 
  • Participant in the 2020 Embodied Trauma Conference
  • International Society of Arboriculture Tree Worker Safety Course
  • Wild Wisdom course for wild food, medicine, and fiber, hosted through Awbury Arboretum — currently in process
  • CPR Certified   
  • Spiral Q’s School Residency Training (Parade and Puppetry in Philadelphia)
  • Physical Theatre, Dell’Arte International 
  • Drama Therapy, workshop in Amman, Jordan with w/ Dr. Fadi Skeiker
  • Foundations for Trauma-Informed Art-Making, BuildaBridge
  • Contemplative Dance Practice, Asimina Chremos and others

OTHER SKILLS

Yoga, Acroyoga, Voice, Violin, Harp, German, Basic Arabic, Childcare, Non-Violent Communication

EMPLOYMENT EXPERIENCES

(various other workshops and work engagements can be found elsewhere on the site)

Eco-Landscaper, Apprentice Tree Worker, Newsletter Editor, Admin. Asst/Operations @Eating for the Ecosystem, Philadelphia PA 

Gardener @ Garden InSites, Philadelphia PA and surrounding areas 

Teaching Staff @ Spiral Q, Philadelphia PA

Movies4MentalHealth Facilitator @Art With Impact, Mid-Atlantic Region 

Kids and Teens Coordinator @Philly Improv Theater, Philadelphia PA 

Guest Theatre Artist @Wild Goose Farm, Lewisburg PA 

Theatre Faculty @King’s Academy, Madaba, Jordan

Drama Teacher/Production Director @Manhattan Country School, NYC

Drama Specialist @Hartley House, NYC 

Apprentice Theatre Teacher @The Putney School, VT

AWARDS

ScreenCraft 2018 Stage Play Competition, Finalist

The Cadigan Prizes for Emerging Writers, 1st Place Recipient

Glimmer Train June ’14 Fiction Open, Honorable Mention 

The C. Willard Smith Award for creative imagination in Theatre, Bucknell University