Olga Sanchez Saltveit
Office
Mahaney Arts Center 328
Tel
(802) 443-3031
Email
osanchezsaltveit@middlebury.edu
Office Hours
Tues 10am-11am ET & Thurs 2pm-4pm ET
Additional Programs
Black Studies Theatre

Olga Sanchez Saltveit is Artistic Director Emerita for Milagro, the Pacific Northwest’s premier Latinx arts & culture organization, following her service as the company’s Artistic Director from 2003-2015. She is an actor, director, devisor, and arts activist, whose work has been seen throughout the US and in Peru, Venezuela, Honduras, and Cuba. Olga served as co-artistic director of the People’s Playhouse in New York City, artistic director of Seattle Teatro Latino, and co-founder of La Casa de Artes, a Seattle-based non-profit organization dedicated to celebrating the beauty of Latinx arts and cultural heritage. Her ¡O ROMEO! received a Portland Drama Critics’ DRAMMY award for Outstanding Achievement in Devised Work, and her Como Agua para Chocolate (Like Water for Chocolate) was nominated for several BroadwayWorld awards, including Best Direction. Olga served on the Executive Committee and the Diversity Task Force on the TCG (Theatre Communications Group) board of directors. She serves on the Advisory Committee of the Latinx Theatre Commons, in partnership with HowlRound Theatre Commons, Emerson College. Associations and affiliations include: Actors Equity Association, SAG-AFTRA, Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers, and the Association for Theatre in Higher Education. B.A., Theatre, Hunter College, C.U.N.Y.; M.A., Human / Bicultural Development, Pacific Oaks College; Ph.D., Theatre Arts, University of Oregon. Research interests include BIPOC theatre and activism, Latinx feminisms, and the commons. 

Courses Taught

Course Description

The Creative Process
In this course, students will have the opportunity to dig deeply into their own creativity and explore the processes by which ideas emerge and are given shape in the arts. The experiential nature of this course integrates cognition and action, mind and body. Students will engage a range of modes of discovering, knowing, and communicating, which are designed to push them beyond their present state of awareness and level of confidence in their creative power. Practical work will be closely accompanied by readings and journaling, culminating with the creation and performance of a short project. (First- and second-year students only; Not open to students who have taken FYSE 1364) 3 hrs. lect.

Terms Taught

Spring 2022, Fall 2022

Requirements

ART

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Course Description

Native Presence and Performance: Reclaiming the Indigenous Narrative
In this sminar we will respectfully engage with contemporary Native American and First Nations theatre makers representing the nations of the Kiowa/Delaware, Onieda/Ojibwe, Cherokee, and Kana/Rappahannock. Additionally, we will meet with Abenaki culture bearers to learn how cultural expression has contributed to their nation’s reclamation and decolonization in Vermont and the Northeast. Despite centuries of attempted erasure, the Indigenous of the Americas have survived and thrived in powerful ways. Conversations with Native leaders and artists, will deepen understanding while strengthening communication skills (including listening); writing assignments will strengthen critical, sensitive, and reflexive analysis. 3 hrs. sem.

Terms Taught

Spring 2021

Requirements

AMR, ART, CW

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Course Description

Acting I: Beginning Acting
Rigorous physical and psychophysical exercises attempt to break through the cultural and psychological barriers that inhibit an open responsiveness to impulses, to the environment, and to others. Attempt is made to free personal response within improvised scenes and, eventually, within the narrative structure of a naturalistic scene. Attention is given to various theories of acting technique. Students are expected to audition for departmental shows. (First- and second-year students only) 3 hrs. lect./individual labs

Terms Taught

Fall 2020, Spring 2023

Requirements

ART

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Course Description

Fall Production Studio: Acting
The cast works as part of a company interpreting, rehearsing, and performing a play. Those receiving credit can expect to rehearse four to six nights a week. Appropriate written work is required. Participation in the course is determined by auditions held the previous term. (Approval required) 3 hrs. lect.

Terms Taught

Fall 2021

Requirements

ART

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Course Description

Directing I: Beginning
As a group, students will analyze one or two plays to discover the process involved in preparing a script for production. Attention will be given to production and design concepts, textual values, auditions, rehearsals, and the structuring of a performance in time and space. Students will also cast and direct one or more scenes to be worked on and performed in class. The practical work is combined with written analysis. (Approval required; ARDV 0116, THEA 0102) 4 hrs. lect.

Terms Taught

Spring 2022

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Course Description

Spring Production Studio: Acting
The cast works as part of a company, interpreting, rehearsing, and performing a play. Those receiving credit can expect to rehearse four to six nights a week. Appropriate written work is required. Participation in the course is determined by auditions held during the term prior to the performance. (Approval required) 3 hrs. lect.

Terms Taught

Spring 2021, Spring 2023

Requirements

ART

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Course Description

Contemporary Latinx Playwrights
In this course we will investigate Chicana/o/x and Latina/o/x artistic activism since the 1960s in the works of playwrights such as Luis Valdez, Josefina Baéz, John Leguizamo, and Guadalís Del Carmen. In alternating in-person and online meetings, we will engage with scripts as diverse in aesthetic approach as they are in societal concerns (including misrepresentation, unfair labor practices, gender roles, immigration, and colorism). Conversations with guest artists will enhance readings about historical events that inspired theatrical challenges to the status quo. Creative responses to the materials will strengthen critical interpretive skills including production dramaturgy, performance, and design. 3 hrs. lect.

Terms Taught

Fall 2020

Requirements

AAL, AMR, ART, LIT

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Course Description

Contemporary Native American Playwrights
In this course we will study plays and productions by contemporary Native American, First Nations, and Canadian Métis playwrights such as Mary Katherine Nagle, Larissa Fasthorse, Drew Hayden Taylor, and Monique Mojica. We will engage with scripts that reflect Indigenous resistance to settler colonialism, challenge harmful stereotypes, reclaim cultures, traditions, and languages, and celebrate survivance. Conversations with guest artists will enhance readings of critical theory and history that situate theatre as a tool for healing, transformation, sovereignty, and the future of Indigeneity. 3 hrs. lect.

Terms Taught

Fall 2021

Requirements

AMR, ART, LIT, NOR

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Course Description

African American Drama
In this course we will respectfully investigate African American performance and theatre history since the late 19th century by exploring works of playwrights such as W.E.B. Du Bois, Zora Neale Hurston, Amira Baraka, Adrienne Kennedy, August Wilson, and Brandon Jacobs-Jenkins. We will also engage with theoretical essays by Alain Locke, Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Patricia Hill Collins and more, that illuminate how, despite centuries of lethal stereotyping, the stage has been and continues to be a forum for self-representation, unification, resistance, and liberation. Guest artists will provide firsthand accounts in conversation with the students. Dramaturgical and critical responses to the materials will strengthen production interpretation and design skills.

Terms Taught

Fall 2022

Requirements

AMR, ART, LIT

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Course Description

Intermediate Independent Project
In consultation with their advisors, theatre majors in design may propose a THEA 0500 Intermediate Independent Project. Preliminary proposal forms approved by the student's advisor will be submitted to the program by March 1st of the preceding academic year for those wanting credit in the fall or winter terms and by October 1st for those wanting credit in the spring term. Projects will conform to the guidelines that are available in the theatre office. Students are required to attend a weekly THEA 0500/0700 seminar.

Terms Taught

Fall 2020, Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Winter 2022, Spring 2022, Fall 2022, Winter 2023, Spring 2023

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Course Description

Intermediate Independent Project
(Approval Required)

Terms Taught

Fall 2020, Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Winter 2022, Spring 2022, Fall 2022, Winter 2023, Spring 2023

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Course Description

Senior Independent Project
Senior work is required. In consultation with their advisors, theatre majors may propose a THEA 0700 Independent Project. Preliminary proposal forms approved by the student's advisor will be submitted to the program by March 1st of the preceding academic year for those wanting credit in the fall or winter terms and by October 1st for those wanting credit in the spring term. Projects will conform to the guidelines that are available in the theatre office. Students are required to attend a weekly THEA 0500/0700 seminar.

Terms Taught

Fall 2020, Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Winter 2022, Spring 2022, Fall 2022, Winter 2023, Spring 2023

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Course Description

Mexican Revolution/Revelation
Using theatrical workshop techniques, students in this interdisciplinary will explore the socio-political-economic history, literature, music, dance, graphic art and architecture that reflect the period of time commonly known as the Mexican revolution. The course will consist of both academic research as well as dramatic and musical performance. The work will center around adapting scenes for the theater from Mariano Azuela’s novel of the revolution Los de Abajo. Students will study, contextualize and incorporate various elements of Mexican folk music into these scenes. The course will culminate in a dramatic presentation of the work.

Terms Taught

Winter 2022

Requirements

AMR, ART, LIT, NOR, WTR

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