Artistic Excellence Leads to Educational Know-How
Bill Bowers holds an MFA from Rutgers University, Mason Gross School of the Arts, and an Honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts from Rocky Mountain College (where he received his undergraduate degree). He has presented master classes, residencies and performances for both students and educators in settings such as Harvard, Princeton, New York University, UCLA, and numerous other major professional actor training programs.
Bill is also a teaching artist in elementary and high schools throughout the country, presenting programs which incorporate Mime, Creative Movement, and Theater Games in addressing the following ideas and issues:
Movement and non-verbal communication
Self-expression through performance arts
Non-violent conflict resolution
Special needs students
"Freedom of expression is an essential component of the actor's craft," says William Wesbrooks, Director of Vocal Performance at the Steinhardt School, NYU. "Bill Bowers has a unique ability to connect a student's natural impulses to physical movement. As a director and educator I find Bill's talents in this area to be of immeasurable value to me and to my students." Whether training the professional actor, or connecting Creative Movement to an established curriculum, Mime and Movement offer new tools in relationship building and artistic discovery.
Susan Speidel, Director of Education at Paper Mill Playhouse in New Jersey say this about Bill's participation in their Adopt-A-School Program, "Bill Bowers is one of the first artists I think of when planning a residency, whether it is a single-day workshop, or a multi-week partnership with a school. His enthusiasm is contagious, and his artistry is only surpassed by his genuine affection for students and his respect for the learning process."
Opportunities For Special Needs Populations
Mime and creative movement are extremely effective in working with individuals who have learning challenges. Mime exercises assist in both reinforcing sequential learning, reclaiming social skills, and provide a means of "constructive play." In addition to programs for learning-challenged students, Bill has offered workshops for educators in
Nonverbal communication in the classroom
Multiple Disabilities in the classroom (Inclusion)
Incorporating Arts in the curriculum
Bill has developed programs for organizations such as the Make-a-Wish Foundation, RIF (Reading Is FUNdamental), Operation Smile, VSA Very Special arts, and Teach for America.
Bill worked as an artist-in-residence at several New York City schools following the tragic September 11 disaster, helping children find creative expression for their feelings of anxiety and loss.
What Arts Educators
Bill Bowers is a consummate performer as well as an exceptionally gifted teacher. He has a unique ability to connect a student’s natural impulses to physical movement. Freedom of expression – which must include spontaneous physical expression – is an essential component of the actor’s craft. As a director and educator I find Bill’s talents in this area to be of immeasurable value to me and to my students.
— William Wesbrooks,
Former Director of Vocal Performance
The Steinhardt School at New York University