Walking the dog Theater creates theater events, inner development courses, and community-building projects.
Vital aspects of this purpose include: engaging children, youth, and adults in their own creative potential, stimulating artistic life in underserved areas, supporting the work and growth of professional artists, the Michael Chekhov approach to acting, and staging plays, with a special passion for the works of William Shakespeare.
David Anderson is a co-founder and the Executive Artistic Director of WTD. Born in Beloit, Wisconsin, USA, he received a Bachelor’s degree in writing from Lakeland College in 1991. He taught English in Weimar, Germany, for three years before completing a post-graduate degree in Waldorf Education at Emerson College, Forest Row, England.
He studied Speech and Drama at Threshold Theater in Christchurch, New Zealand, and has performed throughout North America, Europe, Australia, New Zealand and Asia. An adaptation for the stage of his 45-part poem “Walking the dog” led to the founding of Walking the dog Theater in 1997.
In 2001 David Anderson and John McManus inaugurated Shakespeare Alive!, a yearlong course for youth in the art of acting. The college-accredited course completed its third year of training in 2004.
With over 25 years of experience teaching in Waldorf Schools, David works with students and teachers in many schools, directing plays and offering teacher development workshops. He gives talks and workshops, especially related to drama and inner development, the Michael Chekhov approach to acting, the art of teaching, team-building, inner and outer biography, and awakening the creative self.
In 2013 he started 3-year part-time courses in Drama and Inner Development and, later, 3-year part-time courses in Drama and Inner Development for the early childhood educator, focused on the 12 senses. Courses have run in: Taichung, Taipei, Hong Kong, Beijing, Shanghai, Chengdu, Fuzhou, Xian, Tianjin, and Guangzhou.
He has directed over 50 productions, including 30 Shakespeare plays (including Julius Caesar with inmates at the Greene County Correctional Facility, as part of WTD’s Prison Outreach Program). David has published poetry and written three plays: The Lost Son, Walking the dog, and The Lost Frontier of America. He spends more than half the year in Asia, giving workshops, directing and performing, and facilitating 3-year part-time courses on Drama and Inner Development.
David recently played Leontes in WTD’s The Winter’s Tale and collaborated in WTD’s fall production of fire. In the last few years he has performed in the Off-Broadway production of Chekhovek, WTD’s The Death Show, WTD’s The Lost Frontier of America, has played Claire in Genet’s The Maids for New Stage Theatre, and the Stage Manager in and directed Our Town for WTD/PS21. Favorite roles include: Hamlet in the collaborative production of Hamlet – a performance The Independent gave Best Male Actor for 2007; Pale in Burn This, Sceparnio in the U.S. premiere of The Storm, Anton Chekhov in I Take Your Hand, Malvolio in Twelfth Night, and Roxane in Cyrano. For 13 years he has performed a one-man A Christmas Carol, directed by Ted Pugh, for 8 years toured with The Gospel of John, and is a member of WTD’s OFF LEASH! Improv Ensemble. For film: lead roles in Coda, Understudy, Various States of Repose, Sky, Within A Forest, and Evil Twin.
She has served on the faculties of Shakespeare Alive!, The Michael Chekhov Acting Studio in NYC, and as guest teacher at the Geert Grote and Constantine Huygens schools in Holland, and the Baobab College in South Africa.
Her seven-character, one-woman play, Blue Arches, premiered with WTD, and was remounted five times in NYC and in Columbia County. Recent directing credits include The Taming of the Shrew, The Gold in the Ground, The Tempest, and assistant director of Macbeth and As You Like It. Melania was the drama director for Side by Side for five years, a youth leadership training program and summer camp for underserved children in Harlem and Rockland County.
She has sung concerts of the music of Silvio Rodriguez, Kurt Weill, Jacques Brel, and many Elizabethan composers. She lives in New York City with her husband Richard and her daughter Nikita Lev. Melania is a member of Actors’ Equity Association.