In recent years, it has become undeniable that we need to do a lot more as an industry to create a working environment free from harassment and harm, one that empowers performers to have control over their own bodies. I am invested in changing the culture in our rehearsal spaces, one room at time, which lead me to train as an intimacy director.
Scott Emerson Moyle wrote a great explainer on intimacy direction for Generator’s Artist Producer Resource, which you can read here. My job as an intimacy director is to advocate for actors, choreograph movement, and create a safe space to work so that we can tell the story of the intimacy.
I want every actor to know that they can have boundaries, know how to communicate and receive them, and to have a nuanced understanding of consent. I am particularly interested in teaching tools to approach consent in classroom settings, where complex power dynamics are at play.
If you have questions about intimacy needs for a production, or if you think your organization could benefit from a workshop, please get in touch using the contact form below.
I had the privilege of working with Leslie on a virtual reading of Skin A Cat, a play that demands a ton of intimacy. While I was nervous going into the process, Leslie immediately put my mind at ease by making herself available to the entire cast, and coming up with various options for all the choreography. Every rehearsal felt comfortable, collaborative and fun. The parts of the piece I was most anxious about ended up being my favourites to perform, for I was confident and excited about the ways we were telling the story!
Leslie is an incredibly informed and assured voice in the rehearsal room. Her approach and instruction of intimacy direction provides actors with the safety and comfort to develop the vocabulary and choreography at their own pace, in their own space. Leslie’s intimacy work ensures that the story is being told clearly, safely, and competently.
There wasn’t a false, self-conscious, or unbalanced moment anywhere. The movement there was perfectly suited to the medium, and was handled naturally and skillfully by the (bloody fantastic) actors. Intimacy direction was a revelation of subtlety and nuance.