Lecturer and Alumna Honored for Motivating Acting Students
Michele Apriña Leavy (MFA dramatic art, ’94), a lecturer in theatre and dance, has been honored by UC Davis Continuing and Professional Education with an Outstanding Service Award for the academic year 2019-2020 in recognition of her partnership, service and commitment to continuing education.
During spring quarter 2020, Leavy had to adapt her course, DRA198-Presentation, Communications, and Collaboration Skills for International Students which is offered with the UC Davis Global Studies Program, for online learning due to the pandemic.
“Michele was selected in part due to the glowing evaluations of students who were transformed from shy, quiet individuals into expressive engaging actors,” said Susan Cantron, Dean UC Davis Continuing and Professional Education. “We also commend her commitment when adapting her course into an online course – a particular challenge for a drama course.”
The evolution of Leavy’s work on two courses was the subject of a well-read UC Davis Arts Blog article “Teaching Acting in the Time of COVD-19: Where is Everybody?”
Leavy is a professional actor and theatre educator who has performed locally with the American Conservatory Theater, Alameda Civic Ballet, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, BRAVA Theater Center, California Shakespeare Theater, Center Repertory Company, Livermore Shakespeare Festival, Marin Theatre Company, and TheatreWorks, among others. Beyond the bay she has worked with The Elephant Theater Co. in Los Angeles, and Theatre 167 in New York City. As a teaching artist she has taught and directed throughout the Bay Area for the American Conservatory Theater, the Berkeley Rep School of Theatre, and Cañada College. Leavy is a long-standing resident artist with San Francisco’s Crowded Fire Theater and serves on their Literary Committee. She is also a core member of B.A.L.T.A.N. the Bay Area Latino Theater Artist’s Network.