Graduate School

Effective Performance

Improvisation and Performance Techniques for Graduate Students.

The Effective Performance workshop introduces graduate students to the techniques used by professional actors, in order to help them learn to perform, communicate, improvise, and respond dynamically to an audience. 

In this interactive five-part series, participants learn from experts from the Trinity Repertory Theater, as they find new ways to engage their bodies, voices, and passions in order to communicate in compelling ways. Students will develop many theatrical skills, such as enhancing one’s presence, active listening, and storytelling. The workshops also build community among participants, as people collaborate in interactive and fun activities with one another. 

The Graduate School and Trinity Repertory Theater host workshops each semester, after piloting the approach in 2015-16. Workshops are offered as a five-session workshop series. Students may apply to join a cohort of 12-20 students to participate. Participants should wear comfortable clothes and be ready to move and play. We welcome all students, especially those without any background in public speaking or theater. 


To help prepare graduate students to be effective communicators for research and teaching through interactive workshops.


  1. Explore theater techniques, experimenting with play, spontaneity, and connecting to your audience.
  2. Discover the story behind your research and study.
  3. Develop comfort and confidence in making an engaging research statement.


  • Improvisation and Performance Values (Lead Teacher: Mauro Hantman)
  • Shaping Speech (Lead Teacher: Mauro Hantman)
  • Your Fullest Voice (Lead Teacher: Rachael Warren)
  • Dropping into the Body (Lead Teacher: Becky Gibel)
  • Putting it All Together: Performance (Lead Teacher: Mauro Hantman)

Contact in the Graduate School: Byrd McDaniel, Assistant Director of Student Development; Lead Instructor: Mauro Hantman, Trinity Repertory Resident Company Member


A committee of Trinity Rep and Graduate School representatives will help select a diverse and cross-disciplinary cohort of graduate students who can benefit from the workshop.

Selection Criteria

  • Articulated commitment to expanding communication skills.
  • Potential for program to advance student's educational and professional goals.
  • Articulated need for the program to make a significant difference in developing skills.

Application Requirements

Students interested in applying to the 5-Session Workshop Series must:

  1. Be a current doctoral or master's student in good academic standing (all disciplines are eligible to apply).
  2. Be able to attend all sessions, since each builds on the previous one. 
  3. Complete an online application form by January 25, 2023.


Dates for Spring 2023

  • Monday, January 30
  • Monday, February 6
  • Monday, February 13
  • Thursday, February 23
  • Monday, February 27

All times are from 5-8 pm.


For questions, please contact or