Taylor Wood Header Laughing

About me

I believe in the power of storytelling to connect and move us

 

I believe theater holds the power to inspire and transform

 

I believe in igniting the creative potential in myself and others

 

I believe in working together to deepen dialogue 

 

I believe in moving and spending time upside down

 

Taylor Wood

Performer

I performed for the first time as a chimpanzee in 1st grade. Aaaand I caught the acting bug…

I received my Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theatre Performance from Ole Miss. I performed with Oxford’s Laff Co improv comedy troop and won several titles in dramatic interpretation and other acting categories with the Ole Miss forensics team. My favorite roles in college were Rose of Sharon in The Grapes of Wrath, Theresa Bedell in Boy Gets Girl, and Olivia in Twelfth Night with Oxford Shakespeare Festival.

I moved back to my hometown of Memphis, TN to perform with Playhouse on the Square and Theatre Memphis. My favorite roles in the Memphis area were Curley’s Wife in Of Mice and Men, Butterbean in Front Porch Fairy Tales, and Claire in Proof. Our production of Proof won two Ostrander awards for Best Ensemble Acting and Best Dramatic Production.

In Fall 2015, I entered the Master of Fine Arts in Acting program at the University of Georgia. My culminating thesis project was playing Sharon in Detroit by Lisa D’Amour in 2018. This role was my favorite by far. 

I am always looking for opportunities to perform: whether it is scripted work, devised theater, film, children’s theater, classical theater, standup, improv comedy, and everything in between.

I am in the process of developing and remounting an original one-woman show called Sexiety. My goal is to air the show in March 2021—more details coming soon.

teacher

I started teaching early, with my little twin sisters in the playroom. My first official gig was after college: I coached advanced gymnastics in Memphis, TN and for a brief stint in New York City. 

I worked as a core member of ShoWagon, Theatre Memphis’ professional touring company. Our four-person team performed children’s theater and offered acting, audio theater, and writing workshops to students in the Memphis area. I also led the Evergreen Montessori After School Acting Program on principles of documentary theater with Playhouse on the Square.

I taught Intro to Acting as a part of my master’s program at the University of Georgia, for which I received the Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award. Directly following graduation, I was invited to Cortona, Italy to teach commedia dell’arte to undergrads. I also got engaged there!

I stayed another year at UGA to teach Acting Foundations and Scene Study to theater majors. I also taught The Georgia Incarceration Project, where I facilitated student research to uncover Georgia’s carceral history. This class research laid the groundwork for a devised theater production.

I currently teach three sections of Intro to Acting and one section of Intro to Applied Collaborative Techniques each semester at Virginia Tech. Last January, I was contracted by the University of Mississippi as a speech coach for MBA, accounting and law students at the annual Speaker’s Edge Competition. I look forward to serving in this role again in January 2021. 

Taylor Wood Teaching

theater maker

I wrote, devised, and directed skits after college at Evergreen Montessori School, Humes Preparatory Academy, Soulsville Charter School, Grizzlies Prep, and Power Center Academy in Memphis, TN.

My first year of graduate school, I wrote a children’s show titled Hush for the 2015-2016 touring season of Theatre Memphis’ ShoWagon. Hush uses broad comedy, music, and puppets to explore what it means to be different.The next script I wrote, Zoom! Pow! Smash!, debuted at the 2016 Atlanta Fringe Festival. This show emphasized the importance of teamwork and individuality by spoofing superhero culture.

I directed my first play with University of Georgia Children’s Theatre: Run Rabbit Run by Abraham Johnson. After attending the Acrobatics of the Heart Physical Performer & Pedagogy Training with Synaesthetic Theatre in 2017, I was inspired to create new theater using a unique approach.

I returned to the University of Georgia to devise a piece from scratch. I led the cast through exercises in self-expression and creativity, sewed their organic words into a script, and directed the actors to polished performance. I created two very different plays with this method: Us and Glue. Glue was sponsored by the Thalian Blackfriars at UGA, and had a second professional run at Moonlight Theater Company in Athens, GA.

I am currently co-directing The Race 2020 with Courtney Surmanek at Virginia Tech under an ICAT Major SEAD grant. This production is created in partnership with Adaire Theatre and is part of the Building Civility initiative. We open October 30!

...and More

I like to think of myself as a collection of bones inside of a meat sack. I love being a human bean!

I am passionate about the human body. My 10+ years of experience as a competitive gymnast has helped and hindered me in different ways as a newfound yogi. I believe in yoga as more than a physical practice—it is a physical, mental, emotional, energetic and spiritual system of healing and self-regulation. I cultivate compassionate mindfulness as often as I can, and serve others when my cup is full.

I believe in the power of energy and I trust unseen forces. We are, after all, governed by what we can’t see: think gravity, emotions, electromagnetism, to name a few. I study nervous system energy work, moving anatomy, and the Alexander Technique for fun. I also enjoy neuroscience and psychology. I believe these subjects hold the secrets and tools for next-level awareness and consciousness. I enjoy the interplay between conscious self-management and unconscious abandon. I seek truth and embrace mystery.

There is another business-minded, logical side of me rooted to the earth that I value almost as much as my spirituality. I served as House Manager for Tennessee Shakespeare Company, and managed several recreational gymnastics locations around the Memphis area. I enjoy making decisions with my head and my heart, and I hope this quality helps me to build a studio of my own one day.

Taylor on Myrtle Beach