Inspiring the Next Generation of Resilient Performers

Assistant Professor of Theater C. Robin Marcotte reflects on the professional experiences that inform his teaching. 

March 20, 2023

With an artistic provenance that has included intensive work in physical theater, puppetry, contemporary circus arts, and mime, Assistant Professor of Theater C. Robin Marcotte brings a finely tuned awareness of the body and creative wellness to his movement and ensemble performance classes at the Conservatory. His most recent work, The Anxiety Piece, which melds theater, dance, and comedy, was a collaboration with healthcare professionals across New England and with Articine, a nonprofit integrating the arts and medicine. Premiering in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, to wide acclaim, the work received a New Work New England Grant from the New England Foundation for the Arts. For Marcotte, it was an exciting opportunity to address the heightened levels of anxiety in society at large and in his students in particular.

“I frame my creative, teaching, wellness, and performing work as one artistic practice. They all serve each other,” he explains. An important part of this integrative teaching philosophy is to train actors to be true to themselves. “An easy access to truth is seated in wellness,” Marcotte says. “I resist the notion that an artist must be ‘troubled’ to create strong art. The world is full of so much trauma and fear; it’s my belief that artists can heal both themselves and others. I feel called to instill a high level of joy in my students’ rigorous artistic path.ˮ He adds:

“Artists need a high level of mental and physical health—resiliency and compassion for themselves—to dive deep into their art. Through my creative work and through teaching, I continue to search for new ways to lead my students down this path.”