Daja M. Rice
PERFORMING ARTIST. Playwright. practitioner.
Daja M. Rice, originally from Spring Valley, NY, is a professional theatre performing artist, playwright, and educator who attained her Bachelor of Arts degree in Theatre Performance and Education from North Carolina Central University. Daja has spent most of her career performing on the stage and enhancing the personal, professional, and artistic development of youth and adults through the performing arts and currently pursuing her M.F.A. in Acting at University of Georgia where she also serves as a Simulated Patient Trainer for the Medical School. Being called to be a light in darkness, she lives and works by a standard founded on Godly principles and embraces opportunities to create meaningful art with conviction, integrity, and passion.
Konstantin Stanislavski once stated, “Never allow yourself externally to portray anything that you have not inwardly experienced and which is not even interesting to you.” As a Black Christian female artist, I utilize my personal experiences and cultural history to tell stories and manifest the lives of multidimensional characters. In the same spirit I utilize my personal convictions to determine what and whose stories I can serve with integrity. I tell stories that intrigue me. I play characters who can freely manifest through me. As it is my life’s purpose to be a light in darkness, I illuminate the world of theatre with integrity, knowledge, and passion.
Teaching is a gift of light and truth that continues to give. People learn something new each day, then pass that newfound wisdom along to the next person. Teaching is not an opportunity for me to validate my own intellect by telling people how much I know, but teaching is most effective when my student feels empowered to teach. As a teaching artist, I empower my students to discover their own light and truth by sharing content about acting through inclusive context, critical analysis, and kinesthetic exercises to ensure that the information is not only retained but applied and possessed for regifting.
Techniques & Methodologies
A workshop facilitated by Daja M. Rice that provides the Actor with essential tools (techniques, practices, and methodologies) needed to access and manifest a character. Group + Individual Sessions available. Free Consultation.
A Workshop facilitated by Daja M. Rice that provides Theatre Beginners with the basic, fundamental knowledge and structure to have a successful and less hectic production process and show run. Group + Individual Sessions available. Free Consultation.
Daja is available for individuals in need of long-term mentorship and acting coaching. Free Consultation.
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Let’s talk acting! Daja shares performances by actors and then discusses the techniques used to accomplish the monologue or scene.
In the Theatre, the prominent techniques and practices encouraged are influenced by Eurocentric perspectives. This poses as an enormous issue for actors of color who must forfeit the intrinsic nature of who they are to portray a role. Our exploration and portrayal of a character is often limited to channeling a caricature of “Black culture” or suppressing Afrocentric aesthetics to accommodate Euro-American paradigms in performance art. Through my applied research as an actor I seek to identify origins, chronicle occurrences, and explore methodologies with practice to shift the paradigms of this status quo. My research includes studying Eurocentric and Afrocentric performance styles simultaneously to identify both the differences and intersecting points. It includes differentiating between color blind and color conscious casting, justifying a Black actor’s existence in the world of a character written for a White individual, specifically, and challenging the perception of neutrality in acting. Throughout my research, I have found that it is essential to the integrity of the actor and a character’s story to integrate the essence of the actor in their portrayal of the role. I utilize my approach as a Black actor portraying the roles of White characters to document my process in navigating these roles as an example of the embodied research and invaluable depth that can occur when a Black actor is permitted to bring their personal and cultural history to a role.