Catherine Mueller (pronounced Miller) is an interdisciplinary artist, actor/creator and educator working in performance, image, language, movement and music, based in New York City.
Catherine is the Founder/Director of The Institute for Collaboration and Play (www.IFCAP.org), founded in 2015 as a collective umbrella for ideas and experiments related to collaboration and play for artists and citizens. In 2016 IFCAP launched the PLABORATORY (A Laboratory for Play), led by Catherine. A PLABORATORY Workshop was featured at the 2016 TASP Conference on Play, hosted by Rutgers Graduate School of Education, in May of 2016.
She currently leads workshops and residencies in Clown/Physical Theater, Improvisation, Character and/or Collective Creation at universities, secondary schools, community arts organizations and professional actor training programs throughout the country, including at Middlebury College, Georgetown University, University of Tennessee (Knoxville), Tennessee Repertory Company, Revolution Latina, and The Public Theater, and has been adjunct faculty in the Theater Department at Drew University in Madison, NJ, University of Northern Iowa and at Marymount Manhattan College in New York City. She was Guest Director with the International Performance Ensemble of Pace University (2015-2016), creating a new work for performance entitled EUPHORIUM! (We Made This) with an ensemble of students that was presented at Pace University, The Studio Theater on Theater Row in NYC, and in the 2016 International Theater Festival in Bangkok, Thailand.
She has studied physical comedy, clown, bouffon, commedia dell'arte, mask and related forms since 1999 with many teachers, including Philippe Gaulier, Jane Nichols, Richard Crawford, Felix Ivanov, Gregor Paslawski, Per Brahe and most notably Christopher Bayes, currently Head of Physical Acting at Yale School of Drama, with whom she apprenticed. She is one of only eight former students permitted to teach Mr. Bayes' pedagogy.
She is also the Director/Facilitator of The MAMAs / Mother Artists Making Art + its sister subset The PAMAs / Pregnant Artists Making Art, an initiative sponsored by IFCAP and The Parent Artist Advocacy League (PAAL). The MAMAs is leading a movement that foregrounds the value and visibility of Mother Artists. At its core is a six-week series of Mother-Artist gatherings that take place seasonally (and virtually), offering peer support, mindful connection, artistic inspiration and creative provocation. Additionally, The MAMAs Column includes discussion of all things Mother+Artist, personal/universal, integral/peripheral, iterative/ongoing, purposeful/playful.
An affiliate artist for PAAL (Parent Artist Advocacy League), she has also written previously about her experience as a parent-artist. Please click HERE to read more.
Catherine's writing is featured in Mothers' Days, curated by Lenka Clayton, and her audio recording of said writing is part of the Mothers' Days sound installation in the exhibit Upkeep, Everyday Strategies of Care at the The Arts Club of Chicago.
From 2005-2013, she was a Co-Artistic Director/performer with The Glass Contraption, a now disbanded Brooklyn-based physical theater company. TGC developed and/or presented work with The Public Theater, The Orchard Project, Ars Nova, The Kitchen, Jalopy, Gowanus Arts, The Field Emerging Artist Residency, The Grahamstown National Arts Fesival (South Africa) and The NY Clown Theater Festival. TGC received funding from The Brooklyn Arts Council, The Nancy Quinn Fund and JP Morgan Chase. TGC's short film Facedancing was an official selection in the 2011 Maryland Film Festival. For archival information on The Glass Contraption's artistic and community-development work, please visit www.glasscontraption.tumblr.com.
After being a guest artist at the Orchard Project with The Glass Contraption in 2010, she was a guest teacher at there in 2011 and 2012 and the Core Company Program Director and Master Teacher in 2013, 2014 and 2015. She wrote about the Core Company in this article in Howlround.
She has written, developed and performed in multiple solo works which have been presented at Dixon Place, IRT, Chicago’s Single File Festival and many others. Her work can also be seen in numerous national network commercials, voiceovers, and films, including Blind Dates directed by Juan Reinoso. Past roles also include Helena in A Midsummer Night's Dream (dir. Gregory Wolfe), Emilia in Othello (dir. Alex Correia) and Platypus in 13 Ways of Looking as a Blackbird (dir. Dan Rigazzi).
She directed Dwellicle as part of the 3B Development Series at IRT, was part of the ensemble-devised work BlindSight featured in the 2011 Women CenterStage Festival at the Living Theater and Failure: A Big Stupid Mess at the 2013 FuseBox Festival in Austin, TX. She has been granted developmental residencies with MAKEHOUSE (NJ), Earthdance (MA) and the FuseBox Festival (TX) and participated in the 2011 Director’s Lab Chicago. She is a founding member of The Best Thing Ever, a director's collective and led the CAT LAB, a performance-based laboratory and precursor to the PLABORATORY.
Ongoing collaborations with artist John Borstel can be found at www.interdisciplinaryness.tumblr.com. Together they facilitate Intimate Commissions, an art-project exploring art-making as gift-exchange. Alumni artist-in-residence with John Borstel at Goddard College (Summer, 2015), included workshop facilitation and panel discussion collaborative processes and making work in community.
Image-based work has been shown at Goddard College (Plainfield, VT), as part of the 2012 SKIN Exhibition at Strathmore Mansion (Bethesda, MD), and in the 2016 show Self and Subject: Ideas in Contemporary Portraiture at Photoworks (Glen Echo, MD).
Her stop-motion short film The Window was an official selection of Outlet Dance Project's 2013 Exhibition in Hamilton, NJ.
She has been associated with the 52nd Street Project since 1999 as a performer, director, and mentor. She has written about independent theater for New York Theatre Review regularly since 2011. For a selection of her writing samples from that site, please click HERE, HERE, or HERE. She is also a published poet and is originally from Nashville, TN.
She is a member of SAG-AFTRA and AEA.
Education: BA in Theater from Hofstra University, with minors in Dance and Creative Writing. MFA in Interdisciplinary Arts, Goddard College.
Catherine is the delighted and often exhausted mother to a young son, born in October, 2016. Together they live in a small house just outside the city with a fireplace, a backyard and a basement! They also grow flowers, bake cupcakes and make up many original songs throughout the course of any day.
Full CV available upon request.