Michelle Bellaver is a director, performer, and writer working in theatre and film.
She is a Visiting Assistant Professor in Performance. She teaches courses in Acting, Directing, Somatics, and Creative Process. She holds the distinction of “Practitioner” and is a Certification Candidate in Lessac's Somatic Body Voice Kinesensics with the international Lessac Research and Training Institute.
Michelle's artistic focus has been on inter-media performance, heightened text, her research on the theory and praxis of The Female Gaze in film and theatre performance, and the development of a methodology for her Somatic "The Heart Centered Actor" training. At the 2022 Lessac International Conference, she presented a paper on her research titled "Lessac Body NRG’s and the creation of on-set film language for The Female Gaze: ‘The Feeling Camera". At the 2023 ATHE conference she presented her work on "The Female Gaze: De/construction and Adaptation in Creative Process" during the University of Florida's panel presenation "UF: Building Resiliency in the Face of Obstacles".
As a director, her inter-media work with film projections in live theatre performance is a continuous experiment in The Female Gaze in narrative storytelling.
In her most recent theater directing work, Dryland by Ruby Rae Spiegel and Marie Antoinette by David Adjmi, Michelle explored her research on The Female Gaze in stage directing through the use of both large-scale green-screen film projections she created and of curated video projections she designed, both used as elements of artiface to investigate women's interiority on stage.
Her feature experimental film SAINT: 5 Etudes for Joan of Arc explores climate change and intuition through the investigation of the lives of five women crossing over 500 years in history. Through the lens of The Female Gaze, Michelle incorporated her research on Lessac Body Wisdom techniques in exploring a methodology for "the feeling camera".
As an actor, she has been seen at La Mama NYC, Hippodrome State Theatre, Word for Word/Z Space, Renegade Theatre Experiment, and Nuance Theatre Company. Her film roles have included the films The Selling (streaming on Amazon Prime and Apple TV) and Final Remains (streaming on Amazon Prime). She is a member of SAG-AFTRA and AEA. She is an acting company member of the Hippodrome Theatre, an AEA professional theatre in Gainesville, Florida.
Her playwriting has been in residence, received readings, development workshops, and works-in-progress showings at The Tank NYC, the Purple Rose Theatre Company, and Dixon Place. Her short story Honeymoon Sweet can be found in The Windsor Review: International Journal. Since 2020, she has co-produced the New Works Festival at The Hippodrome Theatre which focuses on the the development workshop and public readings of new plays by established and emerging Florida playwrights.
Michelle received her B.A. in Drama from San Francisco State University (San Francisco, CA) and an MFA in Acting from University of Florida (Gainesville, Florida).
Areas of interest: Performance Art, Video Art, Experimental Film, Creative Practice, New Play Development, Projection Design, Photography, Polyvagal Theory, and Heroine's Journey and Non-Linear Timekeeping in storytelling.