I am inspired by the possibilities for human connection in theatre, the immediate, authentic exchange between performer and audience. I seek to reveal the inner experience that connects us to one another, the vulnerability and reverence which is beyond our everyday selves.
Holly Holsinger has been a Cleveland theatre artist for twenty-five years. She has created over twenty original plays, subsequently carrying the works to fruition as performer or director. Holly recently co-wrote (with Chris Seibert) and directed Ancestra at Cleveland Public Theatre (CPT), a play about women’s rights in Ohio, which grew from community explorations and historical research. Another recent work, Insomnia: The Waking of Herselves, co-created (with Chris Seibert and Raymond Bobgan) and performed at CPT and North American Cultural Laboratory, examines concepts of female identity and “wholeness.” Her original one-woman performance (created with Raymond Bobgan), Frankenstein’s Wake, received critical raves and audience acclaim in New York, Cleveland, and Chicago, New Orleans, and was featured at the Grotowski at Irvine and Beyond Conference at UC Irvine, and the Freedom and Focus Conference in London.
Holsinger’s work has been described by critics as “magic,” “captivating,” and “a tour de force.” Her performance in the groundbreaking work Blue Sky Transmission: A Tibetan Book of the Dead (at CPT and La Mama ETC in New York) also earned her rave reviews, most notably in American Theatre Magazine. Holsinger’s work has been featured in Canadian Theatre Review, Theatre Journal and in Lisa Wolford’s book Grotowski’s Objective Drama Research. She has performed throughout the United States, as well as Canada, Romania, Belgium, and Brazil, and has shared her performance research with artists in Denmark, Colombia, and Spain, and Ireland.
As an Associate Professor at Cleveland State University, Holsinger specializes in acting, voice, movement, and collaboratively-created theatre. She recently received the Distinguished Faculty Award, the University’s top honor for teaching. Holly has a special interest in the power of theatre for marginalized artists and minorities at all levels of craft. She participates in CSU programs designed for disadvantaged students and continues to teach in education programs at CPT for “at risk” teens and for children in public housing. Holsinger received her MFA in Acting from the University of California, Irvine where she studied with Robert Cohen and Jerzy Grotowski. She participated in Grotowski’s Objective Drama Research for four years. Holly is a certified Associate Teacher of Fitzmaurice Voicework.
Holly Holsinger received a 2016 Creative Workforce Fellowship, and CSU Merit Awards for her creative research in 2016 and 2019.