campus wide alert

Dayna A. Anderson


Dayna's most fulfilling service to Catawba has been in the most obvious role: that of director. Over half of the fifty-plus productions that have felt her hand as director were produced during her Catawba years. Dedicated to all genres, her special drive has been to provide a wide range of opportunity for the actors of Catawba, especially the women.

National awards and recognition include a National Endowment for the Humanities Seminar in Contemporary theatre, scholarships to study British Theatre, and finalist status in both the Fulbright and the National Teacher's Exchange. The American Theatre Association also honored her at a special conference of Women in Theatre in Manhattan.

In addition to passionate house restoration and animal rights activism, summer finds her devoted to the development of the total performer, in workshops and classes in the movement, improve, and performance art.

She is currently working toward certification in Alexander Technique at the Alexander Alliance of Philadelphia. She also studied with Arthur Lessac and his concepts of body wisdom and vocal improvement. Both weave together to form a unique blend of approaches from which Catawba constructs its equally unique pedagogy.

Advocating for women in all areas of theatre, Dayna Anderson (known by Dayna or Da to her students) has been working and studying in the art for almost all of her life. Known mainly as a director, she is also a specialist in performance theory — with a particular place in her heart for actors who are just beginning their careers. Her own professional time has been split between stage acting, commercial, and video — while her main passion has been regional work.

Self-described as a "transplanted Southerner" she values her ties to her former years in Manhattan and England as well, and leaves home often to pursue her art. A veteran traveler to all areas of the country, her journeys include Lessac, Linklater, Chekhov, performance art, Method Acting, British Theatre, International Directing, the New York stage, Oxford University, and her beloved Stanislavski System. Another outstanding commitment over the last 25 years has been Alexander Technique, with her recent graduation from the Alexander Alliance in Philadelphia marking her as a teacher uniquely versed in both American and British approaches.

A recipient of the highest teaching award that Catawba College offers, the Swink Award for Classroom Teaching, Dayna has been honored for her pedagogical skills and creative teaching approach. Also of note is her work in gender issues, serving on the college’s original sexual harassment committee (which penned the current policies) and advising for the college community.

She spends her time on the road and in the skies as often as her job allows, but just as enthusiastically “cocoons” at home with her renovation projects, art/craft work, stained glass, cooking, landscaping, and movies! Many interests spark her, but she doggedly remains dedicated to her art, her home, and her extended family.

A graduate of the former Alexander Alliance in Philadelphia, she is internationally certified in Alexander Technique through ATI.