We’re thrilled that Motion Theater® is making its way out into the world through our widening circle of certified teachers.
Performance Artist and Motion Theater’s Founder
Nina Wise has given solo performances and taught Motion Theatre in prestigious venues in the U.S., South America, Europe and Asia. She’s won awards for playwriting, innovative design and new theater, including three NEA fellowships and seven Bay Area Theater Critics’ Circle Awards. After having many shorter writings appear in magazines and anthologies, Nina wrote “A Big New Free Happy Unusual Life” (Broadway Books) to give people who aren’t able to take a Motion workshop a way to move their stories out and live freer happier lives.
“Since I was a student, earning degrees in religious studies and the aesthetics of movement, I’ve been dedicated to understanding the relationship of body, mind and spirit. I’ve sought out everyone from great choreographers such as Twyla Tharpe, Anna Halprin and Margy Jenkins to spiritual teachers such as Jack Kornfield and HWJ Poonjaji to chaos theorists, neuroscientists, cosmologists and economists in an endlessly fascinating journey. Early on, I discovered that the body holds knowledge the mind knows nothing of and, that if given voice, those understandings can fuel and free the spirit. This is why I created Motion Theater. I wanted to give people a way to transform their lives through self-expression.” — Nina Wise
Maria Freebairn-Smith is a Master Motion Theater® Teacher, performer and public speaking coach. She co-leads Motion Theater Immersion and Teacher Training. Maria has taught at Esalen Institute, Spirit Rock Meditation Center, Joe Goode Studio and other transformational hubs. She’s led groups for twenty-plus years in her private practice, teaching workshops in the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond. With a degree in psychology from Columbia University and a lifetime commitment to body and breathing practices, she infuses her teaching and coaching with compassion and wisdom.
"I love watching my students come to life—seeing eyes brighten, minds set free, bodies enlivened and hearts nourished by the playful communion that is Motion."
— Maria Freebairn-Smith
Marin County, CA
After many years working in high tech, Marianna rediscovered her artistic soul at a Motion workshop in 2006. Since then she’s been exploring ways to cultivate freedom of being, both in herself and others. Fluent in several languages, Marianna brings worldly experience to her work. She’s an artist, a certified Co-Active Coach and a somatic facilitator. In this lifetime alone, she’s been a yoga teacher, a massage therapist, graphic designer, voice-over artist, project manager and technical writer.
“Motion let’s you set yourself free! And while Motion can be a brief rejuvenating escape into fun and play, it’s also a profound ongoing practice that cultivates ever-expanding discovery.”
— Marianna Seger
Annie first trained in Motion Theater with Nina Wise in 2000 and 2001, a period that coincided with her father's illness and death, which gave Annie particularly immediate and profound evidence of the power of this work to excavate and illuminate one's experiential life. Until moving to Brooklyn in 2004, Annie performed with Nina and assisted her in teaching Motion workshops. Now living in the hamlet of Milton in the Hudson Valley, Annie continues to teach and perform Motion Theater. She’s also co-director of Woof Nova, a Theater collective that creates ensemble-devised performance works.
Davida Taurek has a diverse background in the creative arts and body-centered therapies. A certified instructor of Watsu, Waterdance, Motion Theater, and the 5Rhythms, Davida is known for her bright sense of humor, fiery passion and evocative devotional teaching style. She believes in the transformative healing powers of laughter, of self-expression and of gathering in community. Davida loves nothing more than inspiring a room full of people to offer their unique individual and collective dance of life.
Annabelle Berrios, whose name literally translates as "kind neighborhoods" is a facilitator of transformative learning spaces for embodying wisdom in leadership. She has a JD from Boston College Law School and an MA in East West Psychology from the California Institute of Integral Studies. She is a faculty member at the New York Open Center, and a graduate of the Motion Theater Teacher Training program. She has performed at the Esalen Institute, at Open Secret as part of an opening act for Nina Wise, as well as at Harbin Hot Springs with fellow Motion Theater Artists.
During Deborah’s decades-long career in arts administration, she served as the founding Executive Director of the City of Phoenix Arts Commission, established artists fellowships, arts grants, artists-in-schools, and percent for art programs at the state and local levels, and co-owned a national public art consulting practice. She has since turned her focus to her own creativity, embarking on a path of intensive studies in various movement-based art forms and methodologies. In 2013, Deborah became certified to teach Motion Theatre, and established a Phoenix-based teaching practice dedicated to expanding and reintegrating creativity in her student’s lives.
San Francisco East Bay
Sybil Meyer is a licensed psychotherapist (LMFT) and expressive arts therapist. She has studied, performed and taught various disciplines of dance and movement arts for most of her life. As a therapist, she has brought the healing and expressive aspects of those disciplines to clients and students in colleges, private studios, and clinical settings. Practicing Motion Theater since 2006 has strengthened her belief in the value and necessity of creative self expression. She sees the Motion art form as a way of addressing the profound need people have to be seen, heard, and witnessed in their efforts to make sense of our increasingly chaotic world; and to articulate their personal stories. Visit Sybil's Website • Email Sybil