Artistic Director & Co-Founder, Serious Play!Theatre Ensemble & Training
Sheryl has directed, performed and taught for the past 30 years with regional and academic theatres throughout the USA. As Artistic Director, She leads the ensemble actors in the Serious Play! Intensive Physical Theatre Training process incorporating the methodology of Tadashi Suzuki, Anne Bogart’s Viewpoints Vocabulary, Ruth Zaporah, Stephen Wangh and other ensemble oriented physical acting techniques. She has directed over 30 productions with Serious Play! since 1995, including “Milosevic at the Hague”(2009-2010) in collaboration with UMass professor/playwright Milan Dragicevich. which toured to the JoakimInterfest in Serbia where the production received an international theatre award. Sheryl directed What's Left is Not Right.‑ Marat-Sade, with new music by Elizabeth Swados; Lenelle Moise’s adaptation of Kafka’s story, “Matermorphosis”, Becoming Antigone, developed in collaboration with Universes; and Hamlet ‑ Asalto a la Inocencia, a reinterpretation from the Puerto Rican-American point of view, with new text by Migdalia Cruz. Marat-Sade toured to New York City and London, and Hamlet toured to the 5th International Women Playwrights' Festival in Athens, Greece, where Stoodley taught acting workshops with members of the ensemble. Alice Tuan’s Coastline, performed at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in August of 2005. “Milosevic at the Hague” toured to the JokimInterfest in Serbia and won and internationl theatre award for Artistic Innovation. Sheryl worked with NYC playwright Jessica Litwak on her two scripts “Snake and the Falcon” and “Wider Than The Sky.” “Wider Than The Sky”received much acclaim as a staged reading at the Boston Museum of Science in August 2011. Presently Sheryl is reshaping a new devised ensemble piece inspired by the gestural language & rehearsal process of German dance-theatre choreographer Pina Bausch. BLIND DREAMERS: Meta/Pina Project opened this past August 2012 to enthusiastic audiences and will be remounted for touring this summer 2013.
Stoodley holds an M.A. in the History of Theatre and Dramatic Literature from Smith College, teaches theatre & movement at Holyoke Community College and was the recipient of the Northampton Arts Council’s Jane Ahfeld Award for Dynamic Impact in the Arts. She has studied with Anne Bogart and Will Bond- SITI Company; Eric Hill - the Suzuki Theatre Training Workshop StageWest; Kristin Linklater and the Company of Women; Jonathan Croy- Shakespeare & Co.; and Kaleel Sakakeeny and Stage One Theatre Lab at the Boston Center for the Arts as well as others. . She has directed all four of the presentations of “Celebrate the Children of Resistance” for the Rosenberg Fund for Children in Northampton, Berkeley, NYC and most recently at the John Hancock Center, Boston with Eve Ensler and David Strathairn. Stoodley has performed and directed with Playwrights Horizons NYC, StageWest, Boston's Women in Theatre Festival, City Center NY, Smith College, UMass and Historic Deerfield and all over the Pioneer Valley. She was a faculty member of The Drama Studio in Springfield for nine years and a Theatre Artist‑In-Residence with the YouthReach Project of StageWest in Springfield from 1995 to '97. For five years she directed the TEAM Acting Program for young adults through the Family Planning Council of Western Massachusetts. In 1986-1988 while studying at Smith, she directed a program of theatre workshops with incarcerated women, The "In Her Own Name" project, published two books of the inmates' writings, and developed, produced and toured an original play based on inmates’ writings, Ain't No Man Dragged That Moon Down Yet. She has served as a guest lecturer and taught workshops at Springfield College, Westfield State College, Eastern Connecticut College, and UMass. For many years Sheryl was a member of the artist roster of the Massachusetts Cultural Council, providing teacher training and residencies in Massachusetts high schools. Through the Mass Cultural Council-Creative Schools grants, Serious Play! has conducted residencies in Greenfield High School , Northampton High School, Commerce High School and Sheryl continues to do in-school & college workshops, lecture-demonstrations and residency programs.