Jef at the North Carolina Turkey Festival
Whether onstage or roving, Jef is a quiet kind of guy. He juggles and balances things. He gets confused at times. (Sometimes he even forgets what his hat is for!) He involves his audience members to help him when he's confused and to play along with his mime, mask, and variety arts shenanigans. He even leads sing-a-longs!
Jef shares his work at fairs and festivals. He has performed at such places as Merlefest in Wilkesboro, NC; Piccolo Spoleto in Charleston, SC; the Very Special Arts Festival in Pembroke, NC; and The Children's Festival in Hampton, VA.
Jef studied mime with C.W. Metcalf and Tony Montanaro with brief instruction with Jacques Lecoq. For 17 years he performed as a member of TOUCH, North Carolina's premier mime theater. He then created the mascot, Wool E. Bull, for the Durham Bulls Baseball Club and began performing with his juggling partner, Ken Kay, as Ken & Jef. Since Ken retired, Jef has performed solo, captivating children and families throughout the South.
"Thanks so much for being part of this year's Christmas in July Festival. You're the best! I appreciate your innate ability to work the crowd...how you zero in on the child who needs a lift...how unbelievably funny and fun you are...and how focused and talented and creative you are with your routines. Thank you for sharing!"
"Thank you for coming to Ashley River! I had a great time. Your show was just like recess!"
"Thank your so much for performing at our Community Day! The kids so enjoyed your show, and we thought it was an absolute blast!"
As a Teaching Artist
Because of his specialized training in styles of movement theater, Jef shares workshops, master classes and residencies in mime, theater mask, circus arts, ensemble techniques, Commedia dell'arte, melodrama, theater style and creating/devising theater at schools, universities, conferences and events throughout the Southeast, including: Department of Dramatic Art, UNC- Pembroke, Pembroke, NC; Department of Theater and Dance, Appalachian State University, Boone, NC; Drama Department, Duke University, Durham, NC; Drama Department, Lees McRae College, Banner Elk, NC; International Festival of Mime and Pantomime, Philadelphia, PA; Atlanta Mime Festival; Southeastern Regional Mime Festival, Greensboro, NC; International Thespian Festival, Muncie, IN; Southeastern Theater Conferences; North Carolina Theatre Conferences; Stanly Co. High School, Albemarle, NC; The Community Youth Theatre, Chapel Hill, NC; Ashe County Middle School, Jefferson, NC; Children's Summer Theatre Workshop, Oriental, NC; YouTheatre at Flat Rock Playhouse, Flat Rock, NC; the South Carolina Children’s Theater in Greenville, SC; Pine Street Elementary in Spartanburg, SC; Southside Middle School in Florence, SC; Philip Simmons Middle School in Wando, SC; MC Riley Elementary in Bluffton, SC; and the Ashley River Creative Arts Elementary in Charleston, SC.
As an Arts Integration Specialist
Jef became interested in Arts Integration and its educational possibilities around the turn of the century. He began his individual study of this style of teaching and began implementing it in his own work.
In 2005 he became a North Carolina A+ Fellow, and through that program he is continually trained not only in the latest techniques and understandings of arts integration, but also the use of Multiple Intelligences, teaching techniques, neuroscience and all around arts education.
In 2010 he attended the Lincoln Center Institute International Educator Workshop in which he was exposed to world-class professional development exploring the arts, imagination and inquiry.
He has continued his studies with a focus lately on the use of Howard Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences in relation to arts education, pre-performance routines for educational endeavors, and what goes on in our brains while we do art. Lately Jef has been studying formative and summative evaluations of arts education programs.
Because of this specialized training and ongoing study, Jef shares workshops in arts integration and arts education with teachers in North and South Carolina as well as Iowa and Ohio. He has also presented workshops at the Palmetto State Arts Education Conferences in South Carolina; ArtsR4Life Conferences in Raleigh, NC; the South Carolina STEM/STEAM Conference in Spartanburg, SC; the MUSE Machine Summer Institute at the Chapman Center in Spartanburg, SC; the A+ National Conference in Raleigh, NC; and he was the keynote speaker and workshop provider at the Charleston County Arts Education Conference in 2017. He is also a member of the Higher Education Task Force of the Arts Education Partnership (currently examining pre-service learning in arts integration at our universities).
Students at Southside Middle School in Florence, SC, explore mask characters.
Are you planning a special event? Are you having a professional development opportunity for your faculty members? Send me a message about your plans, and I will get back to you soon!