Daniel Bird Tobin

Daniel Bird Tobin

Instructor (Two-Year Post MFA Fellowship)

In addition to teaching acting courses, Daniel Bird Tobin teaches the new Introduction to Applied Collaborative Techniques class through the Center for Communicating Science. His work as a performer, director, and dramaturg focuses on solo performance, devised and community-engaged theatre, and creative movement. He has worked with Liz Lerman, Sojourn Theatre, Dance Exchange, Aaron Landsman, Emily Mann, Danai Gurira, and many other wonderful artists.

Contact Me

540-231-0439
dbtobin@vt.edu
251F Henderson Hall
195 Alumni Mall (0141)
Blacksburg, VA 24061

Areas of Expertise

  • Production/Research Areas: Solo Performance, Devising and Community-Engaged Theatre, Creative Movement, and Theatre Archaeology
  • Teaching Areas: Acting, Collaborative Techniques

Education & Training

  • M.F.A., Arizona State University
  • B. A., Washington University in St. Louis

What is something unexpected about you?

As an undergraduate, I thought I wanted to be an archaeologist. I was an anthropology major, and even did two archaeological digs in the southeast U.S. during my summers. It was thrilling to feel the finger marks left in a clay Poverty Point Object by someone from 5000 years ago. Still, theatre eventually won out and my career path shifted. The archaeology bug never fully left me though, and I now consider myself a theatre archaeologist.

What does that mean? According to Julian Thomas, "what archaeologists do is to work with evidence in order to create something, a meaning or narrative or story which stands for the past in the present." As a theatre artist, I am undergoing the exact same process: animating an artifact through storytelling to bring it into the present. Sometimes these are real archaeological artifacts like the 13th-century birch-bark tablets in my recent solo show Many Heads are on My Shoulders, and other times the artifact might be the script itself as in my recent production of Macbeth.

Memberships & Affiliations

  • Association for Theatre in Higher Education
  • Association of Theatre Movement Educators

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