|Tommy teaches in the program almost every day. Senior faculty Debi Adams and Bob Lada generally come in one day a week. Adjunct faculty teach in the program approximately three to five times a year. In addition, visiting teachers from around the country and around the world make guest appearances in the training.
All senior and adjunct faculty are Teaching Members of Alexander Technique International (ATI).
Tommy Thompson – Founder & Director
For the past 41 years, Tommy Thompson has taught the Alexander Technique to professional and Olympic athletes, dressage riders, scientists, physicians, corporate and university professionals, musicians, dancers, actors, children and the disabled. He has an active private teaching practice and has given well over 400 workshops for Alexander teachers, teacher trainees and the general public in the U.S.A., England, France, Ireland, Spain, Hungary, Canada, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Italy, Japan, Korea and Israel. Tommy is founder and Director of the Alexander Technique Center at Cambridge, which in 2015 was awarded:
Tommy is also on the faculty at Harvard University where he teaches the Technique to graduate students enrolled in the Institute for Advanced Theater Training, Harvard University/Moscow Art Theater and the American Repertory Theater. Tommy also served as special assistant to the 1976 Olympic USA Heavyweight Rowing Crew.
Prior to teaching the Alexander Technique full time, Tommy enjoyed a eighteen year career in professional and university theater. He holds a M.A./Ph.D. (A.B.D.) in theatre arts/dramatic criticism from the University of California at Santa Barbara (1972). A former Assistant Professor of Drama and Managing Director of Tufts Arena Theater at Tufts University, and Lecturer at Harvard University, Tommy has acted in and directed over 200 theater productions, working, acting or directing with such notable artists as Jerzy Grotowski, actor/producer Michael Douglas, Jerry Turner (of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival), Georgi Paro (Dubrovnik), Robert E. Lee (Inherit the Wind) and Tennessee Williams in a revival of Eccentricities of a Nightingale (1977). He taught, acted, or directed at the Pasadena Playhouse and later at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Loeb Drama Center (now The American Repertory Theater), California Institute of the Arts and other American repertory companies.
Tommy was co-founder, charter member, and first Chair of the Executive Board of Directors of Alexander Technique International (ATI). His contributions to ATI earned him the ATI Life Time Membership Award. He is also an Honorary Member of ATI France (ATIF), the Irish Society of Alexander Technique Teachers (ISATT), a teaching member of the Japan Alexander Technique Association (JATA), and Associate Director of BodyChance’s Japanese Alexander Teacher Education program in Tokyo and Osaka. He served as Chair of ATI’s Executive Board from 1993-1998 and Assistant Chair from 2000-2005. In October 2007, Tommy resigned after serving on the ATI Executive Board for sixteen years. He is the current chair of ATI’s International Committee.
Tommy also co-founded the Alexander Technique Association of New England (ATA) in 1982 and the Frank Pierce Jones Archives and the F. Matthias Alexander Archives, housed in the Wessell Library at Tufts University. He was ATA’s director for six years.
Tommy is co-author of Scientific and Humanistic Contributions of Frank Pierce Jones and has contributed numerous papers on the Alexander work, Tai Chi, and theater to Alexander and theater journals, periodicals, martial arts journals, and newsletters. He has lectured and given workshops on the Alexander Technique at numerous universities, medical centers, and arts institutions, including Harvard, Brandeis and Cornell Universities, New England Conservatory of Music, California Institute for the Arts, School at Jacob’s Pillow Summer Dance Festival, Expanded Dance, Harvard and Bates College Summer Dance Festivals, La Canal Danse, Institut de Pedogogie Musicale et Choreographique, American Dance Guild and Children’s Hospital Boston, and the Alexander Technique Summer Festival at Sweetbriar College in Virginia.
Tommy has taught in over twenty teacher-training courses around the world. He has presented papers at both the First and Second International Congresses for Alexander Teachers, and was one of the Second Generation Teachers invited to give master classes at the Third International Congress in Switzerland in August 1991. At the Eighth Annual Congress for the Alexander Technique in Lugano, Switzerland, Tommy was invited to teach as one of the Continuous Learning Teachers and gave master classes for the Japanese teachers. And he was invited for the third time as a Continuous Learning teacher to the world congress of Alexander Teachers in Limerick, Ireland in 2015.
This summer, 2016 Tommy has been invited to join the faculty at the North Carolina Alexander Technique Residential Retreat at the North Carolina School for the Arts. In addition, along with co directors Debi Adams and Bob Lada in July he will also launch their own innagural residential retreat, In the Company of Support: The Alexander Technique at Rolling Ridge http://www.easeofbeingretreat.com at in North Andover, Massachusetts.
Tommy is currently completing a novel Just Like Aways in progress, while beginning a book on the Alexander work, Ease of Being: Perspectives on The Alexander Technique.
Tommy’s late wife Julie Ince Thompson (see representative dance videos of her work on this website) was a certified teacher of the Alexander Technique and a member of Alexander Technique International. She served on the faculty of the Alexander Technique Center at Cambridge, The Boston Conservatory of Music, Dance and Theatre, and The Harvard Summer Dance Center. Julie was a beloved member of the Boston dance community, particularly well known for her performance Tamsen Donner a Woman’s Journey (1982-2002) which portrayed the pioneer adventures of the Donner Party in the 1800s. The Julie Ince Thompson Theatre at the Dance Complex in Cambridge, MA was named in her honor after her death.
Tommy’s older daughter Adrianna is a Master teacher of Gyrotonics, an exercise modality that guides users to simultaneously stretch and strengthen muscles and tendons while also articulating and mobilizing joints. She has taught in over thirty countries. Adrianna holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.) in dance from California State University at Long Beach (1991) and spent eight years in New York City as a professional dancer. She lives part time in Aspen, CO and in Marin County, Fairfax California with her husband David, an actor and their son Aidan.
Tommy’s younger daughter Danielle is a health policy and government relations professional based in Boston, MA. She has experience at the state and federal level, working in a variety of non-profit, public sector and hospital-based settings. Danielle holds a Master of Public Policy (M.P.P.) degree with a concentration in health policy from The Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University in Waltham, MA (2012). She earned her Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in history from Hollins University in Roanoke, VA (2005) with minors in creative writing and psychology. Danielle completed a post-graduate fellowship in government relations at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston and currently works for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service as a program specialist for school nutrition programs. Learn more about Danielle’s career on her website: www.daniellethompson.net.
Tommy’s son, Gabriel, a graduate of Emerson College in Boston where he earned a B.A. in Writing, Literature, and Publishing (2012). Gabriel moved to Los Angeles, CA in September 2013. He is currently working as a freelance videographer filming promo videos for performing artists, elctronic musical artists under the name Elementz.
You can listen to Gabe’s music at:
Debi is a Certified Teacher of the Alexander Technique having received her certificates from Tommy Thompson and from Alexander Technique International. She is also a Nationally Certified Teacher of Piano.
Debi holds a Master of Music Degree in Piano Performance from Boston University. She currently teaches the Technique at The Boston Conservatory and the Alexander Technique Center at Cambridge, maintains a private practice in piano and the Alexander Technique and performs in the Boston area. She has taught workshops throughout the USA and in the Czech Republic. See her workshop website www.thewelltemperedpianist.com.
Her latest project is the Alexander Technique Teacher-Training Course at The Boston Conservatory which began in September 2012. Participants who complete this program have the option of joining Alexander Technique International (ATI) as a Teaching Member and becoming eligible to receive ATI’s professional certification.
Debi’s interest in the work stems from her own experience recovering from a hand injury. The Alexander work was last in a long line of investigations toward healing. It was the only discipline that sufficiently addressed her needs. She feels a responsibility to share this important work with others.
For more info about Debi, visit: http://debiadamsat.com/
Bob teaches at Berklee College of Music, the Alexander Technique Center of Cambridge, Chesapeake Bay Alexander Studies in Greensboro, NC, American Repertory Theater and Harvard Extension School as well as in private practice in Cambridge for regular students and teacher-trainees. He has taught workshops throughout the USA and Europe and is a charter member of Alexander Technique International.
Bob’s background is in athletics and analytics and he looks as the Technique as a tremendous aid in getting out of one’s way in performance situations so that creativity and skill can come through.
For more info about Bob, visit: http://www.rllalex.com/
Jamee Culbertson received her Certificate of Training at the Alexander Technique Center at Cambridge, MA, USA, in 1992 with Tommy Thompson, Director. Jamee is internationally certified with ATI (Alexander Technique International). She has served as Chair on the Board of ATI from 1998 to 2002 and on other committees since.
Jamee is also a Certified Universal Healing Tao Instructor teaching Tai Chi, Chi Kung and Meditation techniques. She is a senior instructor at the Boston Healing Tao. Jamee’s popular workshop entitled ‘The Posture of Consciousness’ merges Alexander Technique principles with Iron Shirt Chi Kung standing postures as a means whereby event for expanding awareness. Jamee teaches the Alexander Technique in the United States, Canada and in Southeast Asia.
For more info about Jamee, visit: http://www.jameec.com/
Andrea Matthews is a graduate of the Alexander Technique Center at Cambridge, in Massachusetts. She is also a Certified Teaching Member of Alexander Technique International and former editor of ATI’s journal, ExChange.
A graduate of Princeton University, a critically acclaimed soprano, and a member of the voice faculty at Wellesley College, she continues to appear in opera and orchestra concerts around the world. Her wide-ranging interests and abilities make her uniquely suited to present the Alexander Technique to a wide variety of audiences and individual students.
For more info about Andrea, visit http://www.andreamatthews.com/
Cécile Raynor is an AmSAT certified teacher. She has been practicing in Brookline for over 20 years where she has offered workshops at music schools, hospitals and other institutions while teaching each summer for Dance New England.
Cécile was born and raised in Paris, France. A Sorbonne graduate, she came to the US to teach French. It was then that she was first introduced to the Alexander Technique. She received a Master’s Degree in French Literature and kept teaching while completing her PhD coursework.
Cécile went back to France to receive her training which included dance and voice work. During her training, she also translated for Thich Nhat Hanh, a Vietnamese Engaged Buddhist Monk, and has been promoting his teachings as a support for learning the Alexander Technique while teaching how to use the Alexander Technique as a tool to higher consciousness. She taught the AT at Lesley University and is an AT based Thai Yoga practitioner. Moreover, as an artist, she also offers a unique form of Kinesthetic Artwork that emerged out of her Alexander Technique experience and awareness of fluid motion and trust in Living Body-Wisdom.
She has experience working with children, parents and pregnant women, but the great majority of her practice consists of people with repetitive stress injuries such as neck, shoulder and back pain, hip, knee or ankle pain, tension headaches, breathing and voice problems. She also helps those in need of spiritual life coaching using the Alexander principles for support.
She is particularly proud to be an associate of the Barrow Group, a Drama Desk award winning Off Broadway Theatre Company.
In 2003, Shannon was experiencing chronic back pain as a result of her years of dancing. The pain became so severe that she could no longer work in the theatre. She sought out relief through a variety of modalities, and eventually, she went to see a back surgeon at Beth Israel Hospital in New York who told her about the Alexander Technique. After studying the technique in New York, she and her husband moved to Boston and she decided to pursue certification in the Alexander Technique and study with Tommy Thompson in Cambridge.
The Alexander technique has become a way of life for Shannon and she has returned to performing professionally in musical theatre throughout the Boston area. Shannon is on the faculty of the Boston Conservatory, teaching the Alexander Technique to students of the Dance Department.
Since 1986, she has taught the Alexander Technique in schools and companies, privately and in groups, mainly in Zurich and in Rheinfelden where she lives but also around the world.
She is Co-Director of Think out of the Box, a company specializing in Alexander Technique workshops for corporate clients. In addition, she regularly organizes workshops in Switzerland and abroad, which combine the findings of F.M. Alexander with activities such as horseback riding, tennis, tango, singing, music, painting and Japanese Tea-Ceremony, always co-coaching with experienced teachers in those disciplines.
She also offers private lessons, group teachings and workshops combining the Alexander Technique with Vision and good use of the eyes.
Her teaching expertise draws from continuing education workshops in Europe, the United States and from her numerous teaching trips to Japan.
David Gorman has a background as an artist and a fascination with exploring human structure and function. In the mid-70s he spent many nights dissecting in the lab and drawing furiously. In 1980 he published an illustrated 600-page work, The Body Moveable and a collection of articles and essays, Looking at Ourselves in 1996.
He studied the Alexander Technique since 1972 and taught that work from 1980-1997 becoming well-known worldwide for his innovations to the work. He has been invited to teach all over the world in universities, conservatories and training colleges, at conferences and symposia, and with performance groups and health professionals.
In 1982, his teaching was revolutionized by his discovery of a new model of human organization with its profound implications of our in-built and natural tendency toward balance, ease and wholeness. He extended these insights into a new way of training teachers of the Alexander Technique and from 1988 to 1997 in London, UK he trained 45 teachers, assisted by Ann Penistan.
However, further explorations in his own and other training groups made it clear that a great part of our problems lay not in the ‘body’ but in our consciousness and way of seeing things — our underlying belief systems and how we misinterpret our daily experiences and then react to these misunderstandings. Recognizing the need for a new approach to help people uncover and liberate themselves from these circular traps, David developed the LearningMethods work to teach people how to gain command of their exquisite in-built clarity of perception and powerful tools of intelligence so they can successfully navigate their lives.
Since the beginning of the work in 1997, David has completed the training of a growing number of LearningMethods Teachers, many of whom are now teaching the LM work in universities and conservatories, and continues to evolve the Apprenticeship Teacher Training Program. He continues to give workshops in Europe, North America and Asia including at various Alexander Technique training courses as well as writing about the work and raising another young son.
For more info about David, visit: http://www.learningmethods.com/
Betsy Polatin, an internationally recognized teacher, is a Master Lecturer at Boston University’s College of Fine Arts, where she pioneered a four-year Acting/Alexander program for the acting conservatory. She is a graduate of two, three year AT certification courses, including Alexander technique Center at Cambridge and has done extensive postgraduate studies. Her background includes forty years of movement education and performance, as well as training in music, acting, yoga, meditation, and the healing arts. Her work is greatly influenced by Carl Stough’s breathing coordination principles and Peter Levine’s somatic experiencing theory.
In addition to Boston University, Betsy is on the faculty at the Opera Institute of Boston. She has also taught at: The Tanglewood Summer Music Program, Berklee College of Music, New England Conservatory, The Muscular Therapy Institute, National Association of Singing Teachers (NATS), The Royal Academy of Music, Performing Arts Medicine Association (PAMA) and Boston Ballet through the Dance and Sports Medicine Clinic at Children’s Hospital run by renowned orthopedic surgeon Dr. Lyle Micheli, M.D.
Betsy has taught master classes to The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Children’s Hospital Physical Therapists, Cambridge Choir of England, Screen Actor’s Guild, SAG AFTRA, TCG Theater Communications Group, Northeastern Society for Group Psychotherapy, The American Red Cross, Saint Francis Friary, and Yoga and Meditation centers. She has taught throughout the U.S., and the world, including India, Japan, England, Germany, Spain, Australia, England, Italy, and Korea.
She has worked with many performing artists in theater, film, and music, including such luminaries as Rashida Jones, Ginnifer Goodwin, Andre Gregory, and John Denver.
Betsy’s book, The Actor’s Secret, featured on ABC TV and Fox news, combines the principles of The Alexander Technique, Breathing Coordination, and Somatic Experiencing. As a breathing and movement specialist, she has had numerous articles published in the Huffington Post.