Susan Banyas is a multi-media artist, director, and educator whose performance projects -- The Hillsboro Story/ensemble No Strangers Here Today/duet -- are set 100 years apart in southern Ohio and dance between memory and history to shed light on what lies in the shadows of the American system. The Hillsboro Story was produced by Artists Repertory Theatre, 2010/11 season, Portland, OR; and No Strangers, a collaboration with jazz composer David Ornette Cherry, was commissioned by Los Angeles Library Foundation for the Aloud at Central Library series. Both works have toured nationally, spawned school curriculum, essays, and a book in progress. It’s Been a Busy Week is an on-going performance/practice of gleaning physical poetry from the soul of the week and shaping it into dance stories and visual theatre. The ensemble dance work was presented in 2011 at the Art Gym/Marylhurst University. Blue Wheel is dance video response to a residency at the Robert Rauschenberg Residency Program in Captiva, Florida and is currently in development as multi-media performance.
Her dynamic classes – Everyday Dancing, Soul Stories, and Performance Lab, have been presented in studios, universities, at conferences and in schools for 35 years and form the basis of her writing, directing, and collaborations. She trained in New Mexico and co-developed curriculum -- Who Owns Your Mind?— targeting the dramatic effects of media and advertising on human consciousness.
She co-founded the eclectic SO&SO&SO&SO with Louise Steinman in 1976 as a multi-media performance collaboration, and co-founded and operated the vibrant Dreams Well Studio (1991-2003), a low-tech experimental performance and teaching lab in Portland, Oregon. Ms. Banyas work has received attention in two books on art and performance: The Knowing Body/Artist as Storyteller in Contemporary Art by Louise Steinman and Strong Hearts, Inspired Minds/21 Artists Who are Mothers Tell Their Stories by Anne Mavor and Chris Eagon. She is a member of the Maya Angelou Writers Guild and International Society for the Study of Time where she has been a presenter in Cambridge, England and Monterey, California.