Tonia is the founder and Executive Director of Intimacy Directors International (along with co founders, Alicia Rodis and Siobhan Richardson). She was the Intimacy Choreographer for the production of The Bakkhai at the Stratford Festival in Ontario, Canada, as well as being an international sexual harassment prevention advisor for theatre and film. Recently featured in the NY Times, American Theatre Magazine, CBC Radio and several other publications and radio shows, she is the former Artistic Director of Reduxion Theatre Company in Oklahoma City, and an international Intimacy for the Stage workshop teacher and choreographer. Tonia has been researching Intimacy for the Stage and Sexual Harassment in the industry since she began research for her thesis in 2004.
Originally an actress, fight director, and movement teacher, Tonia translated exercises for duels and mass battles into her method for choreographing safe intimacy between couples and groups. After eight years in academia as a movement Professor, Tonia wrote the article: Safe Sex: A Look at the Intimacy Choreographer for the Fight Master periodical, and is continuing to publish her work in the form of a book currently in the works. She has taught Intimacy at several SAFD regional workshops including MACE’s Winter Wonderland, The Tourist Trap, The Lonestar Smash, and the Louisiana Tech Stage Combat Workshop, where she first began teaching Intimacy for the Society of American Fight Directors. Tonia also advises Universities on their curricula to help avoid harassment and abuse in academia.
Tonia invented her own method, Intimacy for the Stage, and teaches it internationally, but is also very interested in teaching and providing other methods of safe practice as well for stage and film. You can hear her interview on CBC radio here.
Also a director, playwright, model, and performer, Tonia is a soon to be triple kidney transplant recipient and rare and chronic disease patient advocate and national motivational speaker. She attended Niagara University for her BFA in theatre performance, and Virginia Commonwealth University where she studied movement under Fight Master David Leong and Certified Teacher and Fight Director, Aaron Anderson, and earned her MFA in Movement Pedagogy with a specialty in Intimacy for the Stage.