AmSAT Certified Teacher and Teacher Trainer

Daria received her Alexander teacher’s certification, from the Alexander Teaching Associates in London, England in 1982. While living in London, she was able to add include lessons and classes with esteemed teachers who had worked with F.M. Alexander himself. This included work with Walter Carrington, Peggy Williams, Marjorie Barlow, Sir George Travelyan, and Patrick Mc Donald. She began her career as member of STAT (Society of Teachers of the Alexander Technique).

She went on to develop a private practice in Los Angeles, CA from 1982 through 1987 as well as instruct classes at the American Academy for Dramatic Arts, Los Angeles City College Theatre Academy, several pain clinics, chiropractic offices and Yoga studios. During this time, she become an AmSAT recognized teacher (American Society for the Alexander Technique) at the inception of that organization.

She re-located to Charlottesville, Virginia in 1987 to co-found the Virginia School for the Alexander Technique, a 1600 hour teacher’s certification program, with Frank Sheldon. In 1992 she became sole director of the training course. The program became known as The ATTiC (The Alexander Technique Training Centre) in 1992.

In August of 2011, after 29 years of training teachers, she transferred her directorship into the capable hands of her former student’s and colleagues, Chris Friedman, Rahimah Wright and Jeanette Payne. She continues on today as a mentor to that program and has since relocated to the city of Chicago where she has is once again in private practice.

Her interest in the Alexander Technique originally grew from her extensive background in theatre. Daria earned a BFA in Acting from Carnegie Mellon University in 1978, and went on to complete one year of graduate education at The Professional Actor’s Training Program (PATP ) at The University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee in 1979. She eventually returned to school to finish her MFA in Acting at the University of Virginia in May of 2011.

Along with teaching, Daria continued her work as a performing artist, working in theatre and film, first in the Los Angeles area winning awards for her original work “Strings” in the Liar’s Club directed by Scott Kellman and continued her performing life in local Charlottesville theatres such as Live Arts, University of Virginia Theatre, Heritage Theatre, The Earl Hamner Theatre, and Four County Players, enjoying roles such as Stevie in the “The Goat”, Amanda in “Glass Menagerie, Bella in “Lost and Yonkers”, Mary in “The Women” and Flavia in “Noises Off”, Reba in “Last Night of Ballyhoo” and Mrs Graves in “Enchanted April”, Maureen in “The Beauty Queen of Leenane” and Vera in “Harvey”.

Along with her work at the ATTiC, Daria is currently performing as an actor on various Chicago-area stages under the name, Daria Harper.

About Daria Okugawa