I have found Natasha to be one of the most committed and engaged teaching artists that I know. Natasha is an exceptional drama and writing teacher and an integral member of our teaching staff. She has taught at every level, elementary, junior high, high school and university. Her ability to go into any classroom, listen to students, work with them, and encourage them to go deeper in their acting and writing is uncanny. I often ask her to teach residencies at under-performing or challenging schools, and she consistently turns out positive results, often breakthroughs. Many times students leave her class transformed—some possessing a deeper awareness of themselves and others, some liking writing for the first time, while others discover a gift they never knew they had. Natasha is able to blend generosity and idealism with tangible results. She loves theatre and film and brings her respect and enthusiasm for it into the classroom where it permeates into her students. They in turn deliver, producing quality work and having a deep appreciation for the art form. She is an exceptionally committed teacher going above and beyond to reach each and every student. Not only concerned with what happens during her residencies, she understands how the discipline of the arts can impact students' academic and personal lives. She teaches technique and the scholarly aspects of the art while building students' intrapersonal and interpersonal skills and engaging them in the world in which they live. Natasha Yannacañedo is a rare combination: a person who is committed and focused, with the ability to truly listen to others. She is not only a remarkable teacher, but also an innovative collaborator and an inspiring and supportive colleague, whose generosity, intellect and refreshing insights I have come to depend on. I am also proud to call Natasha my friend and have been the recipient of her warmth and kindness; a witness to her strength and perseverance; and an admirer of her talent and dedication.
~ Alysia Souder, Director of The Institute of Music for Children and former Director of Education for Playwright’s Theatre