Summer Fellows 2012
Albert Huber is an actor, writer, and educator. He attended Brown University, and though he was very active producing theatre, he graduated with a degree in Political Science. After interning at The Daily Show, he moved to Chicago to act and perform comedy. While acting and writing, he stayed politically active by working with local campaigns.
In Chicago he produced his own comedy solo show (“I Love You Soledad: an Ode to a Special CNN News Correspondent”), taught in Chicago Public Schools, and worked as a stage and onscreen actor. His interest in different facets of live performance, and even in things that aren’t considered entertainment, like politics, has lead him to this fellowship at the Stanford School of Design. He is incredibly excited to be working on The Redesigning Theater Project this summer.
Aviva Palmer is Founder of The Adventure School, a Seattle and San Francisco based event planning company. She planned her first surprise party at age ten. Aviva loves thinking about the cultural importance and healing power of celebration and communal learning. Using art as a diving board for connection, The Adventure School events work to use art to lower human boundaries and bring out creativity, interaction and play. Aviva is co-author of Uno Mundo, a picture book about peace and non-verbal communication, and she loves the organization Servas. She has worked as a political consultant, field organizer and high-dollar fundraiser in Washington for Governor Gregoire, US Senators Murray and Cantwell and President Barack Obama. Having taught in an after-school program at The Rose Art Museum and as the Teen Coordinator at the Peninsula Jewish Community Center, she is invested in and loves working with art and youth together. Aviva can also speak Mongolian after a stint living in the Mongolian Steppe studying fairytales and learning to herd animals. She received her Sociology BA from Brandeis with a concentration in the Humanities Interdisciplinary Program.
Ellen Thuy Le
Ellen Thuy Le is a rising senior studying Chemical Engineering at Stanford University, with the intent of a career in the Flavor and Fragrance industry. She harbors a fascination for the sense of smell and how it can be employed to affect human behavior when designing experiences and spaces. At Stanford, Ellen served as the Financial Manager and sang as a Soprano for the Stanford Harmonics, an internationally acclaimed rock a cappella group long considered one of the “Holy Trinity” of collegiate a cappella groups. She also serves as the President of her sorority, Sigma Psi Zeta Inc, an Asian-interest sorority whose philanthropic goal is to fight domestic abuse and violence against women. Over the past seven years, she has been highly active in the American Association of University Women. She is currently one of ten members of the National Student Advisory Council and has spoken at multiple AAUW events at the state and national level. Ellen is also redesigning a course (Designing Happiness at the Stanford Design School and Graduate School of Business), assisting a seminar (The Power of Story in Business) and supporting a class (How to Tell a Story) at the Stanford Graduate School of Business for Professor Jennifer Aaker.
Ellen believes in the power of art to amplify the human experience to majestic heights. Her experience in the arts is largely music-based: she plays piano, has performed in two musicals, sung in choirs and a cappella, and writes songs with her red ukulele. She is also a perfumer, with her first work to be released in the fall (called Spring). She is ecstatic to be spending the summer redesigning theater with the other fellows and using her expertise and wide range of experiences. She hopes that the insights gained from the prototypes will help make theater more accessible, and will truly excite, engage, and impact her non-theater friends.
Julia Hathaway grew up in Indianapolis, Indiana and Princeton, New Jersey, but she mostly feels she is from Chicago. She achieved her Bachelors degree in Voice from Northwestern University, then stayed for several years to perform, teach, and run a recording studio/gallery /rehearsal space called 3pear Studios.
After several years of Gilbert and Sullivan, a ton of Baroque music, and countless recordings of indie rock bands and vocal a cappella groups, Julia grew tired of the Midwest. She migrated west to obtain her Masters in Music from the San Francisco Conservatory where she played several amazing operatic roles including The Queen of the Night in Mozart’s Magic Flute. After graduating, she was a Young Artist with Santa Barbara Opera, sang in schools for San Francisco Opera, and performed with local Bay Area opera companies such as Cinnabar and Goat Hall Cabaret Opera.
At the same time, she began designing and building props and also stage managing for several theater and dance companies including Festival Opera and Ensemble Parallèle. Last year she was proud to be on the EP team which mounted Virgil Thomson’s Four Saints in Three Acts at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in conjunction with the Gertrude Stein exhibit at SFMOMA. In September, she will return to SFMOMA as a performer in SFSound group’s John Cage Festival.
Nick Navarro is passionate about the ability for art and live entertainment to stimulate social change. Nick graduated cum laude in field from Harvard College in 2010, and he graduated from the Stanford Graduate School of Business in 2012. At age sixteen, Nick began event coordination and organized two charity events that profited a total of $6,500+ for Tsunami Relief and Hurricane Katrina. Since then, he has continued to use artistic event production to promote social change. Nick was a leader in the Harvard fashion community and in 2009 he served as the Executive Producer of Harvard’s largest fashion show, Eleganza. Eleganza was produced by Harvard BlackCast with a mission to celebrate diversity. In his role at Executive Producer, Nick worked with Club Monaco, BCBGeneration, Liz Claiborne, Redbull and other sponsors.
Currently, Nick serves as the CEO of Mélange, a leading fashion company with a mission to promote a positive image of beauty. Mélange has worked with Sephora, Nicole Miller, SKYY Vodka, Hansen’s Soda, Sprinkles Cupcakes, and up and coming designers from around the world. Nick has recruited the company’s incredible Board of Advisors, including Academy Award winning movie producer, Bill Guttentag, and the founder of Boston Fashion Week, Jay Calderin. Nick has also worked with Guila Clara Kessous, a creative director of Jean Paul Gaultier, to produce shows in France and New York City that celebrated human rights and were sponsored by the United Nations. Overall, the uniting theme of Nick’s eclectic experiences center on his passion for celebrating multiculturalism and the rich diversity of society.
Xandra Clark just completed her BA with Honors in Drama at Stanford. Her honors thesis was titled Compassion At Play: Cultivating Compassion Through Theater, and it entailed teaching fourth and fifth graders for nine weeks and collaboratively devising a show. For this project, she won the Robert M. Golden Medal for Excellence in the Humanities and Creative Arts and the Eleanor Prosser Prize for Excellence in Scholarship. She has acted in many shows on campus, with the Drama Department, Stanford Shakespeare Company, SImps (Stanford Improvisers), and STAMP (Stanford Theater Activist Mobilization Project). Shows have included Major Barbara (Barbara), King Lear (Lear), Our Country’s Good (Shitty Meg), and Troilus & Cressida (Cressida) with The Public Theater.
Aside from constantly acting, Xandra works as a producer for the Stanford Storytelling Project, a program that teaches and promotes oral storytelling on campus. The Storytelling Project runs a radio show called State of the Human, for which Xandra has written and edited numerous pieces, on subjects ranging from mirrors to mercury poisoning to her father’s transition from religion to atheism. She is particularly interested in documentary and social justice theater, plans to pursue an MA in Journalism next year at Stanford, and hopes to spend her life exploring connections between performance and real-life narratives.