Biographies of Major Players
Bio, Francine Ringold, Ph.D.
Francine Leffler Ringold (Johnson), Ph.D., was the Poet Laureate of Oklahoma 2003-7 and a 2003 winner of the "Writers Who Make A Difference" award from the nationally distributed Writer Magazine. Her name is also synonymous in the minds of many with Nimrod, the international literary journal that she edited and championed for over 47 years.
Collaboration has been the keynote of Francine Ringold's life as a mother, writer, teacher and artist. The video of her poem "The Cartography of Hope" involving poetry, dance, photography, and exacting editing is emblematic of that theme as is her newest book "The Way We See Now: A Collaboration of Photography and Poetry" with U.S. Magistrate Judge/ Photographer
Fran's published work ranges from poems to plays to guides for creative writing and includes: Still Dancing: New & Selected Poems, and The Trouble with Voices, both winners of the Oklahoma Book Award for Poetry; prize-winning plays, including one-woman presentations based on the lives of Mercy Otis Warren and Isadora Duncan; and two volumes detailing her creative writing approach. She has also published a memoir: from Birth To Birth: My Memoir and A Guide for Yours, 2016.
A devoted teacher, Fran has taught creative writing and theatre at the University of Tulsa. She has also taught in prisons, The Center for the Physically Limited, Gatesway Foundation for the Developmentally Disabled, at Resonance Foundation in a special program for children of parents who are incarcerated, as well as in diverse classrooms in public and private schools.
Rachel Whiting, dancer
Rachel Whiting is a dance maker, educator, performer, filmmaker and collaborator. Rachel's dance practice is anchored in the complexities and joys that come with venturing deeply into one's body, particularly the complexities offered by the recognition of multiple abilities and body types. Her academic education started at the Juilliard School in New York, later completing a BA Cum Laude from St. Mary's College of California and MFA from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
Rachel is adjunct faculty at AMDA College of the Performing Arts Performing Arts in Hollywood California, a lead teaching artist with Invertigo Dance Theatre's - Dancing Through Parkinson's and is guest teaching artist for Straight Up Abilities with a focus on special needs youth dance. Her teaching has included University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Loyola
Marymount University, The Cunningham Studio, California State University- Northridge, The Colburn School, University of Nebraska and Denver School of the Arts.