Isaac Littlejohn Eddy joined Johnson State in fall 2015 to teach acting, dramatic literature, directing and theater history courses. He moved to JSC after serving for 12 years as a member of the Blue Man Group, the award-winning theatrical performance entourage. As part of the production, Isaac helped cast and train Blue Men, wrote some of the material and performed in nightly shows in New York, Chicago, London and Las Vegas.
A Vermont native, Isaac has led workshops and lectured on improv, acting and devised experimental theater at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, the University of Michigan, Curry College and the Vermont Governor’s Institute on the Arts. He is a founding member of the immersive theater group Fixed Agency, which had a residency at the BLDG92 museum in the Brooklyn Navy Yard in New York and presented “Private(i)” at the Brooklyn BEAT festival in 2014.
A writer and a cartoonist, he has been published in The New Yorker and in The Herald weekly newspaper in Randolph, Vt. Isaac makes animated documentary shorts for Time Magazine, and he has a non-fiction multi-panel series about the people who live and work in his Brooklyn neighborhood; it is published in The New York Times’ Brooklyn blog called The Local. He also created and animated the online series Cat, Dog, Stoop.
Isaac has a B.A. in film studies from Wesleyan University in Connecticut and an M.F.A. in performance and interactive media art from the City University of New York, Brooklyn College.
What is Isaac’s perspective on his work teaching theater? “Studying theater is the act of unlearning — what Jerzy Grotowski termed Via Negativa — to a point where we can truly listen to our bodies and the world that surrounds us,” he says. “In contemporary performance, a common question is, ‘Where is the art?’ Is it in the conceiving of the piece? The way that it interfaces with the audience? Or possibly the conversations that it inspires long after it is finished? For me the ‘art’ is in the process: devising new works, doing scene work with actors and analyzing dramatic literature in a discussion group. There is something very powerful that is created within these collaborative ensembles. Analyzing classical works, learning the inner truths of a character you are portraying on stage and writing new material all incorporate the same type of creativity. I am most inspired to continue to learn (and un-learn) how best to nurture this collaborative creativity among the students at Johnson State College.”
You can learn more about Isaac’s approach in his TEDxBattenkill talk on YouTube: