Laura Biagi is a performance artist, educator, and yoga teacher working in the fields of performance studies, contemplative pedagogy, and inclusive leadership. Dr. Biagi is currently working as the Multicultural Faculty at DePaul University’s Theatre School, where she teaches performance studies, solo performance, theories of directing, yoga philosophy and practice, and storytelling at Cook County Jail (CCDOC). She has lectured on identity, inclusion, performance and contemplative pedagogy at conferences and in guest talks at DePaul University, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Howard University, Xavier University, and the Inside-Out Center.
Dr. Biagi earned a Master of Arts, and a Ph.D. in the Department of Performance Studies at New York University. In New York, she studied performance studies with Richard Schechner and Barbara Browning, “extended vocal techniques” with Meredith Monk, Deep Listening with Pauline Oliveros and Ione, and “Theatre of the Oppressed” with Augusto Boal. She composed her own performances and collaborated with musicians, directors, storytellers, and painters at LaMama Theatre, Judson Church, New York University, and the Gallery at Deep Listening Space. While in New York, Laura completed her training as a minister of the non-denominational Ministry of Maåt, Inc, “an international spiritual and educational organization nurturing the ideal of a harmonious and balanced world community through the support of women’s spiritual and physical well-being.”
Between 2012 and 2016, while teaching in the Italian Studies Department at Vassar College, Laura received a grant by the Carolyn Fae Endowment to teach courses on yoga and awareness for students, faculty, administrators and staff.
Between 2009 and 2012, Dr. Biagi lived at Ananda Ashram in Tamil Nadu, India, where she studied Raja Yoga in the tradition of Yogamaharishi Dr. Swami Gitananda Giri Guru Maharaj. She trained in hatha yoga, pranayama, mantra yoga, Sanskrit, Carnatic vocal music, and Bharatnatyam dance. She earned a Two-Years Advanced Yoga Teacher Diploma (3,500-hour residential training), and the title of “Yogacharini Sangeeta.” While in India, she lectured on the benefits of the yoga of sound at the ICYER Hospital and University in Pondicherry, the Morarji Desai National Institute of Yoga in New Delhi, and the J. Nehru Medical College in Warda. In 2011, she was part of the recording of the album Chanting the Yoga Sutra of Patanjali, a project directed by her yoga teacher Yogacharya Dr. Ananda Balayogi Bhavanani. In 2013, with Dr. Bhavanani, she co-wrote the book, Saraswati’s Pearls: Dialogues on the Yoga of Sound.
In Chicago, Laura Biagi has been devising student plays at DePaul that focus on identity, diversity and belonging (Be/Longing, 2016; Bee’s Knees, 2017). Her solo piece, The High Priestess, was showcased as part of Collaboration’s 2017 Peacebook Festival at the Goodman Theatre and Chicago Ideas Week in the summer and fall of 2017.