E. Bonnie Lewis and Ken Gilbert, the Co-Artistic Directors of DramaDogs, have been active in the local arts community for the past 25 years. Our mission continues to bring diverse material and provide cutting edge theatrical experiences to the Santa Barbara arts community.
E. Bonnie Lewis
There is a creative spirit inherent in all of us, and part of our life’s journey is to find and express that spirit. E. Bonnie Lewis has been active in the theatre, educational and dance communities in Los Angeles and Santa Barb...
There is a creative spirit inherent in all of us, and part of our life’s journey is to find and express that spirit. E. Bonnie Lewis has been active in the theatre, educational and dance communities in Los Angeles and Santa Barbara for over 40 years, guiding people from many disciplines in their process of moving their bodies and discovering their art. As the Co-Artistic Director of DramaDogs, a Theater Company, she is a consummate theatre artist and arts educator performing, directing, choreographing, facilitating workshops, and producing DramaDogs productions of published plays – Circle Mirror Transformation and Defying Gravity along with original collaborations with EM Lewis and Jinny Webber – Dance Me to the End of Love: An Ensemble of Short Plays by EM Lewis and Tales of Woo and Woe: A Journey of the Heart (monologues, scenes, songs and sonnets of William Shakespeare). Over the past few years E. Bonnie’s theatrical vision has expanded with DramaDogs newest program RELEVANT ACTION. Artists are being challenged to create beyond the tradition of plays and theatrical literature and to use our artistry to make social and relevant statements, to actively engage our audience to think, feel, and engage in open and thought provoking discussion: The Qualities of Mercy, a theatre piece inspired by the book Just Mercy by Bryon Stevenson in partnership with Santa Barbara Reads at the Santa Barbara Public Library and EM Lewis’ Earth Duet presented in conjunction with “Climate Change theater action” and most recently From Eve’s Fair Hand, a theatre piece that celebrated women writers from history. All are powerful examples of RELEVANT ACTION.
Early in her career E. Bonnie had the opportunity to work with some of the icons of Modern Dance and Movement, Jan Day, Althea Short, – individuals who worked and performed with Bella Lewitsky, Murray Louis, Jose Limon, Doris Humphrey and Charles Weidman. Working on her Masters at UCLA in Dance Movement Therapy, E. Bonnie continued her study with many of the pioneers in the field of dance and movement for expression, creativity, and therapeutic growth and understanding – Irmgard Bartinieff, Irma Dosamantes, and Judith Alter.
E. Bonnie’s most recent performances have been, The Boondawgle Estate, a farce with heart in which she played the mother of twins, and Other Desert Cities at Santa Barbara City College where Silda lived in the dysfunction of a family’s secrets.
The power of integrating the wisdom of the body and its expressiveness within the live performance arena continues to inspire and delight.
Ken Gilbert is a Theater Artist and Somatic Educator. “I believe that we live in our body, first, beyond thought and calculation; and, that creativity comes from an integration of body and mind, breathing and moving. It is from thi...
Ken Gilbert is a Theater Artist and Somatic Educator. “I believe that we live in our body, first, beyond thought and calculation; and, that creativity comes from an integration of body and mind, breathing and moving. It is from this breath and my longing to connect with others as a human being that I create in the theater.” Ken and his wife, E. Bonnie Lewis, have been producing, directing and acting in the Santa Barbara Theater Community since 1993 and are currently the Co-Artistic Directors of DramaDogs, a Theater Company. Ken has directed exclusively for DramaDog’s productions of Queen Undaunted: Margaret of Anjou and Circle Mirror Transformation, co-directed and performing, with Bonnie, in Dance Me to the End of Love: An Ensemble of Short Plays by EM Lewis and Tales of Woo and Woe: A Journey of the Heart. In 2016, Ken directed both the staged reading (at Santa Barbara PlayFest) and the fully produced (at Center Stage Theater) The Boondawgle Estate by Peter McDonough. DramaDog’s methodology of “theater from the inside out” plays with the actors contributions to the character and relationship brought through the literature of theater into the context of the spoken word. Over the past few years, Ken has directed DramaDogs newest program RELEVANT ACTION expanding their theatrical vision beyond the tradition of plays and theatrical literature, to create social and relevant statements: two original scripts – The Qualities of Mercy, a theater piece inspired by the book Just Mercy by Bryon Stevenson in partnership with Santa Barbara Reads at the Santa Barbara Public Library and most recently From Eve’s Fair Hand, a theater piece that celebrated women writers from history; along with EM Lewis’ Earth Duet presented in conjunction with “Climate Change theater action”.
Ken’s Somatic Education career formally began inside the fitness industry in 1988 when he began teaching group fitness classes in aerobics and weight lifting. He was a personal trainer for a brief time until he trained in Pilates in 1994 and a short time later in The Ron Fletcher Work. Intrigued by mind/body holism and his curiosity in body-centered psychotherapy (Reichian and Hakomi) and body work (Rolfing and myofascia release) he developed his empathic and intuitive somatic awareness teaching through Pilates and Nia – movement arts program fitness, training and lifestyle. His somatic work makes Ken a perceptive and holistic body-centered artist.
Ken understands that the body reveals thoughts, feelings and actions; in the processes of rehearsal and performance Ken and DramaDogs creates a methodology of discovering and developing character(s) in relationships that are revealed in performance.