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River Navaille

performer, director, and Educator on California's Central Coast

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Music

Sometimes compared to Joan Baez, River's fluttering soprano is matched by a richly emotional chest voice, backed up by warm acoustic baritone ukulele. Their music is available on their Bandcamp for free listening, with bonus tracks available with purchase.

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Biography

River Navaille is a nonbinary performer, director, and educator local to Seaside, California.

 
 River in  Fun Home  as Alison Bechdel, with Adam Saucedo (Bruce) at Pacific Repertory Theatre, 2017.

River in Fun Home as Alison Bechdel, with Adam Saucedo (Bruce) at Pacific Repertory Theatre, 2017.

Actor

River Navaille a trans nonbinary actor, River enjoys the challenge of playing with expectations of gender both on and off the stage from androgyny to the extremes of femininity and masculinity, Credits include Pacific Repertory Theatre: Fun Home, (Alison Bechdel), Mary Poppins (Mary Poppins) and Heathers: The Musical (Heather Chandler). The Western Stage: The Liar (Clarice), and Binaries (Self).

River's Masters thesis, Finding a Voice, explores the creative and highly personal work of creating gender-nonconforming characters onstage.  

 

Vocalist/Vocal Coach

River is a classically trained vocalist and voice coach with extensive experience in vocal jazz (Monterey Jazz Festival Education), musical theater (UC Santa Cruz Theater, Pacific Repertory, Western Stage) opera and recitals (Carmel Bach Festival, UC Santa Cruz Opera). River teaches vocal technique for actor-singers of all levels, inquire below. More videos available on their YouTube channel.

 
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POET

River has written and performed poetry in Monterey for several years, featured in Race and Rhymes at Middlebury Institute of International Studies, The West End Festival Spoken Word Stage, Curated Words with FoolBlaze Productions. As a poet, the physical medium of writing influences the style - from handwriting to typewriter to iPhone notes. 

 

Playwright

River recently wrote, developed, and staged a solo play entitled "Binaries," with The Western Stage project Nevertheless, She Persisted. "Binaries" explores the raw and vulnerable experience of living with mental illness, suicidality, and gender dysphoria. In a blend of poetry and prose, song and movement, they explore the polar extremes of life and death, mania and depression, love and hate, male and female. River also directs projects developing new works in a process of introspection and collaboration.

Educator/Director

River directed their first "production" at age 13 while in 8th grade. Since then, they've directed 11 productions. They've assistant directed professionally for Jewel Theatre in Santa Cruz, California, under Art Manke (Enter The Guardsman) and Susan Myer-Silton (Streetcar Named Desire). In 2016, 

River is an adjunct professor of Theater Arts for Monterey Peninsula College's Dual Enrollment partnership with Seaside High School, where they teach Intro to Theater, Intro to Acting, Film Appreciation, Intercultural Drama, and Production Workshops. In 2016 River founded the Seaside High School Dramatic Arts program, where their students use re-purposed spaces to stage creative productions without a theater.

Most recently, River and their students developed an original two-act play entitled On The Verge, performed on the campus steps of Seaside High School. In 2018, Seaside High School Dramatic Arts won the national RISE America grant from NBC and ETF. The application video (left) was selected from over 1,000 to be one of 50 grant recipients. 

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River Navaille - Reviews

 River Navaille as Alison Bechdel in 'Fun Home.' Pacific Repertory Theater, 2018. Photo by Patrick Tregenza.

River Navaille as Alison Bechdel in 'Fun Home.' Pacific Repertory Theater, 2018. Photo by Patrick Tregenza.

 River Navaille as Heather Chandler in 'Heathers: The Musical.' Pacific Repertory Theater, 2016. Photo by Sarah Horn.

River Navaille as Heather Chandler in 'Heathers: The Musical.' Pacific Repertory Theater, 2016. Photo by Sarah Horn.

Fun Home at Pacific Repertory Theater, Carmel CA, 2018

"[River] Navaille has the tricky task of being near the action on stage, which is Alison’s own recollection, but not being in it. Navaille lets emotions flit across Alison’s face, abetted by bird-like reflexes like she’s exploring her family from multiple angles to better see them. She narrates the musical with an homage to the graphic novel." -Walter Ryce of Monterey County Weekly
"River Navaille is a sensitive and assured center of stability as the mature artist." -Philip Pearce of Performing Arts Monterey Bay

Mary Poppins at Pacific Repertory Theater, Carmel CA, 2016

"P.L. Travers would be happy with Pac Rep’s Mary, portrayed by [River] Navaille..She’s appealing and engaging, but Navaille manages to keep her somewhat dark and mysterious around the edges. And, man, can she sing and dance. They say, “Don’t do Hamlet unless you’ve got a Hamlet.” Pac Rep is clearly OK to do Mary Poppins. They’ve got a Mary — a great one." Mark Shilstone-Laurent of the Monterey Herald
"Navaille is the most convincing Mary Poppins I’ve seen on stage or screen, and, yes, I’m including Julie Andrews. ...When she leads those big musical numbers, sings beautifully and dances perfectly, she somehow does it in a way that still suggests you wouldn’t want to cross swords with this other-worldly lady." Philip Pearce of Performing Arts Monterey Bay

Heathers: The Musical at Pacific Repertory Theater, Carmel CA, 2016

"A stellar cast – Navaille cold-blooded." Walter Ryce of Monterey County Weekly

The Liar at The Western Stage, Salinas CA, 2015

"High-spirited... played with a lot of spirit and energy by the incisive and determined [River] Navaille as Clarice" Philip Pearce of Performing Arts Monterey Bay
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River Navaille Educator Resume
River Navaille Theater Resume

To protect my privacy, I've removed my personal contact information. Please get in touch using the contact form below.

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Contact me for inquiries, comments, or to book performances, workshops, private lessons, and other events.

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