River Navaille is a nonbinary performer, director, and educator local to Seaside, California.
As a gender 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.
River directed their first "production" at age 13 while in 8th grade. Since then, they've directed 17 productions in a wide array of venues, traditional theaters as well as “found spaces”. 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,
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. In the spring of 2018, Seaside High School Dramatic Arts won the national RISE America grant from NBC and ETF. The application video was selected from over 1,000 applicants.
In the fall of 2018, River and their students used the grant money and their elbow grease to convert a small classroom into a blackbox theater, where they’ve now produced Just Like Us by Karen Zacarias, Lockdown by Douglas Craven, and She Kills Monsters by Qui Nguyen in their new space.
River is a part-time professor of theatre at Hartnell College, and a part-time professor of Theater Arts for Monterey Peninsula College's Dual Enrollment partnership with Seaside High School. They teach Intro to Theater, Intro to Acting, Continuing Acting, Film Appreciation, Intercultural Drama, Voice & Text, and Production workshops.
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 by filling out the contact form.
River is a songwriter and vocalist whose music centers around carefully crafted lyrics that can bring about both laughter and tears. With a voice sometimes likened to Joan Baez or Joni Mitchell, 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 and purchased downloads. River is available to book for large and small events, please fill out the contact form below. Visit the music section for videos and recordings. Video by Proctor Sound Productions.
POET & 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, and male and female. River also directs projects developing new works in ensemble-based theatre. River’s poetry has been featured in Race and Rhymes at Middlebury Institute of International Studies, The West End Festival Spoken Word Stage, and Curated Words with FoolBlaze Productions.
Contact me for inquiries, comments, or to book performances, workshops, private lessons, and other events.
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