Thursday, December 22, 2011

Director Heidi Helen Davis Dies at 60

Heidi Helen Davis, a director, actress and teacher of those arts known for her work at Los Angeles' Theatricum Botanicum, Mark Taper Forum, East West Players and Ensemble Studio Theater, died Dec. 15 in Los Angeles after a yearlong struggle with breast cancer. She was 60.

Davis staged more than 20 plays at Theatricum Botanicum since 1985.

Artistic director Ellen Geer said: "She had a way of working with actors that allowed risk and complete exploration guided by instinct. I saw a piece of hers about Japanese internment camps in the late '80s. Remarkable direction. I asked to meet her and she was my compatriot in art from then on."

She taught numerous acting and directing students over the years, most recently at the Academy of Art U. in San Francisco, Howard Fine Studio and the Los Angeles Film School. She was also the acting coach on the Showtime miniseries "Fidel" in 2000 and on the feature film "Memoirs of a Geisha" in 2003.

Donations may be sent to the Heidi Helen Davis Intern Fund at the Will Geer Theatricum Botanicum, P.O. Box 1222, Topanga, CA 90290. A public memorial at Theatricum Botanicum is planned for next spring.

*This post is excerpted from the obituary of Ms. Davis.

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