h.u.e has been a core member of a variety of drama and comedy improvisational theater and film groups. Comedy groups have included University of Chicago’s Occam’s Razor (2009 – 2011), Catholic University’s Impulse Control (2005 – 2007), and Asheville, NC-based groups: Purposeful Discomfort (1999-2001), The Allen White Orchestra (1998), and The Idiot Kings (1997).
Occam’s Razor and Impulse Control performances utilized both short and long-form improvisation styles and Purposeful Discomfort shows included short video sketches (pre-YouTube, y’all!). Extending their video work, in 2001 Purposeful Discomfort produced a 15 minute comedy mocumentary ‘Imagine You’re An Eagle: A glimpse into America’s mall-dancing youth’.
h.u.e received his training as a member of the Living Stage Theater Company based out of Arena Stage (Washington, DC). In 2001 h.u.e began an internship in the production department for the final season of the 36 year-old company. However, the director Ralph Remington saw performance potential and allowed h.u.e to begin rehearsals with the seven-member crew. h.u.e was trained in the methods of Viola Spolin and Augusta Boal and based on the vision of Living Stage founder Robert Alexander, the crew was taught to see performance as a way to engage their body, spirit, and mind and empower audience participants to do the same.
The Living Stage company members developed performances/workshops customized to the needs of particular community groups such as low-income public high schools, elite private middle schools, adjudicated youth programs, and elementary Special Education classes. After identifying key themes, the crew used poetry, movement, music and song to design pieces which they performed in the community. The pieces were designed to have an unresolved ending, at which point participants were encouraged to explore which directions the piece should move. Workshops concluded with the crew facilitating participants to complete the performance.
At the close of the Living Stage season, h.u.e spent one summer with the El Barrio Street Theater, a project of the nonprofit organization, Sol y Soul (Washington, DC). Trained in puppet-making, and clown and mime techniques, the group designed and performed outdoor pieces for working-class Latino communities focusing on neighborhood gentrification, specifically tenant-landlord rights.
In addition to the educational and socio-political aspects of performance art, h.u.e has also utilized performance art for therapeutic purposes. In early 2002, h.u.e was awarded a Young Artist Program grant from the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities to design a high school program focused on self-esteem; however he declined funding, accepting an out-of-state policy fellowship. The value of engaging audience members at Living Stage led h.u.e to gain additional training volunteering with Oran Sandel at Amazing Life Games during the summer of 2002.
From 2003-2005 h.u.e facilitated therapeutic performance art at CooperRiis Healing Community, a holistic residential facility for adults with serious mental illnesses (Mill Spring, NC). h.u.e designed a weekly workshop based on the interactive techniques described while including topics such as emotional regulation, anger management, and anxiety coping. His training in Psychology (M.A., 2007) and Social Work (M.S.W, 2011) have strengthened skills such as empathy and active listening. h.u.e continues to work with adolescent parents and applies these therapeutic skills to help youth navigate their developmental transitions.