Gina Cerimele-Mechley began acting at eight, dancing at nine, singing at eleven, choreographing at thirteen, performing professionally at thirteen, teaching at eighteen, professional fight direction at nineteen, directing at twenty-two, became one of the few female Certified Teachers in the country with the Society of American Fight Directors in 2001, and was a founding member of several professional theatre companies in Cincinnati including the Cincinnati Shakespeare Company and Clear Stage Cincinnati.
Gina is recognized nationally for her achievements as a professional artist. She currently works extensively as the Fight Director for the Cincinnati Shakespeare Company and the Cincinnati Ballet, and as the Dance Choreographer for the Tony Award winning Regional theatre, the Denver Center Theatre Company. She has received rave reviews for her work by the Wall Street Journal and locally has been nominated by the Cincinnati Entertainment Awards for her acting. Her other credits include: Alabama Shakespeare Festival, Opera Theatre St. Louis, Human Race Theatre in Dayton, Playhouse in the Park, the Sterling, New York Renaissance Festival, Alaska Cabin Nite Dinner Theatre, Busch Gardens, and Cincinnati Children’s Theatre.
For her teaching, Gina has been honored by the English Speaking Union (ESU) for her excellence in teaching “Acting Shakespeare,” by the National Foundation for Achievement in the Arts (NFAA) for her excellence in arts education, and was one of twelve teachers in the country in 2006 to receive the Presidential Scholars Award for Excellence in Teaching.
The real proof is in her students:
• Since 2003 over 50% of the Overture Awards semifinals and finalists each year in the Theatre/Musical Theatre category have been students of Gina’s.
• Since 2003 every Overture Awards winner in the Theatre/Musical Theatre category has been a student of Gina’s.
• For the past five years she has always had more than one student in the Regional Finals of the National Shakespeare Competition, three of whom continued onto the finals in New York City, one of whom won first place in the country.
• Her students have been admitted to top performance schools such as: New York University – Tisch School of the Arts, Boston University, Boston Conservatory, University of Michigan, University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (acting and musical theatre), Ithaca University, Syracuse University, Florida State University, Temple University, Roosevelt University, Baldwin Wallace College, Otterbein College, University of Southern California, Ohio University, Indiana University, Webster University, Elan University, University of Evansville, Belmont University, Columbia College of Chicago, Kent State University, Princeton University, Oklahoma City University, Sarah Lawrence College, Northwestern University and Loyola University of Chicago.
“As a teacher, I advocate being a jack of all trades. That is the only way to survive in the business of theatre. After all, it is just a business in which you must learn to market yourself. The more you have to market, the more work you get. I like to explore the use of several techniques within acting, singing, and dancing to help each student grow individually.
“My strength as a teacher is constantly being a student. I learn the strengths of each individual student and try to hone those skills into something marketable. When a student has completed working with me I want them to be able to stand on their own two feet and make their own choices, not just regurgitate an over-rehearsed product.”