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Heartland Intimacy Design & Training's mission is to provide intensive theatrical intimacy training that is academic, accessible, and affordable. 

  • Academic: Heartland provides participants with evidence-based research from the social sciences, psychology, and dramatic theory. This interdisciplinary approach provides context and data-driven solutions to staging intimacy, nudity, and sexual violence.  

  • Accessible: Through its innovative online module training, Heartland offers in-depth intimacy training in the classroom, rehearsal hall, or in the comfort of your own home. 

  • Affordable: Heartland is committed to offering training without additional costs of travel, lodging, and time away from work in order to get the training you need. 



The name Heartland Intimacy Design & Training came after several months of careful rumination over what theatrical intimacy should do, can do, and where it moves forward. 

Many associate the word "Heartland" with the American Midwest. It is known as a location, but also an ideology. According to  the Humanities Institute at The Ohio State University, the Heartland is"a collection of disparate communities held together more or less by a civic culture that transcends...differences, fashioned and buoyed by social engagement, and characterized by sustained public participation and philanthropic giving....It is a general focus on hard work, respect, and politeness." These core values--social engagement transcending differences, public participation, hard work, and respect--are central to the ideology of Heartland. 

In addition, theatrical intimacy is often associated with matters of the heart. This work has the capacity to pull at the audience's heartstrings while protecting the hearts and minds of the artists in the process. 






Kate Busselle is the founder of Heartland Intimacy Design & Training and is Assistant Professor of Movement and Stage Combat at the University of Oklahoma. She completed her Ph.D. in Theatre and Performance Studies at the University of Missouri in 2019, making her the first intimacy expert with a doctorate. Kate has been staging intimacy and developing intimacy pedagogy for 8 years and has taught several workshops on staging intimacy, presented on dozens of academic panels, written and contributed to many articles on theatrical intimacy, and has been designing intimacy for several productions. 

As a researcher, Kate is invested in not only providing the tools of staging intimacy, but providing context as to how and why theatrical intimacy, nudity, and sexual violence needs to be staged. 

Kate is an Actor Combatant with the Society of American Fight Directors (SAFD). She is also a member of the Association of Movement Theatre Educators (ATME), Association for Theatre in Higher Education (ATHE).

Want to know more about Kate? Check out her website here.


TiPS Instructor

Hannah Fazio is a writer, educator, and intimacy professional currently finishing up her Ph.D. at Florida State University. Hannah holds a master’s degree in drama therapy from New York University and a bachelor’s degree in theatre and Hispanic studies from Hamilton College.


She has been teaching yoga for over a decade and trained as a trauma-informed instructor with the Justice Resource Institute.


Hannah’s writing has been published in Huffington Post, Theatre Topics, and Imagined Theatres. Her theatrical work has been featured at Bizarre Bushwick, The Living Gallery, Triad Theatre, Hamilton College, Florida State University, and Dixon Place.

Want to know more about Hannah? Check out her website here.

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