I think theater ought to be theatrical ... you know, shuffling the pack in different ways -- so there's always some kind of ambush involved in the experience. You're being ambushed by an unexpected word, or by an elephant falling out of the cupboard, whatever it is.


Gia Forakis is a theater artist, known as a director for the stage, teacher, playwright, and coach for actors, directors, and public speakers. She is the Artistic Director of Gia Forakis & Company, an ensemble of professional theater artists dedicated to the application and development of the rehearsal and performance technique, One-Thought-One-Action (OTOA)™. She holds an MFA from Yale School of Drama in Directing and a BFA from New York University's Tisch School of the Arts, Graduate Acting Program. Since receiving her MFA in 2004, her primary focus has been as a freelance Theater Director, working both regionally and locally in NYC. In 2011, Gia was nominated for the prestigious Zelda Fichandler Award.


Gia began her career in the theater at the age of seven performing in the Meredith Monk production of JUICE at the Guggenheim Museum, NYC. This makes sense when you know that she is the child of two bohemian artists of the 1960's who were entrenched in the New York City downtown arts world. The religion in Gia’s household was always Art. She was raised as an Artist; it was the faith of the household, and the principles upon which she and her brother came to build their adult lives.

Gia was greatly influenced by New York City's experimental, dance-theater, performance-art arena and downtown visual art scene of the 1980's. Grounding these more fringe-based art movements was her actor training and degree from New York University's Tisch School of the Arts, Graduate Acting Program, followed by 15 years performing within the Off-Broadway and Off-Off-Broadway NYC theater community.

These early experiences can be seen as formative in shaping her ideas of theatre and curiosity for exploring new forms with a multi-disciplinary incentive for incorporating mixed-media, choreographed movement and music with theatrical, literary, classic or contemporary texts. Eventually working as playwright, performer, director and producer of both Pull & Be Damned Production and then Epic Proportions Productions, the producing organizations she founded and operated as Artistic Director, for a period of over 10 years, producing a total of 17 original, multi-media, experimental works for the stage, at such NYC venues as: DIA Downtown, T.W.E.E.D. New Works Festival, West Bank Downstairs Theater Bar, Dixon Place, HERE Center for the Arts, Pulse Theatre, Access Theatre, Café Bustelo, New Math Gallery, and the Phantom Theater in Warren, VT.

Since 2004, Gia has worked primarily as a freelance theater director, both re-envisioning classic plays as well as directing the world premieres of new plays both regionally and locally in New York City. As a theater director, her vision has led to critically acclaimed, original productions that are a hybrid of experimental, movement-based theater, and traditional theatrical conventions.

Her aesthetic as a director is one of a detailed, physical, and vivid approach to storytelling. She views the theatrical event as a medium of time and space, and her role as director to sculpturally shape these elements through the dramaturgical context of the material.

Gia’s process is to keep the company focused on the script and the physical actions, objectives, and character information discovered therein. She achieves this by introducing the principles of OTOA to each cast while in rehearsals. In this way, she aims to create a structure for collaboration, invention, and a dynamic life on stage derived from the play rather than from subjectivity and inference.

Gia is most attracted to projects that feature an attention to language and/or push the boundaries of form and style. And often employs choreographed or stylized movement to reveal the sub-textual landscape. She finds the most satisfaction as a director in collaboration on original work and the re-imagining of classic texts, in pursuit of their contemporary relevance and resonance.

Her ongoing commitment to the theater comes from a driving desire to create a world of mythical and metaphorical potential that captures the poetic nature of the human condition. As a theater artist or as an audience member, Gia is always in search of those rare and magnificent moments in the theatre when the miraculous is revealed within the quotidian, and the realm of daily existence is expanded into epic dimensions.


In 2007 Gia founded and began teaching One-Thought-One-Action (OTOA)™. OTOA is a rehearsal and performance technique and artistic-life practice, that benefits performers, directors, public speakers, teachers, and creative thinkers in all areas, by identifying smaller increments of thought as smaller moments of physical action. As the Master Teacher of OTOA, Gia currently leads OTOA workshops locally, regionally, nationally and Internationally. See the OTOA Workshop Schedule.


In 2011 Gia founded Gia Forakis & Company: an ensemble of professional theater artists trained and committed to the exploration, experimentation of putting One-Thought-One-Action into action, by producing re-envisioned classics, original projects, and exploring the question of how to keep live theater relevant and vital in the 21st century.


BFA in Acting from New York University's Tisch School of the Arts, Graduate Acting Program
MFA in Directing from Yale School of Drama


Member SDC (Stage Directors and Choreographers Society)
Women's Project Director's Lab Alumna
Affiliated Director with The Lark Play Development Center
New Georges Affiliated Artist


ITAKA Shakespeare Festival, Novi Sad, Serbia
International Shakespeare Festival, National Theater, Bitola, Macedonia (former Yugoslavia)
International Theater of Making Theater, Athens, Greece
Pratt University, Brooklyn, NY
Off Square Theater Company, Jackson Hole, WY
Fordham University, NYC
Lee Strasberg Theatre & Film Institute, NYC
New York University, Tisch School of The Arts, NYC
Atlantic Theatre Company, Conservatory Program
University of Texas, Austin; Fordham University, NYC
Neighborhood Playhouse School, NYC

CONTACT GiaForakis@aol.com