Iris Imaginoria is author of a fantasy book series for youth with a strong female lead - especially good for lgbtq and neurodiverse kids. Let me tell you more...
As Iris Imaginoria, I can walk between the worlds... I am both Wizard Headmistress and a Jedi Grandmaster. I have been through the wardrobe to Narnia, have flown toward the second star to the right to Neverland, and I followed the yellow brick road over the rainbow. I have a key to the TARDIS, have helped create Fantasia through wishes, and I trained with Mary Poppins to be "practically perfect in every way." When I was very young, I learned how to travel the pages of myth. Now I have the ability to bring others with me, creating a safe place for children of all ages (including adults!) to explore the wonder of the world around them. I live in the greatest nation of all… the imagination! We are the key.
I am the Headmistress of the Imaginorium Academy in its many forms. At our Wizarding Academies I am the teacher of PRISM class - Protection, Reflection, Inspiration, Sensation, and Meditation. My class is designed to help children and adults face their fears and to resolve conflicts within themselves and with others. I especially encourage development of self-esteem and personal empowerment. We do this through a variety of active games (especially drama games), literary exploration, and discussion. The PRISM is the source of magic on the Rainbow Path and is made of all the facets of who you are.
At Space Force (Jedi) Academy, we teach mindfulness through the Trials of Courage, Hope, Insight, Senses, and Spirit. In addition to being Grandmaster, I am the Master for the Trial of Spirit. My specialty is in the colors and construction of light sabers, as the light saber is the extension of the spirit. The seven Spirit classes in the formal Jedi training correspond with the seven colors of the rainbow, encouraging the free and responsible search for truth and meaning and social justice.
I earned my PhD in Theatre from Louisiana State University, my MA from Florida State, and my BA from the University of NC. I have been working with children and theatre for more than 20 years. I am certified to teach both theatre and secondary English in Rhode Island and Massachusetts and currently teach at an alternative high school. I am also trained in a comprehensive sexuality education curriculum called Our Whole Lives, which is offered for elementary, junior high, high school, and adult levels.
I directed Wizard Academy programs for seven summers in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, three summers in Massachusetts, one summer in a rural area of Oklahoma, and one in Barrington, Rhode Island. I directed one Jedi Academy summer camp in Lacombe, Louisiana, one in Carrollton, GA, and a year-long Jedi Academy in Massachusetts. I have offered many smaller, one-time workshops and other programs.
The Many Faces of Iris
Which mythic worlds do you like to visit? Narnia and Oz were my first mythic worlds. Then Greek mythology. Hogwarts has a place in my heart like no other, though I've had to say goodbye to this world now for a while. My favorites include Neverland, the Neverending Story, Star Wars, Doctor Who, Mary Poppins, Valdemar, The Hunger Games, and classic fairy tales. I also work a lot with Tibetan mythology, especially Tara, the Bodhisattva of Wisdom and Compassion. I have been dancing with Tara now for more than twenty years.
In our 2018 Theatrical Wizardry program, we produced a play called "The Key to the Rainbow Path." It tells the story of how I met the four founders of the houses in our Wizarding Academy. It's quite a beautiful script, and the production was fantastic... and now you can read the full story in my first novel, Imagine the Key. The hardcover version even has color maps to the seven lands of the Rainbow Path. Right now I'm working on the second novel, the Cat-Tastrophe in the Rainbow Path. I've written and produced six Rainbow Path plays, all prequels and sequels to the first. A published collection called "Dramatic Wizardry" is forthcoming from PRISMagical Press.
Imaginorium programs create strong communities, and through time we have shared in joys and sorrows. Babies were born (including my own), and several close members of our community have died. I survived extensive cancer treatment, and the community helped me through some of the most difficult times. I watched young children grow into teenagers and teens grow into adults. I had the great blessing to be a mentor and role model to some of the most amazing young people in the world. And I have had the opportunity to encourage creativity to blossom in my adult staff. The Imaginorium has been one of the most significant keys of my life.
Headmistress Iris Imaginoria through the years
Member of Professional Organizations:
Other writing credits:
"Respect, Responsibility, and Relationship: UU Resources for Pagan Consent Culture." Pagan Consent Culture: Building Communities of Empathy and Autonomy. Christine Hoff Kraemer & Yvonne Aburrow, eds. Asphodel Press, Hubbardston, MA. 01452.
"The Wonderful Witches of Oz," The Baum Bugle: A Journal of Oz. Vol 54, Number 1, 157. 27-30.
“Profile: Tara Dhatu.” Ecumenica: Journal of Theatre and Performance. Vol 2.2 Fall 2009. 87-90.
“Do You Want to Go to Hogwarts?: How Living in Literature Brings it Into Reality” Phoenix Rising Compendium, Narrate Conferences, 2008: 371-384.
“From Witch to Wicked: A Mutable and Transformational Sign” Stratyner, Leslie and James R. Keller, eds. Fantasy Fiction into Film. Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Company, Inc, 2007.
“Full Circle,” an original play, published in Pembroke Magazine. 32 (2000): 388-417.
The News-Journal, multiple feature and news articles for weekly professional newspaper, Hoke County, NC, 1999.