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Acting with Power Workshop

October 25th 6:00 EDT / 3:00 PM PDT

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Exploring your personal relationship to power, status and authority allows you to navigate nuanced organizational and communication dynamics with increased agility. This agility helps you accomplish your strategic, operational and professional objectives. Expanding your authentic range can change how we are perceived. Combining performance techniques and data from the fields of social psychology and gender research, this session provides insight into how behavioral range - physical, vocal, intellectual, mindset, strategic - affects your impact. In this session we make the invisible visible, by looking behind the curtain at status behavior. Through research analysis and interactive exercises, we break down how verbal and nonverbal behavioral cues raise and lower our own, and other people’s status.

Kay Kostopoulos directs and teaches acting, acting pedagogy, musical theater, voice, speech, and Shakespeare in the Department of Theater and Performance Studies and Continuing Studies Program at Stanford University. She teaches “Acting with Power” at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business and the Stanford Executive Education Program for Women in Entrepreneurship.

Also at Stanford, Kay has coached for the Knight Fellows Journalism Program, the Department of English, and the Clayman Institute for Gender Research where she was performance coach for the faculty videos for the Voice & Influence program.   Michelle R. Clayman Institute for Gender Research

Kay has created and directed many training programs for Stanford’s School of Medicine.  She has also designed and taught private seminars for live and online audiences at companies like Apple, Twitter, Airbnb, Genentech, Cisco, Hitachi, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Thermo Fisher Scientific, Lippincott, Ernst and Young, First Republic, eBay’s Global Women’s Conference and Women In Cable Telecommunications, among many others. 

She has acted and taught at many educational institutions, including the New Jersey, San Francisco, and California Shakespeare Festivals,  (where she served as Director of Education).

Her work has been featured in “O” magazine. and she has been featured on NPR’s  Philosophy Talk radio program for her work on understanding facial emotions in the treatment of Autism.  

Melissa Jones Briggs specializes in performance as a tool for social and organizational change. On faculty at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business she co-teaches “Acting with Power” with Dr. Deborah Gruenfeld. She lectures in the Stanford Executive Program among many others and co-directed a Stanford Executive Program for Women Entrepreneurs. She is a faculty affiliate at the Clayman Institute for Gender Research. Melissa is especially passionate about inclusive leadership.

Outside academia, in the company of world-class partners, Melissa designs and direct global leadership programs for top corporations, NGOs, academic and federal institutions. She proudly served on the Board of Directors at Youth in Arts, an arts education non-profit with a focus on social justice. She has guest lectured at Stanford’s Department of Theatre and Performance Studies, and the Hasso Plattner Institute of Design (, Aalto University in Helsinki, Finland, the University of Oxford and London Business School.