She had always told them she walked between the worlds, through veils and doors, wardrobes and fireplaces. But now she walked not from one to the next but truly between them, in a world all her own, where the doors and windows seemed distant and obscured. She sat in traffic and dreamed of signposts, lamp posts, owl posts. She prayed to nearly forgotten goddesses; "Lumos," she whispered. Clap your hands if you believe. (written by Logan England for Iris Imaginoria)
As Iris Imaginoria, I can walk between the worlds... I am both Headmistress of Hogwarts 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 Defense Against the Dark Arts. 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. At the School of Theatrical Wizardry my classes involve character exploration. At Rainbow Wizards Academy I teach about consent and how to defend one's self from the negative forces coming both from outside and also from within.
At Jedi Academy, 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 Harry Potter 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. 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.
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.
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 myself, 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:
Somewhere over the rainbow, way up high
There’s a camp Iris dreamed of once in Louisiana
Somewhere over the rainbow, Waveriders are blue
And the dreams that you dare to dream really do come true.
Someday I'll wish upon a Stonedragon
And wake up where the Dementors are far behind me.
Where troubles melt like chocolate frogs high above the castle tops
That's where you'll find me
Somewhere over the rainbow, Phoenixfires fly
And Windhorses fly over the rainbow
Why then, oh why can't I?
If happy magic creatures fly beyond the rainbow
Why, oh why can't I?
- Written by volunteer Ann Mudgett Hyatt, 2013