As a Performer

“Nina Wise is like the Jules Pfeiffer dancer come to life. She says in public what I'm thinking and feeling but musn't reveal. After the audience experiences her performance art, we can't stop talking about her. We care about what she cares about. And we care about her.”
— Maxine Hong Kingston

“Nina is an empowering, joyful and celebratory guide to a fuller life.”
— Isabel Allende

“More than any performing artist I am aware of, Nina Wise joins great talent with spiritual understanding. No one else I know so intimately joins the sublime and the absurd, surface and depth, the high and the low. Sad and happy, mocking and loving, reassuring then unsettling, Wise produces a seemingly endless cast of characters during her performances, opening those who watch to new worlds of enchantment and adventure. I salute her generosity of spirit and the genius of her work.”
— Michael Murphy, author, founder of Esalen Institute

“Wherever I have seen Nina perform, in Europe or the United States, in an intimate setting or before an audience of thousands, invariably I have been thrilled—each time in a fresh and unexpected way. Once, performing for a group of Vietnam War veterans who had been invited to Esalen Institute, she had everyone rolling with laughter. But then before any of us noticed what she was doing, she went deeper, tracking head on the issue of peacemaking. Spellbinding I would have called it, yet Nina’s spell is freeing. Many a hardened face among those old soldiers relaxed into an almost childlike smile. At the end, the men rose to a standing ovation. ‘That wasn’t just funny, man’ one of them said, ‘that was for real!’”
— Brother David Steindl-Rast, author, monk

“Sometimes in your life, you meet a person who just makes you laugh, whose infectious spirit makes you want to get up and dance. For me, this person is Nina Wise. Nina brings a remarkable aliveness to her creative work. And she invites you to join her in opening to the same depth of joy and creativity in your own life.”
— Jack Kornfield

“Every so often an artist comes along and when watching her perform, you say to yourself, “I’m so lucky to be alive to witness this.” Nina Wise is that kind of artist.”
— Marianne Williamson

“Nina Wise is wildly wonderful, spontaneous and vibrant. She eats the present and makes it art. I can’t say enough about her. She is fluid, funny, deep, authentic, fresh and hot!”
— Natalie Goldberg, author

“I have been producing a series of benefits to bring water to villages in Africa. Nina Wise has concluded the evenings with one of her signature, startling and deeply moving performances. Each time I have seen her perform, I have been convinced that this is the best of her work and yet the next time, she surprises me again. It is the brilliant combination of art, spirit, text and movement that makes Nina’s work so unique and so powerful.”
— Roger Housden, producer Poetry for Water, and author

“She takes everyday events and lifts them into life-changing moments. She is so attuned to her audience that they are implicated and transported before they are even aware of what is happening. She does this all with a keen sense of humor and the beauty and grace of a well-trained performer. I have rarely been so entertained and moved by a solo performer.”
— Jessica Heidt, Associate Artistic Director, Magic Theater, San Francisco

“I felt like I was in the presence of a consummate artist. She is so deliciously funny and poignant that we are laughing and crying at ourselves as she weaves her narratives that somehow resonate into the center of our own most absurd and tender memories. The kind of skill it takes to achieve this immediacy to those of us who work in the theater profession. But Nina makes it all look quite effortless—and that’s the real test of an artist.”
— Martha Boesing, playwright, director, Founder of At the Foot of the Mountain

“The laughter that wells up in beholding Nina Wise perform refreshes deeply. This subtle, outrageous artist lets us see ourselves with more insight and affection than we are accustomed to. And that is good news indeed.”
— Joanna Macy, author, speaker.

“As both a film and Broadway producer, I have seen a lot of theater. Ms. Wise’s artistic quality and unselfish pursuit of the art of theater is profound. I have seen Ms. Wise perform on a number of occasions and have always been delighted by her unique and honest art. Her unique style, observant humor and revelatory approach sets Ms. Wise apart from other performance artists. She represents the best in American theater.”
— Thomas Mount, producer

“I have had the privilege of watching Nina Wise perform and teach in a wide variety of venues, day and night, at home and abroad. There is nothing I can say about the work that is less than superlative. It is my honest opinion that Nina is among the most brilliant theater artists working today. Her fluidity of movement and depth of expression leave the audience breathless. Many performance artists are able to provide an hour of entertainment on stage; what sets Nina’s work apart is her extraordinary honesty, spirituality and humor. Her monologues, whether improvised or scripted, convey a view of humanity so rich and optimistic that I stagger away glowing and satisfied.”
— Jeff Greenwald, writer, performer

“Nina Wise rises about the common herd of performance artists because her work stimulates the mind as well as the emotions. Wise always has something to say, and she says it with wit and flash and consummate performance skills.”
— Wes Nisker, performer, author, Buddhist teacher

“Nina Wise has demonstrated an impressive commitment to excellence and her works show professionalism at its finest. She is doing a great job in enhancing the quality of San Francisco’s theater life.”
— Dianne Feinstein, Senator

“Nina Wise articulates feeling that most of us never whisper to our closest friends. Her performances make you laugh out loud, allow you to touch your broken heart, and encourage you to reflect on the inner strength that gets you through the night.”
— Catherine Ingram, author, dharma teacher

 

As a Coach

“What a pleasure to get to work with Nina! Nina dug in with me, grounded me, reminded me why I do the work I do, and reignited the good intentions and high hopes on behalf of which I work. And she wrapped all of this in a warm blanket of fun and ease. Nina kept kindly pointing me back to my inner voice — to my bones — versus setting me on a course to memorize some new skill. This of course brought me to a new relationship with my self and any audience. Her process is not easy, but simple, profound and durable. And knowing she so clearly practices what she teaches makes it all the more wonderful to work with her. What a gem she is.”
— BJ Miller, ED of Zen Hospice

“Some years ago, without any prior stage experience, I dared myself to create a solo show called Strange Travel Suggestions. Nina met with me several times before the show opened. The insights she shared were profound, and Nina's clear, specific guidance remains the most valuable asset in my tool kit. Her instruction proved so valuable, in fact, that I printed out "Nina's Rules" (with some tweaks of my own) and have read them before every one of the hundreds of performances I've given since 2003. Her coaching gifts were the bedrock of my stage work — and they still inspire and center me as I step into the lights.”
— Jeff Greenwald, author & performance artist

"Nina is a terrific teacher, encouraging, challenging. She helped me work through a lifelong problem."
— Brian, IBM, Menlo Park

 

How to Love Your Script
— Julie Gieseke

“There is no doubt in my mind that Nina is one of the finest teachers currently working in the areas of performance and self-expression. Not only has she developed a unique form of improvisational theater, but also she is able to teach that form to people from all backgrounds from inexperienced novice to seasoned professional. Nina adapts her teaching to fit the needs of writers, healthcare workers, visual artists and organizational leaders. I have also seen her work with highly experienced actors and bring them to a new level of confidence and ease. All this is because Nina’s teaching moves to the most basic issues that stand in the way of any student’s full realization of their creative power.”
— Corey Fisher, actor, Founding member Traveling Jewish Theater

“I have worked extensively with Nina Wise before some of the most important presentations I have given. I feel confident that the successes I’ve experienced are a result of working with Nina. Nina is always able to amplify what works and, more importantly, let me know quickly and skillfully what doesn’t and help me find solutions. She is a great pleasure to work with.”
— China Galland, author, filmmaker, speaker

“There is no doubt in my mind that Nina is one of the finest teachers currently working in the areas of performance and self-expression. Not only has she developed a unique form of improvisational theater, but also she is able to teach that form to people from all backgrounds from inexperienced novice to seasoned professional. Nina adapts her teaching to fit the needs of writers, healthcare workers, visual artists and organizational leaders. I have also seen her work with highly experienced actors and bring them to a new level of confidence and ease. All this is because Nina’s teaching moves to the most basic issues that stand in the way of any student’s full realization of their creative power.”
— Corey Fisher, actor, Founding member Traveling Jewish Theater

“I have worked extensively with Nina Wise before some of the most important presentations I have given. I feel confident that the successes I’ve experienced are a result of working with Nina. Nina is always able to amplify what works and, more importantly, let me know quickly and skillfully what doesn’t and help me find solutions. She is a great pleasure to work with.”
— China Galland, author, filmmaker, speaker

 

As a Teacher

“Her classes were a revelation to me. Her techniques were appropriate not only for people interested in performance but also for writers and others who are interested in enlarging their capacity for creativity. The exercises she has crafted over many years are playful and imaginative but they are also explorations of perception, philosophy and meaning. Nina is a brilliant teacher.”
— Sydney Carson, Professor Humanities and Science, Writing and Literature California College of the Arts

“I’ve relished seeing Nina Wise perform—always fresh and delightful; at once light and profound. So I signed up for a workshop. Who cared if I didn’t “do” improv; I knew I would learn about living in the present. I was not disappointed. With Nina’s deft observations, kind sense of humor, and encouragement to trust whatever comes up, we saw our habits, our predictable selves, turn into creative surprising moments. Would I sign up for another workshop? In a minute?”
— Mary Owens, psychotherapist

“The spiritual approach you take to your teaching made days beautiful … you said 'it is a time to let the subconscious have its way with you', and indeed it did … Revelations and breakthroughs from all.”
— Barbara Hicks

“I am struck by the authenticity of Nina Wise's work as reflected by her refined improvisational skills. Improvisation, as conveyed in her classes and in her performances, has been an important vehicle in my own spiritual and professional development. Her dedication to being absolutely authentic — and to encouraging this commitment in each of us — is inspiring. She is, without doubt, a masterful teacher.”
— Michael, Professor of Law, Nova University, Fort Lauderdale

A workshop with Nina Wise changes your life in all the right ways — towards creativity, connection, and the wisdom of the universe. But the main reason I recommend it is because what she does is also So Much Fun. I laughed and cried and laughed some more. A truly life-enriching experience. I've come back for a second workshop, and a third, and hope to do many more.”
— Pam, Web Site Designer and Marketing Consultant, Berkeley

“Nina's teaching is like a symphony or an intricate dance. It is layered and all the parts work together to guide the student into her own creative expression. I have taken many writing workshops, and I teach writing, but Nina taught me how to go further in and express the truth in a deeply real and interesting way.”
— Suzanne, Writer, Berkeley

“Nina Wise takes the student through a progression of exercises that build skill and confidence in using body, voice and language. The experience of presence that underlies performance, and creative activity in any field, cannot be taught — or described — directly. But by both her words and the exercises, Nina leads students to that experience for themselves. She is a gifted teacher.”
— Nancy, Professor of Business Administration, Berkeley

“Nina is a treasure. Apart from her many talents and her original and unflagging humor, she makes sure she knows something about the needs of each workshop member. She manages to extract from members talent they didn’t suspect they possessed. She encourages them to perform and shine. I left her workshop feeling proud and accomplished. I can’t wait for more.”
— Jocelyn, Therapist, Cambria

“I wanted to make sure Nina Wise got applauded for her life changing workshop. Her masterful way with her craft and with each of us brought us together on a very deep level of community. I have never laughed so deeply and been stretched out beyond my edges with such encouragement and careful guidance. It was truly a remarkable experience, and has changed the course of my life.”
— Vicki Shafer, visual artist and teacher

“Nina created an atmosphere of trust, authenticity, connection, and warmth which enabled each of us to become more aware of our bodies, our truth, to be brave and confront an audience and overcome shame and shyness.”
— Emilie Zauberman, Paris

“Delightfully demanding! I enjoyed all the ingredients, dancing, stretching, meditating, storytelling, performing. Nina’s style of teaching is authentic, compassionate and artful. I will take a new set of tools with me.”
— Suzanne, Hawaii

“Fabulous! One of the most transformative experiences of my life. Nina is terrific — the way she did the work, one experience building on the next. I can't come up with enough superlatives.”
— Nancy, Attorney, New York

“It was absolutely the BEST workshop of my entire life (and I'm old!!). Nina is a master teacher and model of the art she lives. I felt inspired to stretch myself, give myself to the process, and LIVE! Four stars.”
— Judy, Psychotherapist, Portola Valley

“An experience I'll treasure forever. Nina's teaching reaches far beyond the course description — as well as fulfilling what it promises. I will definitely look for further workshops with her.”
— Ilene, Sweden

“Deep, playful, transforming, challenging. A journey from adulthood to childhood and back. Breaking through old habits and conditioning. Finding expression and freshness in the moment. Connecting mind and body. Fabulous!”
— Jeanette, Model, Berlin