Frank Ottiwell (1929–2015), prominent US teacher of the Alexander Technique.
Frank Ottiwell studied acting at the Canadian Art Theatre School and at the Vera Soloviova Acting School in New York City. He started taking lessons with Judy Leibowitz in September 1954, and started on her teachers training course in September 1956. He graduated in 1959 and started teaching, especially to performers, while also pursuing an acting career. In 1967 the American Conservatory Theater (ACT) relocated to San Francisco and Frank moved with them and became their resident Alexander Technique teacher. He also played in several of the ACT theater productions. The same year he co-founded (with Judith Stransky) ACAT-West, a non-profit educational institution. With Giora Pinkas he started a teachers training course in 1974, and – after separating from Giora Pinkas – in 1983 a new training course (the Alexander Training Institute of San Francisco) which he ran until 2003. He continued to teach individual lessons as long as his health permitted but died of cancer in 2015.
He gave NASTAT’s 1st Annual F. M. Alexander Memorial Lecture.
Descriptions and memories of Frank Ottiwell and his teaching include:
‘The transformation of daily life’ by Bob Britton.
‘My teacher, my mentor, my friend’ by Pamela Blanc.
‘Maybe I have become that body!’ by Jeanne Benioff.
‘Master teacher and cherished friend’ by Babara Kent.
‘Simply seeing what is there’ by Simone Biase.
‘The art of communication’ by Phyllis Gilmore.
‘Frank’s first foreign student’ by Kelly McEvenue.
‘A benevolent universe’ by Michelle Obrecht.
‘Volunteer scribe’ by Idelle Packer.
‘Doing nothing together’ by Kari Prindl.
‘An unending gift’ by Jill Guillermo-Togawa.
‘Three memorials’ by Elyse Shafarman.
Frank Ottiwell *14 August 1929 – †20 August 2015