COMPANION

Frank Ottiwell

Frank Ottiwell (1929 – 2015), prominent US teacher of the Alexander Technique.

Life

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.[1] [2]

Writings

  • Frank Ottiwell gave the Keynote Address to the 1991 3rd International Congress, Engelberg.[3]
  • He gave NASTAT’s 1st Annual F. M. Alexander Memorial Lecture,[4] a short report on the Marjorie Barstow memorial event at the 5th International Congress in 1996.[5]
  • ‘Back to simplicity: AGM opening address 2009’ is a lecture in which he remembers lessons with Judy Leibowitz, Patrick Macdonald, Marjorie Barstow, and Walter Carrington.[6]
  • A two-part interview with Frank Ottiwell by Pamela Blanc was published in 2005.[7]
  • A 2012 interview, ‘Finding (again) the essential first step’ by Ruth Rootberg was published in 2015.[8]
  • He reviewed Bodywise (on Hellerwork) by Joseph Heller and William A. Henkin.[9]

Descriptions

Descriptions and memories of Frank Ottiwell and his teaching include:

  • ‘The transformation of daily life’ by Bob Britton.[10]
  • ‘My teacher, my mentor, my friend’ by Pamela Blanc.[11]
  • ‘Maybe I have become that body!’ by Jeanne Benioff.[12]
  • ‘Master teacher and cherished friend’ by Babara Kent.[13]
  • ‘Simply seeing what is there’ by Simone Biase.[14]
  • ‘The art of communication’ by Phyllis Gilmore.[15]
  • ‘Frank’s first foreign student’ by Kelly McEvenue.[16]
  • ‘A benevolent universe’ by Michelle Obrecht.[17]
  • ‘Volunteer scribe’ by Idelle Packer.[18]
  • ‘Doing nothing together’ by Kari Prindl.[19]
  • ‘An unending gift’ by Jill Guillermo-Togawa.[20]
  • ‘Three memorials’ by Elyse Shafarman.[21]

Frank Ottiwell *14 August 1929 – †20 August 2015

References

[1] Obituary ‘Frank Ottiwell’ by Kurt Lunz, Pamela Blanc, Ruth Diamond in AmSAT Journal no. 9, Spring 2016, p. 20.
[2] ‘Frank Ottiwell’ in AmSAT Journal Journal no. 8, Fall 2015, p. 4.
[3] ‘Keynote Address’ by Frank Ottiwell in The Congress Papers 1991, A Spirit of Learning Together edited by Jeremy Chance (Direction, 1992), pp. 11–13.
[4] ‘NASTAT’s 1st Annual F. M. Alexander Memorial Lecture’ by Frank Ottiwell, NASTAT News issue no. 21, Summer 1993, pp. 8-9. Republished in AmSAT Journal no. 9, Spring 2016, pp. 21-23.
[5] ‘Marjorie Barstow memorial’ by Frank Ottiwell in The Congress Papers 1996, Back to Basics edited by Shmuel Nelken (Shmuel Nelken, 1999), pp. 73–74.
[6] ‘Back to simplicity: AGM opening address 2009’ by Frank Ottiwell in AmSAT News issue no. 80 (Summer 2009), pp. AGM9–AGM11.
[7] ‘Interview with Frank Ottiwell’ by Pamela Blanc. Part I (‘The early years’) in AmSAT News issue no. 67 (Spring 2005), pp. 12–13. Part II in AmSAT News issue no. 68 (Fall 2005), pp. 18–20.
[8] ‘Finding (again) the essential first step’ by Ruth Rootberg in Living the Alexander Technique by Ruth Rootberg (Off the Common Book, 2015), pp. 15–28.
[9] ‘Bodywise by Joseph Heller and William A. Henkin’ by Frank Ottiwell in The Alexander Review vol. 2, no. 2 (Centerline Press, May 1987), pp. 37–40.
[10] ‘The transformation of daily life’ by Bob Britton in AmSAT Journal no. 9, Spring 2016, p. 23.
[11] ‘My teacher, my mentor, my friend’ by Pamela Blanc in AmSAT Journal no. 9, Spring 2016, pp. 24-25.
[12] ‘Maybe I have become that body!’ by Jeanne Benioff in AmSAT Journal no. 9, Spring 2016, p. 25.
[13] ‘Master teacher and cherished friend’ by Babara Kent in AmSAT Journal no. 9, Spring 2016, p. 26.
[14] ‘Simply seeing what is there’ by Simone Biase in AmSAT Journal no. 9, Spring 2016, p. 27.
[15] ‘The art of communication’ by Phyllis Gilmore in AmSAT Journal no. 9, Spring 2016, p. 27.
[16] ‘Frank’s first foreign student’ by Kelly McEvenue in AmSAT Journal no. 9, Spring 2016, p. 28.
[17] ‘A benevolent universe’ by Michelle Obrecht in AmSAT Journal no. 9, Spring 2016, p. 29.
[18] ‘Volunteer scribe’ by Idelle Packer in AmSAT Journal no. 9, Spring 2016, p. 29.
[19] ‘Doing nothing together’ by Kari Prindl in AmSAT Journal no. 9, Spring 2016, pp. 30-31.
[20] ‘An unending gift’ by Jill Guillermo-Togawa in AmSAT Journal no. 9, Spring 2016, p. 31.
[21] ‘Three memorials’ by Elyse Shafarman in AmSAT Journal no. 9, Spring 2016, pp. 32-33.