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Brief History of Intimacy Practice

Intimacy in performance in itself is not a new phenomenon - it has been performed by actors from the beginning of theatre and performance itself. However, intimacy methodologies, intimacy director & intimacy coordinator roles and academic writing surrounding the topic is a quickly evolving field and continues to expand exponentially. 

Intimacy Direction and Intimacy Coordination is experiencing rapid growth and we want to credit the roles, various individual practitioners and groups, accurately. If you and your research is not mentioned below, please contact us and supply information to be considered. 

2006 - Tonia Sina wrote her thesis "intimate Encounters" and originated the role of the Intimacy Choreographer which later she called the Intimacy Director. 

2012 - Adam Noble created his method "Extreme Stage Physicality" Technique (E.S.P) featured in his article "Sex & Violence". 

2014 - Tonia wrote "Safe Sex: a look at the Intimacy Choreographer" outlining the first Kissing Protocol in a written article. 

2014 - Vanessa Ewan wrote in her book "Actor Movement" a chapter called "Personal Safety in Movement" which explores stage combat principles (from Fight Director Bret Yount) applied to intimacy practice. It also includes basic guidelines for intimacy practice on-set based on notes from 1st AD Richard Whelan. Ita O'Brien, a student of Vanessa, was influenced by this chapter when she created her methodology and guidelines. 

2016 - Intimacy Directors International (IDI) is formed by Tonia Sina, Alicia Rodis and Siobhan Richardson, the first training company to advocate and educate intimacy practices for live performance & media. They created the Pillars of Intimacy for Performance. 

March 2016 - Lizzy Talbot starts forming 'Theatrical Intimacy' in UK and leads open Intimacy for Actors & Directors workshops in London, UK (open to the public workshops, non-drama school associated). 

April 2016 - Lizzy Talbot invites Yarit Dor and Claire Warden to join Theatrical Intimacy in the UK. 

2016/2017 - Alicia Rodis originates the Intimacy Coordinator role with HBO studios during her work on 'The Deuce' series. 

2016/2017 - Jessica Steinrock joins IDI and starts to teach workshops exploring consent and intimacy in Improv Theatre. 


October 2017 - Ita O'Brien starts teaching IOS open intimacy workshops.   

2017 - Lizzy Talbot, Yarit Dor and Ita O'Brien begin discussions with Equity UK regarding intimacy guidelines for stage and screen. 


2017 - New York Times interviews Tonia Sina for her Intimacy Choreographer credit on the " Bakkhai". 

2017 - Lindsey Summers trains as an intimacy coordinator under Alicia Rodis and becomes the first intimacy coordinator in Canada. Later she opens 'Intimacy Coordinators Canada'.

2017 - Theatrical Intimacy joins IDI as their UK branch and thus our name changed into Intimacy Directors International UK (IDI-UK). 

2017 - Chelsea Pace and Laura Rikard open 'Theatrical Intimacy Education' in USA.  

2018 - Ita O'Brien officially opens 'Intimacy On Set' company/agency. 

2017, 2018, 2019 - Both IDI-UK and Intimacy On Set give their guidelines to Directors UK, SDUK, Spotlight and various industry unions. 

2017, 2018, 2019, 2020 - various articles about intimacy coordination and intimacy direction covering both IDI-UK founders and Intimacy On Set. See our resource page for some of these articles. 

2017, 2018, 2019, 2020 - IDI-UK starts teaching Intimacy For Actors / Directors workshops at Arts Ed, Guildhall School of Music & Drama, East 15 Acting School, UAL- London College of Communication (BA Film Practice), St.John York University, University of Staffordshire, London Film School. 

2018/2019 - David Thackeray and Enric Ortuno break the stigma of the "female intimacy coordinator" and start working in the UK media industry. 

2018/2019 - Sue Mythen starts working as an Intimacy Coordinator in Ireland.

2018/2019 - Vanessa Coffey starts working as an Intimacy Coordinator in Scotland. 

2019 - Time's Up (USA) published 'Your Rights in Auditions' guide for actors which covered considerations for intimacy in auditions contributed by Amanda Blumenthal, Ita O'Brien and Alicia Rodis. 

2019 - Claire Warden becomes the first to be credited as Intimacy Director on Broadway for 'Frankie & Johnny'. 

2019 - Directors UK publish their 'Directing Nudity & Simulated Sex' guidelines which IDI-UK, Intimacy On Set and Vanessa Coffey contributed to.

2019 - Amanda Blumenthal (Intimacy Coordinator for 'Euphoria') opens 'Intimacy Professionals Association' (IPA) company/agency in USA.

2019 - Yarit Dor and Ita O'Brien were invited to panel discissions on Intimacy Coordination at: Spotlight Industry Focus, BFI London Film Festival, Directors UK Director's Cut event. 

2019 - Costume Designer Shoni Wilkinson creates the first online shop for intimacy modesty garments.

2019 - Lizzy Talbot, Enric Ortuno, Yarit Dor and Shoni Wilkinson were invited to a panel discussion on Intimacy Coordination at Industry Focus 2019. 

2019 - 'Gentleman Jack' airs, the first BBC programme to use an intimacy coordinator (Ita O'Brien).

2019, 2020 - Channel 4 follows BBC and uses intimacy coordinators on short "The Diary of My Broken Vagina" (Enric Ortuno) and on TV programme 'Adult Material' (Yarit Dor).  

2019/2020 - Yarit Dor becomes the first to be credited as Intimacy Director in the West End for 'Death of A Salesman'.  

2019/2020 - IDI-UK's Adelaide Waldrop & Robbie Taylor-Hunt start teaching intimacy across the various courses and create a curriculum for LAMDA. 

2020 - SAG-AFTRA and ACTRA unions come out with their guidelines for nudity & simulation on set. 

2020 - "Intimacy Directors International" rebrands as 'Intimacy Directors & Coordinators'.  

2020 - Chelsea Pace publishes the first book on intimacy for the stage - "Staging Sex".

2020 - Ann James opens 'Intimacy Directors of Colour' (IDOC) in the USA.

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