Reclaiming Joy: A Tropical Retreat for Actors & Teachers of Acting

Puntarenas Province, Puerto Jiménez, Costa Rica

10 reviews
May 8 - 14, 2022
Group size: 6 - 25
Reclaiming Joy: A Tropical Retreat for Actors & Teachers of Acting
Puntarenas Province, Puerto Jiménez, Costa Rica

10 reviews

May 8 - 14, 2022
Group size: 6 - 25

About this trip

Join Acting Masters Hugh O'Gormon (Head of Acting, CSULB, Praxis Acting Studio), Bruce Avery (Prof. of Acting., SFSU, Artistic Director Bread & Butter Theatre Co.), Lana Palmer (Director, Playwright, Managing Director Bread & Butter Theatre Co.) and Jenna Davi (Host, Yoga, Chakras) for a week of RECLAIMING JOY in the beautiful tropical jungle of COSTA RICA as we reconnect to our creative spirit and recharge our artistic soul!

We have come together to bring you a JOY PACKED week of Michael Chekhov technique, body psychology, artistic expression, daily yoga & meditation, networking, bonding and more.

In between sessions we have plenty of adventures for you and time to relax to really let that JOY sink in! Upriver trek to the secret waterfalls with mineral mud, pristine white sand beaches, local artesian market, dip in the pool or lay in your hammock with a script as you watch the monkeys swing past the deck of your jungle cabin (which has all the comforts and amenities of home)!

This all inclusive retreat is for actors, acting teachers and anyone looking to expand their artistic and physical expression through the practice of the Chekhov Technique, yoga and other acting modalities with Master Teachers along with the unique opportunity of integrating these skills in the tropical jungle of Costa Rica!


We cannot wait to share this experience with you!! Please do not hesitate to reach out if you have any questions!

- Jenna, Lana, Bruce & Hugh

If you have any questions please reach out to Jenna at


You will enjoy 2 acting sessions, yoga and meditation every day. In between sessions you are free to explore the lush jungle,  soak in that VitD on the beach, book a massage - whatever you want! Enjoy it!
Skills you will reactivate & develop  

  • Michael Chekhov technique and other acting modalities 
  • Character development
  • Improvisation
  • Emotional access & intelligence 
  • Archetypal exploration
  • Expanding imagination & higher consciousness
  • Creative fluidity
  • Mind/body connection & energetics
  • Yoga & Meditation
  • Movement, stamina, flexibility & strength
  • and more

Themes we will explore together

  • The Body & Its Psychology
  • Higher Self & The Creative Spirit
  • The Intangible Means of Expression
  • Awakening the Creative State
  • Nurturing Artistic Freedom



Hugh O'Gorman (Michael Chekhov Acting Technique, Creative Potential Work)

Hugh O’Gorman is an actor, director, author and teaching-artist active in professional theatre for over 30 years. Since 2002 he has been the Head of Acting at California State University Long Beach where he oversees the BA, BFA and MFA actor training programs. Hugh is the author of “Acting Action: a primer for actors” and “The Keys to Acting”. He is a faculty member of MICHA: the Michael Chekhov Association, as well as MCE Michael Chekhov Europe, and runs his own acting studio in Los Angeles, The Praxis Studio. He is a Co-Executive Director of the National Alliance of Acting Teachers. Hugh has appeared on Broadway, Off-Broadway, Off-Off-Broadway and at over a dozen of the nation’s most respected Regional Theatres and Shakespeare Festivals. He is a founding member of New York City’s Mint Theatre Company (2002 Drama DeskAward). Hugh portrayed Jeff Singer on AMC’s critically acclaimed, Emmy and Cable Ace award-winning show Remember WENN (SAG Award nomination). Other television: HBO’s Golden Globe and Emmy Award winning John Adams, for CBS Still Standing, That’s Life, and for NBC The 10th Kingdom, Law & Order and ER. Film:Killers, Upstate, The Bend. Hugh earned a BA from Hugh earned a BA from Cornell and MFA in Acting from the University of Washington.

Bruce Avery (Michael Chekhov Acting Technique, Movement)

Bruce Avery is a San Francisco actor, director, and Artistic Director of Bread & Butter Theatre Co.  His PhD is from UC Santa Cruz, where he also worked as Dramaturge for Shakespeare Santa Cruz.  His recent directing credits include Pericles, Prince of Tyre and Much Ado About Nothing at SFSU, along with the world premiere of Funeral Game, As You Like It, and A Midsummer Night's Dream for Bread & Butter Theatre Co.  Acting credits include Danielson in The North Pool, Rothko in Red, (Bread & Butter Theatre Co) Peter Quince in Midsummer, Polonius in Hamlet, Old Capulet in Romeo & Juliet, and Dennis Shepard in The Laramie Project.  He has written articles on Joyce, Shakespeare, Marlowe, Kipling, and the pedagogy of Shakespeare. He is trained in the Michael Chekhov Technique, the Meisner Technique, Suzuki Movement, and stage combat.

Lana Palmer (Michael Chekhov Acting Technique, Artistic Direction)

Lana Palmer is a Canadian-born, San Francisco-based director, writer, actor, and sound designer. Her directing credits include Red and The North Pool (Bread & Butter Theatre), The How & The Why (Dragon Theatre), and Middletown (Actors Ensemble of Berkeley), and short works and staged readings with the SF Olympians Festival, Playwrights’ Center of San Francisco, and Town Hall Theatre. Several of her plays have received highly acclaimed staged readings at prestigious production houses and her full-length play Funeral Game was produced by Bread & Butter Theatre in January 2020. Her recent sound design credits include the regional premiere of Schoolgirls, Or, The African Mean Girls Play (Kansas City Rep), the world premiere of The Daughters (SF Playhouse), Bull in a China Shop (Aurora Theatre), and The Humans (San Jose Stage), as well as sound and original music for Cinderella: A Fairy Tale (Town Hall Theatre). She holds a BFA in Film Production and BA in Film Studies from the University of Regina, and a Graduate Certificate in Audio Post-Production from Fanshawe College. She is an alumna of the UCLA Professional Programs in Screenwriting and Television Writing, the RIFF Talent Lab, and the Canada Games National Artist Program. Lana is a proud member of SAG-AFTRA, AEA, and the Dramatists Guild.

Jenna Davi

Jenna is an international yoga teacher and retreat leader specializing in the Chakras and transformational experiences. She is the creator of the Chakra Codes, a system of self-realization and spiritual development and has traveled the world teaching Chakra psychology, archetypal imprinting and energetic movement. Through her teachings her students have received a deeper perspective of themselves, revealing their unique coding and purpose, accessing creativity and guiding them in experiencing higher levels of consciousness and spiritual awakening.  In her spare time she continues to give Chakra Code readings, writes literature and music, pursues an acting and musical career and is an avid surfer. She cannot wait for you to have this transformational experience with us in Costa Rica! // @Chakra.Codes




* 6 nights shared (2-4 ppl) or private accommodation

* 3 fresh & health conscious meals daily (including delicious 3 course dinners)

* Coffee & tea all day

* R/T taxi service from/to Puerto Jimenez to Encanta la Vida Lodge

* Daily maid service


* Daily yoga & meditation with Jenna

* 2 Group Acting Sessions each day with one or a combo of the acting facilitators (Hugh, Bruce, Lana)

* Collective celebration to seal our time together

* Plenty of time for relaxation and integration 


* Guided hike upriver to the secret falls with mineral mud

* Night hike adventure

* Local artesian market & dance party at Martina's Bar

* unlimited hiking, exploring, surfing, hammock-ing & beach-combing 

*Closing ceremony with bonfire on the beach


Sample Schedule

6:30a - Coffee & Tea, Fruit, Granola & Yoghurt available

7:15a -9:30a - yoga & meditation w/ Jenna &

morning acting session w/ Hugh

10a -Breakfast

11:30a - Guided hike up-river for mother natures "spa "day" w/ Jenna

1:30p - Lunch & free time

4 - 6:15p - Evening acting session w/ Bruce & Lana

6:30pm - Dinner & evening announcements 

8pm - Evening pow wow, star-gazing and story telling

Free Time, Excursions, Spa Services

Waterfalls, unlimited hiking and beach combing, animal spotting, sunbathing, journaling, hammock-ing, wildlife spotting, enjoy a spa service, book an excursion, relax by the soft salt water pool and enjoy a refreshing specialty drink, experience a surf lesson... tons of adventure and relaxing to be had! 

Available for add-on

- Waterfall Rappelling and Tree climbing is a guest favorite! Guaranteed smiles and adrenaline rush!

- Surf Lessons with Pollo Surf School - This is a must do in Costa Rica!

- Horseback riding - an absolute heart warming experience riding horseback through the jungle and on the beach

- Zip-lining, chocolate tours and guided wildlife spotting tours also available

- 60, 90 & 120 minute massages available



1. Fly into San Jose International Airport, Costa Rica (SJO)

2. Take a charter plane to Puerto Jimenez, Costa Rica (40-45 mins) *After deposit and registration is received you will be given contact information of a travel assistant who will help you book the connecting charter plane 

3. A taxi will be waiting for you to take you to the Retreat Center (45-50 mins) (Taxi to/from lodge from the Puerto Jimenez airport is included)


- Look up flights under a 'private browser' to prevent mysterious price increases

- Reasonable RT flights to Costa Rica from San Francisco are around $400-600.

- RT Charter Plane flights range from $300 and up 

FAQ's, Packing List & Additional Information is included in the information packets which will be emailed to you once your deposit is received. 


- Flights & Charter Plane 

- Any other transportation or lodging outside of the retreat dates and RT Taxi to/from Retreat Center

- Travel Insurance

- Specialty & Alcoholic Beverages

- Excursions, Spa Services & any other purchases made outside of All Inclusive Retreat Package which is listed above.

- Board Rentals

- Laundry Service

- Lodging gratuities. They advise $10-15/day per person.  These gratuities are to be distributed evenly between entire Costa Rican staff: hotel and reservations, the Chef, kitchen staff, bartender, serving staff, gardener, security and maid service.


Location: Encanta la Vida is a luxury jungle resort, located in Cabo Matapalo on the Osa Peninsula of Costa Rica which is  home to the Corcovado National Park and is one of the most biologically diverse places on earth. There is one dirt road through Matapalo and a few local and ex-pats have homes scattered and hidden within the jungle foliage. There are no street lamps or power lines. All properties run off their own generator. You will truly be experiencing the jungle life.

Surrounding Area: The lodge is about a 40 minute taxi ride through the Jungle to the closest town, Puerto Jimenez. There are a few tourist and local clothing shops, grocery store, pharmacy and an emergency room. You would need to take a flight out from Puerto Jimenez to get to a general hospital. The emergency room in Puerto Jimenez is quick and efficient. Jenna knows as she was treated for staph infection there a few years ago, which if left misdiagnosed or not treated with efficiency could have been deadly. Martina’s, the only restaurant and bar in Matapalo, serves delicious food and holds a local arts and crafts market every Friday. It’s fun to stay afterwards and dance too!

The Yoga Deck: We will have the pleasure of having our sessions on one of the most beautiful yoga decks in the world! The two-story 36 x 33 foot yoga shala is breath taking – located at the beach under the rainforest canopy and overlooks the crystal blue waters of the “Golfo Dulce” – the ideal place for a unique yoga experience. You do not need to bring a mat as the yoga deck is equipped with mats, blankets, blocks and straps however feel free to bring your own mat and props if you wish.

Accommodations: Your rooms are tucked in along the tropical garden paths. All guest accommodations are furnished with top quality mattresses, linens, lights, fans, mosquito nets, a safe, bathrooms and hot water. Guests will enjoy the comfort of private patios and balconies set up with rockers, hammocks adding to a relaxing ambiance. Each room is shared (3-4 people) with a limited availability for a private room. Shared rooms are mixed with queen and twin beds.  Beds will be assigned on arrival on a first come first pick basis.

Food: Encanta hosts several retreats throughout the year and understands that groups enjoy a healthy and sometimes very specific diet. They have developed a menu with something for every taste and dietary need. There is a section for specific dietary needs on your registration form. Tea and coffee is available all day, breakfast, lunch and a 3 course dinner every night.

Spa: Enjoy a spa treatment, acupuncture (subject to availability) or therapeutic massage by one of Encanta la Vida’s professional spa specialists.

Surf and the Beaches: There are 3 perfect right point breaks within walking distance from the Lodge. Pan Dulce, which sits in front of the Yoga Shala is arguably one of the longest right point breaks in Costa Rica and perfect for absolute beginners learning how to pop up to advanced surfers practicing turns and tricks. Please note, due to the turbulence of the water, it is not suitable for snorkeling. However sunbathing and swimming at beautiful Backwash is the ultimate paradise. If you are new to surfing but want to learn the lodge can arrange a surf lesson with Pollo Surf School.  

Other Activities: Adventures are plentiful in Matapalo and surrounding areas. Waterfall rappelling, Matapalo tree climbing, hiking and wildlife spotting. Our day off is perfect for a longer excursion such as ziplining through the rainforest canopy, jungle hikes to waterfalls,  horseback riding and surfing or day trip to Carate to hang out at the remote black sand beaches. Or simply kick back and relax on your hammock with a book. All activities are subject to availability.

Wi-Fi & Electricity: Being so deep in the jungle internet is not the fastest, however it is still available in the office area. Please note that the wi-fi may not be strong during certain weather conditions or if too many guests are on it at once. We encourage everyone to take advantage of this time to be away from technology and truly immerse yourself in the jungle life.  


By submitting a deposit you agree to the following refund/cancellation policy:

Payment Schedule

1.  $500 non-refundable deposit upon registration

2. JANUARY 7th, 2022 - 50% of your balance due 

3. APRIL 1st, 2022 - 100% balance due 


- AFTER JAN 7th 2022 -  50% of current funds paid credited towards future retreat, minus $500 deposit . 

- AFTER APRIL 1st, 2022 - No refunds 

SANSA FLIGHTS (Costa Rica Domestic Flights)

There are NO refunds however you can use your credit up to one year.  We suggest not buying these flights until 3-4 months before the retreat start date and when you are 100% confirmed of your attendance. 

COVID Information


Last updated: 1/11/2022
***   Effective December 6, 2021, all airline passengers to the United States ages two years and older, regardless of vaccination status or citizenship, must provide a negative COVID-19 viral test taken within one calendar day of travel.  Alternatively, travelers to the United States may provide documentation from a licensed health care provider of having recovered from COVID-19 in the 90 days preceding travel.  Check the CDC website for additional information and Frequently Asked Questions.

This means, in order to enter back into the United States you have to have a negative covid test within 24hours of boarding your flight. GOOD NEWS the airport will have a covid testing center but you have to make sure you have 4 hours before your flight so there is enough time to take the test and wait for the results:

Laboratorio Echandi is offering COVID-19 rapid antigen testing onsite at Juan Santamaria International Airport (SJO) in San Jose and Daniel Obuder Quiros International Airport in Liberia (LIR). Passengers should plan to arrive at least four hours prior to their flights and must present airline tickets at the time of testing. Follow this link ( for additional information.
Test results are generally delivered via email.

Familiarize yourself with info here:

**** Once you register you will get an info packet detailing how to book your flights. Review this first before booking anything***

WHEN BOOKING YOUR RETURN FLIGHT HOME make sure the return flight is in the later afternoon or evening as you will need at least a 4 hour window. This way when you arrive at the airport in the morning, you will have plenty of time to take the test and await your results before you board.


As of August 1, 2021

* It is your responsibility to stay up to date with the latest changes and requirements*

The measure takes effect starting August 1, 2021. As of that date, minors (under 18) and those who are fully vaccinated can enter Costa Rica as tourists without purchasing a travel health insurance policy.

In order to qualify, adults must:

  • Have received an approved vaccine: Moderna, Pfizer, AstraZeneca, or Johnson & Johnson.
  • The last dose of the schedule must have been administered at least 14 days before entering Costa Rica.
  • Proof must be demonstrated with a document that includes the person’s full name, date of each dose, formula, and lot number.
    • For U.S. visitors, the Covid-19 vaccination record card meets the requirement.


Entry requirements in times of a COVID-19 pandemic

The entrance to Costa Rica is enabled for tourists from all the countries of the world by air, land and sea.

The Government of the Republic does not require coronavirus detection tests, nor does it issue sanitary confinement orders to enter the country by air or land.

Tourists visiting Costa Rica are requested to abide by the sanitary protocols in place for carrying out all tourist activities in the country.

Country entry requirements

Tourists can verify if they require entry with or without a visa at the following link:

In the framework of the pandemic, the following requirements were also established:

  1. Complete the digital form called HEALTH PASS and available at
    The Health Pass can only be completed within 72 hours of arriving in the country. It must be accessed in updated browsers with the exception of Internet Explorer. One form must be completed per person, including minors, without exception.
  2. Travel policy
    * Important update for minors and individuals who are fully vaccinated *
    As of August 1, 2021, all tourists under 18 years of age can enter the country without a travel policy.
    As of August 1, 2021, all tourists who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and inoculated with Moderna, Pfizer-BioNTech, AstraZeneca or Johnson & Johnson can enter the country without a travel policy. The last dose of the vaccine must have been applied at least 14 days before arrival in Costa Rica.
    Vaccinated tourists must attach the vaccination certificate to the Health Pass. As proof, vaccination certificates and vaccination cards that contain at least the following information will be accepted:
    1. Name of the person who received the vaccine

    2. Date of each dose

    3. Pharmaceutical house
    In the case of U.S. travelers, the "COVID-19 vaccination record card" will be accepted.

    Tourists not vaccinated, with incomplete vaccination or vaccinated with a serum other than those admitted by the Costa Rican authorities, must purchase mandatory travel insurance that covers lodging in case of quarantine and medical expenses due to COVID-19 disease as detailed below.

International Policies

Regarding the policy, you can choose any international insurance company that meets the following

1. Valid during the entire stay in Costa Rica (coverage dates).

2. $50,000 for medical expenses, including COVID-19 disease.

3. $2,000 for lodging expenses in case of COVID-19 quarantine.

Ask your insurance company for a certificate/letter in English or Spanish stating the following:

1. Name of the person traveling.

2. Validity of the effective policy during the Costa Rica visit (travel dates).

3. Guarantee of coverage for medical expenses in case of COVID 19 in Costa Rica, for at least $50,000

4. Minimum coverage of $2,000 for lodging expenses for quarantine or trip interruption for this same amount.

This certificate must specify that the policy covers COVID-19 and must be uploaded to the HEALTH PASS to be reviewed and approved by the Costa Rican authorities. Insurance cards are not accepted, it must be a document that allows the verification of the coverage mentioned.

Costa Rican policies

The tourist can also choose any of the following Costa Rican insurance companies, which sell products registered and authorized by the General Superintendency of Insurance of Costa Rica.



BlueCross BlueShield: 

IMPORTANT: For international policies, the minimum coverage was set at $50,000, while for policies sold by Costa Rican insurers the minimum was set at $20,000.


Entry by air or land - In case of questions or concerns about the requirements or conditions of medical insurance, write to the email address

Available Packages


3 - 4 people per Cabina.

Prices are per person

There are single and double beds. No bed assignments. First come, first serve.

Limited availability

Deposit: $500

2 people per Cabina.

Prices are per person

There are single and double beds. No bed assignments. First come, first serve.

Limited availability

Deposit: $500

1 person

Limited availability

Deposit: $500
EARLY BIRD: Triple - Quad

3 - 4 people per Cabina.

Prices are per person

There are single and double beds. No bed assignments. First come, first serve.

Limited availability

Deposit: $500

2 people per Cabina.

Prices are per person

There are single and double beds. No bed assignments. First come, first serve.

Limited availability

Deposit: $500

1 person

Limited availability

Deposit: $500

3 - 4 people per Cabina.

Prices are per person

There are single and double beds. No bed assignments. First come, first serve.

Limited availability

Deposit: $500

2 people per cabina

Prices are per person

There are single and double beds. No bed assignments. First come, first serve.

Limited availability

Deposit: $500

1 Person

Limited availability

Deposit: $500


Day 1

Reclaiming Joy begins!

After you fly into San Jose International Airport you will take a 12 seater charter plane down to the Osa Peninsula - an adventure in it's own! Once you land a taxi will be waiting for you where you will take a 45 mins drive through the jungle to your new home for the week: Encanta la Vida Eco Lodge!

Feel free to take a dip in the pool, take a walk on the beach or relax in your hammock until it is time to meet on the Yoga Deck for our opening ceremony! 

Your Organizer

10 reviews
The Actor’s Odyssey is an exclusive, week-long, transformational immersion, strategically set in awe-inspiring, energetically potent, nature destinations around the world. Our program is designed to liberate your creativity by moving you beyond what you think you are capable of achieving and connecting you to a renewed, refined and deeper relationship to your artistic self. Each ensemble is comprised of carefully chosen supportive creatives who are looking to move their work forward, reclaim joy, and seek life’s next odyssey.


I had the trip of a lifetime! This program by Fay Simpson, creator of The Lucid Body, was everything I imagined it to be - plus some! We had yoga and acting training twice daily. I learned so much and left with a very toned body, a new level of self realization and characterization. This was an intense program, presented with such skill and intention. Additionally, everything was so perfectly organized. The people at the lodge were all very friendly, attentive, and knowledgeable. The food prepared for us daily was delicious, artfully presented, and low in calories. It was all fresh and natural, no GMOs. The natural fruit and vegetable drinks were refreshing and healthy. There was a re known bartender at the bar who made milkshakes and other drinks; non-alcohol as well as alcohol. There were a sufficient amount of activities and massages to partake of, in addition to the yoga and training calendar already programmed and anticipated. Simply being in the jungle and experiencing nature in this way made the purpose of the trip so fascinating and unique. The air is clean, beaches are near, and the jungle is very lush. Anyone who missed this, missed out!
By Sandra L for DEVISING WILD, a Lucid Body Retreat on Jul 04, 2023
Transformative! The schedule flowed perfectly combining deep class work, relaxation, and enriching experiences. The venue was fantastic, a perfect taste of local life.
By Mary J for DEVISING WILD, a Lucid Body Retreat on Jul 03, 2023
I had an amazing retreat, just what I needed. A lot of reflection, laughter, crying, dancing, rejoicing and eating well. Thank you Hugh and Jenna for a life changing experience! Shona
By Shona T for Actors & Artists go Off-Grid in COSTA RICA! on Jun 22, 2023
BEST EXPERIENCE EVER! Amazing self acting sessions for unblocking creativity and your inner artist! Amazing Yoga Sessions to get your body right were it needs to be and chakra alignments! All of this in the most beautiful rainforest surroundings! Hope to come back next year! Love you Hugh and Jenna!
By Felipe H for Actors & Artists go Off-Grid in COSTA RICA! on Jun 18, 2023
I was hoping to learn something new and apply it for the duration of the week so it is in my body, mind and heart! I absolutely achieved it 200% with the help of all teachers!
By Eugenia C for Reclaiming Joy: A Tropical Retreat for Actors & Teachers of Acting on Jul 04, 2022
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