Travis Preston is an internationally celebrated director of theater and opera. His groundbreaking production of King Lear inaugurated the CalArts Center for New Performance. Staged in six locations within the massive factory spaces of the Brewery Arts Complex in downtown Los Angeles, Preston’s Lear challenged traditional interpretations of the play by employing a staging area of environmental proportions, unconventional uses of technology, an all-female cast, and a gripping post-modern aesthetic. Other projects include Bell Solaris with David Rosenboom, Macbeth starring Stephen Dillane (subsequently performed at the Almeida Theatre in London and at the Sydney and Adelaide Festivals in Australia), Ah! Opera, Brewsie and Willie with the Poor Dog Group, Prometheus Bound starring Ron Cephas Jones (in partnership with the Getty Villa), and Fantomas: Revenge of the Image – which had its world premiere at the Wuzhen Theatre Festival in China in 2017.
Other professional credits include The Master Builder at the Almeida Theater in London (with Stephen Dillane and Gemma Arterton), Boris Godounov, and a highly controversial production of Luigi Nono’s Al Gran Sole Carico D’Amore (both at the Hamburg State Opera), as well as directing the opening gala performance at the Libeskind’s Jewish Museum in Berlin. Last year, Preston directed Sam Shepard’s Buried Child for the 40th anniversary season of the Hong Kong Repertory Theater. He was awarded Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters by the French Minister of Culture for “contributions to the arts in France and throughout the world.”
His work in the United States includes the world premiere of Democracy in America at the Yale Repertory Theater; the American premiere of Buero-Vallejo’s The Sleep of Reason at Center Stage; the world premiere of Ted Tally’s Terra Nova at the Yale Repertory Theater; and the American Premiere of Roberto Zucco by Bernard-Marie Koltès. In collaboration with The Private Theater, Travis Preston created The Last American in Paris. He has been a Resident Director at the American Repertory Theater in Cambridge, as well as an Associate Artist at the Yale Repertory Theatre and Center Stage.
Travis is Dean and Head of Directing at the CalArts School of Theater.
Rachel has been working in performance and public programming as a producer, curator, and administrator for more than a decade. She most recently served as Managing Director of Los Angeles Performance Practice, in addition to six years as part of the producing team for the annual Los Angeles Exchange (LAX) Festival.
From 2016-2018, she directed the City of Redondo Beach’s Cultural Arts Division, overseeing its performing arts center, municipal public art program. She fundraised and produced for the Music Center between 2010-2016, helping to launch LA’s Grand Park. Her dance, theater, and new music producing credits include Ragnar Kjartansson’s BLISS, Los Angeles Philharmonic Association’s Fluxus Festival, L.A. Contemporary Dance Company’s The Only Constant and FAM, Okwui Okpokwasili’s Poor People’s TV Room, Milka Djordevich’s ANTHEM, The Wilderness’ The Day Shall Declare It, Descanso Garden’s SILENCE, and many more. She has produced site-specific opera, notably The Industry’s widely-acclaimed Invisible Cities and HOPSCOTCH in more than 20 various sites in and around Los Angeles.
She holds a B.A. in Public Relations and Advertising from the Dodge College of Film and Media Arts at Chapman University, an M.A. in Performance Curation from Wesleyan University, and is the recipient of the 2018 Sam Miller Prize for Best Thesis for her writing about alternative feminist practices in performance.
Abby Marcus is a producer, general manager, and consultant. With CNP Abby has produced The Hendrix Project (Under the Radar Festival, Segerstrom Center for the Arts), Nightwalk in the Chinese Garden (Huntington Library and Gardens), and The Carolyn Bryant Project (REDCAT).
Abby was the Managing Director and Lead Producer for the OBIE Award winning company, Vampire Cowboys. There, she produced the critically acclaimed productions of The Inexplicable Redemption of Agent G (which transferred Off-Broadway in co-production with Ma-Yi Theatre Company), Alice in Slasherland, Soul Samurai (GLAAD Media Award nominee), and many more.
Abby worked with St. Ann’s Warehouse as their Director of Finance during their $32M capital campaign for, and eventual move to, their permanent home in the Tobacco Warehouse in Brooklyn Bridge Park. She has previously served as the General Manager/Interim Managing Director for the Playwrights’ Center in Minneapolis, the Managing Director for the Dramatists’ Guild of America, the General Manager for HERE Arts Center, the Company Manager for LAByrinth Theater Company, and the Director of Finance for Baryshnikov Arts Center.
Abby also works as the Managing Director of the Orchard Project, a summer artist residency program in Saratoga Springs, NY and with A + A Arts Consultants to aid small non-profits with strategic planning, organizational structure, institutional support, and financial management. She holds an MA in Performing Arts Administration from NYU, and a BA in Drama from Ithaca College. Abby is on the Creative Producing and Management faculty at the CalArts School of Theater.
Marissa Chibas is a writer, performer, filmmaker, and recipient of the TCG Fox Fellowship in Distinguished Achievement. For CNP/Duende CalArts, Marissa’s solo show Daughter of a Cuban Revolutionary premiered at REDCAT, and has toured the U.S., Europe, and Mexico. The script is included in the Routledge Press second edition of Contemporary Plays by Women of Color. She conceived and wrote Shelter, which premiered in April 2016 in Lincoln Park, performed at the Kennedy Center, and in Fall 2018 was presented in Mexico City as part of an international theater conference. Shelter was subsequently published by NoPassport Press.
She directed the documentary film version of the play, titled Finding Shelter, which screened at the 2019 Segal Center International Film Festival in NYC as well as the San Diego Latino Film Festival. Marissa co-adapted the award winning CNP/Poor Dog Group production of Brewsie and Willie, which was presented at the 2011 RADAR LA Festival. She also played Edgar in CNP’s inaugural production of King Lear, which premiered at the Brewery in Downtown Los Angeles, and was subsequently presented in France.
Marissa has acted in over 50 productions on and off Broadway, including The Keening by Umberto Dorado (ART in Boston), Two Sisters and a Piano by Nilo Cruz (McCarter), The House of Bernarda Alba and Eduardo Machado’s The Floating Island Plays (Mark Taper Forum) and Robert Wilson’s Danton’s Death (Alley Theater). On Broadway, she performed in Abe Lincoln in Illinois and Brighton Beach Memoirs, and has a number of additional Off-Broadway and regional credits.
Marissa is on the Acting faculty at the CalArts School of Theater.
Amanda Shank is a writer, artist, and educator based in Los Angeles, California. With a multidisciplinary practice rooted in the interplay between text, image, and performance, Amanda has developed numerous projects with CalArts Center for New Performance, the National New Play Network, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the Henson Foundation, Circle X Theatre, The Industry, the Prototype Festival, Los Angeles Performance Practice’s LAX Festival, and many more. She has presented work at venues such as the Ace Hotel DTLA, the Hammer Museum and Automata Arts. As a playwright, her work has been published in the U.S. and translated internationally.
Amanda has also worked extensively as a dramaturg, helping to develop both traditional and experimental performance works on a national and international scale. She frequently pursues alternative methods of dramaturgical investigation, such as visual dramaturgy, opening pathways of engagement into a diverse range of performative modalities. Recent CNP projects include Travis Preston and Tom Gunning’s Fantômas: Revenge of the Image, which had its world premiere at the Wuzhen Theatre Festival and Nightwalk in the Chinese Garden, writer-director Stan Lai’s site-specific collaboration with CNP and The Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens.
Amanda received her BFA in Writing, Literature & Publishing from Emerson College and her MFA in Writing for Performance from California Institute of the Arts (CalArts). Amanda is on the faculty and serves as Assistant Dean at the CalArts School of Theater.
Chi-wang Yang is a Los Angeles-based theater director and interdisciplinary artist. His work spans storytelling platforms (plays, concerts, installation, etc.) to expand notions of identity and explore the unstable intersections of body, narrative, and technology.
His CNP credits include directing Vineland Staele (composed by Sandeep Bhagwati), co-curator for TEDxCalArts, company director for What to Wear (directed by Richard Foreman), and an Artist In Residence workshop.
Chi-wang is a founding member and co-artistic director of video performance collective Cloud Eye Control. His work has been presented at theaters, museums, and festivals internationally, including at REDCAT, SFMOMA, Fusebox Festival, Time-Based Arts Festival, San Francisco International Film Festival, EXIT Festival (France), Santiago a Mil (Chile), Manipulate (Scotland), Havana Film Festival, and the Edinburgh Fringe.
Chi-wang received his MFA in Theater Directing and Integrated Media at CalArts, and his BA from Brown University. Chi-wang is on the Performance faculty at the CalArts School of Theater. http://mysteriously.org
Paul Turbiak is an actor, writer, teaching artist, communicator, and arts administrator. He has worked with CalArts Center for New Performance since 2012, supporting its artists and administrative team, and helping facilitate communication between the many people, projects, CalArts community stakeholders, and general public across all platforms.
As a performer, Paul has appeared onstage all over Los Angeles and beyond, including The Geffen Playhouse, Pasadena Playhouse, Los Angeles Theatre Center, the Garry Marshall Theatre, Colony Theatre, Independent Shakespeare Company, Bootleg, Rogue Artists Ensemble, Actors Co-op, A Noise Within, Sacred Fools, North Coast Repertory Theatre, East West Players, Los Angeles Performance Practice, Son of Semele, Theatre of NOTE, Will Geer’s Theatricum Botanicum, and REDCAT.
He also has a number of film and commercial credits. His voice work can be heard in over 30 feature films. Most recently, he appeared in the 2019 short film Evie, which has screened at multiple film festivals across the country.
Paul holds a BA in Theater from Gordon College, and an MFA in Acting from California Institute of the Arts. He is the Senior Administrative Assistant at the CalArts School of Theater.