CalArts Center for New Performance

The CalArts Center for New Performance is the professional producing arm of the California Institute of the Arts. Its mission is to provide an artist and project driven framework for the development and production of original theater, music, dance and interdisciplinary projects. Artists from around the world come to CNP to develop work that expands the language, discourse, and boundaries of contemporary theater and performance. CNP supports the future of live performance by bringing these artists together with the emerging artists of the CalArts community.[1]


The Center for New Performance was founded in 1999 under the name, Center for New Theater at CalArts. The first production was a radiophonic play for electric puppet titled Theater of the Ears, created by Zaven Paré, Gregory Whitehead, Valère Novarina and Allen S. Weiss, along with a team of CalArts designers and technicians. The piece was presented in New York as part of the 2000 Henson International Festival of Puppet Theatre, in Paris at the Biennale Internationale des Arts de la Marionnette and at the 2001 Festival d’Avignon. In the Spring of 2006, the Center for New Performance (CNP) was given its present name in order to better align with its mission of developing interdisciplinary work.[2]

Productions and programming

Title Year Creative Team Venue Other Performances
Prometheus Bound 2013 Directed by Travis Preston, Translation by Joel Agee, Composed by Ellen Reid and Vinny Golia, Choreographed by Mira Kingsley, Produced in association with Trans Arts and the Getty Museum Getty Villa, Malibu, CA
TEDxCalArts 2013 Speakers and Presenters included Guillermo Gómez-Peña, The Yes Men, Nora Chipaumire, Sardano W. Kusumo, Ricardo Dominguez, Ashley Hunt, Brian Massumi and Erin Manning, Mirjana Jokovic, Killsonic, Peggy Deamer, Chris Kallmyer, Douglas Kearney, Franco Beradi Bifo, Ajay Kapur, Jeepneys, Aleshea Harris [3] REDCAT, Los Angeles
Timboctou 2012 Directed by Martín Acosta, Written by Alejandro Ricaño, In association with Duende Calarts REDCAT, Los Angeles •UDG Cultura Teatro Esperimental de Jalisco, Guadalajara, México
Brewsie and Willie 2010 Directed by Travis Preston, Written by Gertrude Stein, Adapted by Marissa Chibas, Erik Ehn and Travis Preston, Produced in association with Poor Dog Group Los Angeles •2011 RADAR LA Festival
Ah! 2009 Directed by Travis Preston in collaboration with Composer/Performer David Rosenboom and Poet Martine Bellen REDCAT, Los Angeles
Power Play and Willful Blindness 2009 Directed by Sarah Davies, Written by Margaret Heffernan, Produced in association with BBC Radio 4 Aired June 2009, United Kingdom
Smoke, Lilies and Jade 2008/09 Directed by Nataki Garrett, Written by Carl Hancock Rux, Choreographed by Colin Connor [4] California Institute of the Arts, Valencia
Vineland Stalae 2007/08 Directed by Chi-wang Yang, Composed by Sandeep Bhagwati REDCAT, Los Angeles
Daughter of a Cuban Revolutionary 2006/07 Directed by Mira Kingsley, Written by Marissa Chibas[4] REDCAT, Los Angeles •INTAR, New York

•2008 William and Joan Lehman Theater, Miami (presented in Spanish and English)

What To Wear 2006/07 Written & Directed by Richard Foreman, Composed by Michael Gordon[4] REDCAT, Los Angeles
Invisible Glass 2004/05 Directed by Janie Geiser, Written by Erik Ehn, Composed by Tom Recchion[4] REDCAT, Los Angeles
Bell Solaris: Twelve Metamorphoses in Piano Theater 2004/05 Composed by David Rosenboom and Directed by Travis Preston[4] REDCAT, Los Angeles
11 September 2001 2004/05 Directed by Robert Cantarella (National Dramatic Center of Dijon), Written by Michel Vinaver REDCAT, Los Angeles •2006 Théâtre de Colline, Paris

•2006 Frictions Festival of Théâtre Dijon Bourgogne, France
•Center Dramatique National de Montpellier, France[4]

Macbeth (A Modern Ecstasy) 2004/05 Performed by Stephen Dillane, Directed by Travis Preston, Composed by Vinny Golia REDCAT, Los Angeles •2005 Almeida Theatre, London

•2006 Adelaide Festival, Australia
•2006 Sydney Theatre, Australia[5]

Peach Blossom Fan 2003/04 Directed by Chen Shi-Zheng, Written by Edward Mast, Composed by Stephin Merritt, Guest artists Jon David Casey, David Patrick Kelly and Beijing Opera star Zhou Long REDCAT, Los Angeles
King Lear 2002/03 Directed by Travis Preston The Brewery, Los Angeles •2003 Frictions Festival of Théâtre Dijon Bourgogne, France
Listen To Me 2000 Created by visual artist Michael Counts and choreographer Ken Roht
Bad Behavior 1999 Richard Foreman and Sophie Havilad California Institute of the Arts, Valencia
Theater of the Ears 1999 Zaven Paré, Gregory Whitehead, Valère Novarina and Allen S. Weiss 2000 Henson International Festival of Puppet Theatre, New York •Biennale Internationale des Arts de la Marionnette, Paris

•2001 Festival d’Avignon, Paris[4]

Prometheus Bound

In September 2013, the Getty Museum and CNP, in association with Trans Arts, presented Prometheus Bound, the eighth annual outdoor theater production in the Getty Villa’s Barbara and Lawrence Fleischman Theater. Featuring a newly translated text by noted poet and essayist Joel Agee, Prometheus Bound was directed by Travis Preston and included original music by composer Ellen Reid and jazz multi-instrumentalist Vinny Golia (who also performed live onstage).[6] The central element of this original production of the ancient Greek drama was a mammoth steel wheel, twenty-three feet tall that was installed in the outdoor theater. As envisioned by director Preston and scenic designer Efren Delgadillo, Jr., the remote mountaintop is represented by this enormous steel wheel, to which Prometheus is strapped in the opening scene of the play. The production featured 17 cast members, including a Greek chorus of 12, all of whom climb on and off the giant wheel throughout the play.[7]


Travis Preston, Artistic Director, Dean/School of Theater Calarts

Leslie Tamaribuchi, Executive Director

David Rosenboom, Dean/The Herb Alpert School of Music Calarts [8]

Staff Emeritus: Carol Bixler (served as Producing Director 2004-2014) Susan Solt (founding Artistic Director/Producer 1999-2003)

Awards and accolades

King Lear (2003)

Brewsie and Willie (2010)

2011 MetLife/TCG A-Ha! Program grant recipient[10]

External links


Coordinates: 34°23′35″N 118°34′01″W / 34.39305556°N 118.56694444°W / 34.39305556; -118.56694444

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