School of Theater
Students talk about the Center for New Performance
Max Eugene, MFA, Acting, 2005
I chose CalArts because it showed diversity. Now here I am in France, because of CalArts and CNP. I find myself playing in the National Theatre, something I have always dreamed of since I was a kid in Haiti. I am part of history, and I am making history. I am forever grateful.
Ayana Hampton, MFA, Acting, 2005
It has been a great gift to be able to jump straight from CalArts into a Center for New Performance production. In a performance like this everyone is individually professional, so the ensemble grows in a different way. Each person has earned their own right to be in this particular space in time.
Erik Holden, MFA, Technical Direction, 2005
Working with the CNP has been a really unique experience for me in a variety of ways that have been really key in how I have developed as an artist and as a technician and in what I see is my role and my voice in the theatrical world. I came to CalArts looking for an international voice, knowing that the need for theatre to be expressed internationally and for all of us to move into a more international scene together, that was important for me and at the same time to know who I was within that, so the CNP has really been able to push me through that, I have been able to find myself a little bit through the CNP.
My first show at CalArts and the CNP was Peach Bossom and having that kind of international sense right away that what we were doing was big, what we were doing was interesting to people, and to work with a Chinese director just confirmed the choice immediately for me.
And now moving through France with this show has validated not only the kind of art form that we’ve created here but also the sensibilities, the mission that the CNP is trying to define itself with. That is special for me, and it’s special for the people who are still at CalArts to know that this kind of opportunity is available to them – knowing that it is a community we are creating that goes beyond just a theatre community. We are international artists, and we are here to not only show ourselves to each other but to express ourselves to a world wide scene, that is incredible and unique, in many ways, especially for a company that is so young. To have that art in their hands and to take that to a world stage is both unique and impressive. For me that is what the CNP has really created for me. It has allowed me to find my artistic sense and still be a technician with everything that entails and to be respected for the work that is being done.
Hilario Saavedra, MFA, Acting, 2004
Graduating and going into the professional world was a scary transition for me. CNP and the performance of 9/11 has not only helped me with the transition from student to professional but also has helped me reevaluate my own ideas about acting and how I feel about the kind of art that I want to be a part of.
There was a period after I graduated where I was lacking a direction and I think that being a part of 9/11 and the CNP has given me a new inspiration and drive. CNP has renewed my passion in a lot of ways, especially about what theater is for me personally.
Justin Schlegel, MFA, Stage Management, 2006
I believe all truly great theatre programs need a professional program to expand the knowledge base of their students. CNP at CalArts does that by integrating students and visiting artists and also by taking shows developed at CalArts into REDCAT in Los Angeles and now to France.
Jin Suh, BFA, Acting, 2004
CalArts taught me that I can be an artist and not just an actor. It also showed me that there were places like REDCAT , like CNP where I can use the skills that I have learned and the ideas that I want to express, knowing there is a place where I can see work that shares the same sensibility.
The fact that I am in Paris, doing something that I love, being part of a project that I care for so much, has meant that I get to do what I’ve always wanted to do, specifically with the type of experimental work that I have grown to love, that I have grown to be excited about, I would have not seen that happening without CalArts and CNP.
Jeff Teeter, BFA, Lighting Design, 2006
I have been extremely lucky to work with the CNP since the beginning of my time at CalArts and working with directors Chen Shi-Zheng, Robert Canterella and Carl Hancock Rux, especially having been given these opportunities as an undergraduate student. CNP has really promoted and assisted me to start my career as a lighting, sound, and video designer.