Marissa Chibas is a performer, writer, and educator who has worked in a wide variety of theatrical forms for over two decades. Her American premieres as an actor include; the co-production with The Center for New Performance at CalArts and INTAR of her one woman show Daughter of a Cuban Revolutionary at the REDCAT Theater in Los Angeles and the Lehman Theater in Miami.
In Fall 2009 Marissa will present the Spanish language version of her show at the Gudelajara book festival in Mexico. Other American premieres include, The Keening, a one woman play by Columbian playwright Umberto Dorado at the American Repertory Theater in Boston, The Predator’s Ball directed and choreographed by Carol Armitage at Brooklyn Academy of Music, Democracy in America at the Yale Rep directed by Travis Preston, Judgment Day by Odon von Horvath at Baltimore Center Stage directed by Jackson Phippin, and Two sisters and a Piano at the McCarter theater directed by Brian Kulick. On Broadway Marissa played opposite Sam Waterston in Abe Lincoln in Illinois directed by Gerry Gutierrez, and was Nora in Brighton Beach Memoirs directed by Gene Saks. She played Pilar in the West Coast premiere of Sonia Flew at the Laguna Playhouse. Marissa was Julie Danton in Robert Wilson’s production of Danton’s Death at the Alley Theater in Houston. Her New York premieres include Eric Overmeyer’s Dark Rapture at New York Stage and Film, A.R. Gurney’s Another Antigone and Overtime at Playwright’s Horizons and Manhattan Theater Club respectively, and Hurricane at Classic Stage Company directed by Barry Edelstein. At the Mark Taper Forum Marissa played in all four of Eduardo Machado’s Floating Island Plays directed by Oscar Eustis and The House of Bernarda Alba directed by Lisa Peterson.
In 2002 Marissa played Edgar in the Center For New Performance at CalArts’ inaugural production of King Lear at the Brewery in Downtown Los Angeles, and at the Frictions Festival of Dijon in 2003. Marissa participated in the Sundance Theater labs of 1997, 1998 and 2004 where among her roles there she played Eva Luna in the dance/theater bi-lingual version of the Stories of Eva Luna directed and choreographed by Della Davidson as well as the first workshop of Jessica Haegedorn’s Dogeater’s.
Marissa has been seen on television in Law and Order and FEDS. On film she appeared in Lewis Klahr’s The Speed of Turqoise which played at MOMA, Getting Away with Murder with Dan Ackroyd, and Henry Fool directed by Hal Hartley.
Marissa has been an active participant as a director and actor with the 52nd Street Project, an organization devoted to uniting professional artists with inner city kids in the New York area in order to create theater. Marissa is head of the MFA Acting program at CalArts and director of the bi-lingual inititative Teatro Calarts. Other educational experience includes teaching acting at the Harvard Summer Program, and at NYU Playwrights Horizons Theater School for 5 years. Marissa has performed and worked with Junior and High School students in both the Manhattan Theater Club’s and Manhattan Class Company’s youth initiatives and led workshops at Promoteo Theater in Miami, Teatro Jornalero sin Fronteras in Los Angeles, Interlochen Arts school in Michigan, CENART Theater School in Mexico City, and New World High School of the Arts in Miami. She has served on panels at the Mark Taper Forum, the Department of Cultural Affairs in LA, the 2009 TCG conference, the Rockefeller MAP Fund Theater panel of 2007 and at CalArts. Marissa is on the board of Blank the Dog Theater, Automata, and the Loz Feliz Charter School for the Arts. Marissa conceived and directed Siete Cuentos in 2009 at Calarts, a collaboration between the CalArts Theater and Music schools. Other CalArts credits include – adapting and directing The Writer on her Work based on the books by Janet Sternburg, The Three Sisters, The Cherry Orchard, The Walls Have Ears, and Life is a Dream.