A Los Angeles born native, Estela Garcia is a performer, movement coach, deviser, community engagement specialist, mask maker, teacher, and tinkerer of materials. She received her MFA from Dell'Arte in ensemble based physical theater. In addition to being Movement faculty at CalArts, Garcia is a resident teaching artist for Center Theatre Group.
Most recently, she directed and co-devised Hija de mi Madre (Daughter of my Mother), a short mask play for the Short+Sweet Hollywood Latinx festival. It won Best of Fest, Best Writing, and Best Acting awards.
Estela served as Puppetry Director for South Coast Rep’s The Long Road Today, most recently she was Movement Director for Born in Chaos for TheatreWorkers Project, a community based play featuring formerly incarcerated individuals in college. She has collaborated as Movement Director and/or Assistant Director on numerous award winning productions with Rogue Artists Ensemble. Additionally, Garcia worked alongside Kinan Valdez as AD on Popol Vuh: Heart of Heaven, co-produced by Center Theatre Group and El Teatro Campesino.
Garcia is best known for her portrayal of surrealist painter Remedios Varo in a play by the same name that she created, last presented at 2018's [LAX] Performance Festival. She played Josefina in Mojada by Luis Alfaro for Center Theatre Group’s partnership for the Digital Stage. Her experimental short film TRYING can be found on The Music Center's website as part of the For the Love of L.A. series.
Other notable acting credits include Esperanza in House on Mango Street at Greenway Court Theatre, Mother in Mourning of All Our Sons at Theatre At the Museum by Moving Arts at LACMA, and 14 at Lydia Mendelssohn Theatre at University of Michigan.
She has been a guest artist at Cal State LA, The University of Irvine, Cal State Northridge, ELACC, and East LA Magnet, where she helped lead the creation of Ensemble Created Devised Work. This winter she was a visiting faculty at her alma mater DAI School of Physical Theatre where she taught a two week winter intensive.
In February 2023, Garcia will be a featured artist on the panel PUPPETS, MASKS & CRANKIES: Shifting the Story.