Marissa Chibás is a writer, filmmaker, actor, recipient of a TCG Fox Fellowship in Distinguished Achievement, and a NewFilmakers LA filmmaker of the month award (September 2019). Marissa’s work was described by the New Yorker as “...impassioned and physically unstinting acting. We succumb to her magnetic force.”
Marissa is on the Theater School faculty at CalArts where she is Director of Duende Calarts, a Latinx initiative at CalArts Center for New Performance that collaborates with innovative Latinx and Latin American artists. For Duende she conceived and wrote Shelter, which premiered in April 2016 at Lincoln Park, was presented at the Kennedy Center and is published by NoPassport Press. Other Duende CalArts project include: Octavio Solis, Scene with Cranes; El Camino Donde Nosotros Lloramos ,with aritsts Lagartijas Tiradas al Sol performed at CalArts in Spring 2020 and Mexico City as part of UNAM International Theater Festival; Vicki Grise, Rascos Asiaticos; El Acercamineto, a three year (2016-18) collaboration between faculty and students at CalArts and faculty and students of Havana’s ISA and San Alejandro art schools presented in Los Angeles, Havana, and Miami; Shelter, presented at CARECEN LA, Lincoln Park, The Kennedy Center, 2016 TCG Conference in Washington D.C.; LA Founding Families, presented at CalArts and El Pueblo de Los Angeles Pico House and the Chinese American Museum, a collaboration with El Pueblo, The School of History and Dramatic Art (SOHDA), UCLA History Department, and Native Voices at the Autry; Timbuktu, presented at REDCAT in Los Angeles and Teatro Experimental in Guadalajara Mexico; Piedra de Sol/Sun Stone, based on the epic poem by Octavio Paz, presentations at CalArts and the Getty Villa.
Her short film Finding Shelter won Best Documentary Short at the San Diego Latino Film Festival in 2019. Her solo show Daughter of a Cuban Revolutionary, which premiered at REDCAT, has toured the U.S., Europe, and Mexico, and was published by Routledge Press. Her silent film/performance piece Clara’s Los Angeles was presented at REDCAT’s NOW Festival. Other shorts include: Zohra, which was nominated for Best Actress and Best Comedy awards at the Official Latino Film Festival and streamed on BronxNet; Nostalgia, in collaboration with Cuba based artist Aissa Santiso and presented at Fabrica de Arte in Havana; and Clandestino, featured on the LibroTraficante radio show. Her films have screened at: Nevertheless Film Festival, Anthology Film Archive, The Segal Center in NYC, Echo Park Film Center, NewFilmakers LA (co-hosted with the Oscars), among others.
Marissa has acted in over 50 productions on and off Broadway, including The Keening by Umberto Dorado at the ART in Boston, Two Sisters and a Piano by Nilo Cruz with Bobby Cannavale at the McCarter, The Mark Taper Forum productions of The House of Bernarda Alba with Chita Rivera and Sandra Oh, and Eduardo Machado’s The Floating Island Plays, and Robert Wilson’s Danton’s Death at the Alley Theater. On Broadway she performed in Abe Lincoln in Illinois and Brighton Beach Memoirs. Marissa co-adapted the award winning CNP/Poor Dog Group production of Brewsie and Willie that was presented at the 2011 RADAR Festival, and played Edgar in CNP’s inaugural production of King Lear at the Brewery in Downtown Los Angeles. She wrote and performed in The Second Woman in 2016 at the Bootleg Theater in LA.
She is currently working on A Cuban Documemory, a feature length film based on her reflections of her travels to Cuba since 1993, and her life as the daughter of a Cuban revolutionary and runner up Miss Cuba. She recently completed her acting book Mythic Imagination and the Actor to be published in 2021.