URTA on the Map – California Institute of the Arts


URTA on the Map – California Institute of the Arts

Who: Marissa Chibas
School: California Institute of the Arts
City: Valencia, California

What do you think is the most unique aspect of CalArts MFA programs?

The pillars of the mission of our Theater school are that we are interdisciplinary, diverse, international, and experimental.
We put a great deal of emphasis on our students developing the very best skills so that they can tell the stories they are most passionate to tell out in to the world. Our faculty are focused on training citizen artists with skills and agency. Our alum apply their training professionally in a wide variety of ways and are leaders, change makers, and innovators in our field. Our professional producing arm, CalArts Center for New Performance (CNP), provides many of our students with exciting professional opportunities. This year we have students working on 4 world premieres for CNP in Wuzhen China, the Public Theater in New York, Paris France, and Los Angeles as well as a group presenting work to in Havana, Cuba. These are extraordinary opportunities for our community. That’s pretty unique.

What is your favorite spot on campus?

I love the hill just outside the Theater School. We call it the “grassy knoll.” It’s a great relaxing in the sun spot and gathering place. Everyone passes by there.

What do you think students should know before moving to southern California?

Drink lots of water! People forget that they are in the desert. Also, be prepared for great fluctuations in weather. It can drop 40 degrees in the night. I take my MFA 1’s their first weekend at CalArts for a downtown LA tour. We start at the spot where the city was first settled, before it was Mexico and before it was the U.S. People always find the history here a surprise. And we visit great spots like La Placita with the fantastic food and music and Union Station where many Noir films were shot, and the Last Bookstore, a national treasure. It’s a cultural feast!

Everyone talks a lot about LA traffic, do students have to have a car or could they live in Santa Clarita or Valencia and get around via public transportation?

Not all students have cars. Some bike from apartments around the area or live on campus. Santa Clarita and Valencia are suburbs of LA so the traffic is not bad for those who drive. And for those of us commuting from LA, when we go to CalArts and back, we are going against the traffic so it’s a sweet deal there.

Posted by Olivia Vessel  Posted on 31 Oct 
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