Photo: Scott Groller
July 28, Valencia, CA--President Steven Lavine is pleased to announce that Travis Preston will begin his new duties as Dean of the School of Theater  at California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) on August 1, 2010. Selected from a strong and diverse applicant pool, Preston's appointment recognizes his remarkable breadth of experience, personal artistic abilities and achievements of the highest distinction. Preston succeeds Ellen McCartney  and Leslie Tamaribuchi  who served as Interim Co-Deans of the School of Theater during the 2009-2010 academic year.
First coming to CalArts as a guest director, Preston began his tenure at the Institute in 1999 as Head of the Directing Program in the School of Theater. In 2003, he went on to become Director of Performance Programs and Artistic Director of the Center for New Performance (CNP).
"Over the past decade at CalArts, Travis Preston enunciated and helped enact a vision of the School of Theater as actively engaged with the broadest range of collaborations, on and off campus," said President Lavine. "His efforts enhanced the stature of the School nationally and internationally--attracting an outstanding and growing applicant pool, and preparing students for the breadth of opportunities presented by careers in theater today, and, even more importantly, in the future."
Prior to joining CalArts, Preston served as Associated Artist/Resident Director at the Yale Repertory Theater, as an Associate Artist at the Center Stage in Baltimore, and as a National Endowment for the Arts Directing Fellow at the American Repertory Theater. He has taught at many universities and theater training programs including The Yale School of Drama, Columbia School of the Arts, New York University, the National Theater School of Denmark, Indiana University, the Hong Kong Academy for the Performing Arts, and Harvard University, where for six years he was Director of the Harvard Summer Drama Program.
Preston is an internationally recognized director of many notable productions, including Boris Godounov and Al Gran Sole Carico D'Amore for the Hamburg State Opera Semiramide for the Minnesota Opera, The Pearl Fishers for the St. Louis Opera, Diva on the Verge for Opera Comique (Paris), Roberto Zucco and Apocrypha for Cucaracha Theater (New York), and the premiere production of Exiles in Paradise for the Jewish Museum in Berlin. He directed the groundbreaking CNP inaugural production, King Lear, which was subsequently selected for presentation at the Frictions Festival in Dijon, France. His acclaimed CNP production of Macbeth  starring Stephen Dillane toured to London, Sydney, and Adelaide, Australia. Currently, he is the Co-Artistic Director of The Long Road to Freedom Project with Harry Belafonte at Teatro Madrid, and, in the fall, Travis will direct Almeida Theatre's production of Ibsen's The Master Builder.
In addition, he has played a critical role in forging relationships between CalArts and organizations ranging from BBC Radio and the new Le Cent Quatre arts center in Paris, to the Getty Villa in Malibu and the Los Angeles-based Poor Dog Group , comprised of CalArts alumni. Travis recently directed Poor Dog Group's production of Gertrude Stein's Brewsie and Willie , funded in part by federal economic stimulus funds . These partnerships provide unique opportunities for both current CalArts students and alumni, and reflect the expansive vision of possibility which will characterize his deanship.
CalArts has a multidisciplinary approach to its studies of the arts through six schools: Art, Critical Studies, Dance, Film/Video, Music and Theater. CalArts encourages students to explore and recognize the complexity of the many aspects of the arts. It is supported by a distinguished faculty of practicing artists and provides its Bachelor and Master of Fine Arts students with the hands-on training and exposure necessary for an artist's growth. CalArts was founded in 1961 and opened in 1969 as the first institution of higher learning in the United States specifically for students interested in the pursuit of degrees in all areas of visual and performing arts.