Ciera Eis (she/hers)
is a theatrical director and producer who develops socio-political new work. She is drawn towards stories featuring intersectional queer-femme narratives, magical realism, topics of income inequality, technology, climate change, mental health and catharsis, and comedies that packs a punch. She often dabbles in unconventional theater space and form, and focuses on engaging the audience past the proscenium, whether through immersion, promenade, or interactive work. She is dedicated to seeding the theatrical landscape with risky work that promotes the voices of the next generation of artists and activists in the field.
Ciera has developed new work at Berkeley Repertory Theatre, American Conservatory Theatre, Magic Theatre, Shotgun Players, Playground LA, among others, and has assisted Anne Kauffman, Mina Morita, Eric Ting, and Evren Odcikin. She has been in the room with playwrights such as Taylor Mac, Naomi Iizuka, Luis Alfaro, Mfoniso Udofia, Kimber Lee, and Will Eno.
Ciera was recently the Associate Producer of The Ground Floor at Berkeley Repertory Theater, the Interim Artistic Director at Custom Made Theatre Company, Artistic Director at FaultLine Theater, Creative Producer at PianoFight SF, and a 2019-2021 SDCF Observer. Double B.A. in Theater Arts and Psychology, and minor in Music. University of California, Santa Cruz. Awards: Promising Women in Theatre 2017, Porter Arts Grant, Da Vinci Scholar Award, and Renaissance Artist Award. cieraeis.com.
Selects: The Unicorn Hunter’s Guide (winner: Best Direction, 2018 Shortlived Festival), Tonight We Feast (media commission, Shotgun Players), Circle Mirror Transformation (Custom Made Theatre Co.), Faust on 4Chan (development, Berkeley Repertory), The Children’s Farm…(Town Hall Theater), site-specific digital Murder at Roland Manor (Thunder Bay Theatre), Every Brilliant Thing (Saint Mary’s College), Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992 (Santa Cruz).
Creativity in Directing: Selects
Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992 by Anna Deavere Smith: This immersive piece simulated the street of L.A. during the chaos of the riots. Audience would wandered the space and listened to up to 5 actors monologues at a time.
Murder at Roland Manor by Brennan Pickman-Thoon: Written in the height of COVID, this virtual murder mystery production was interactive using the self-built, 8-bit castle videogame system Gather.Town. Audience would walked into different rooms and find different actors live and waiting to talk to them, simulating real life site-specific theatre.
Every Brilliant Thing by Duncan Macmillan: A sacred space play, this piece took place in the round in a redwood forest clearing. An intimate look at relationships and nature as a form of regrowth and healing.
I Share, Therefore I Am, a scene using Theatre of Cruelty techniques to comment on the dilapidation of interpersonal connection and mental health due to social media.
Madison Wetzell’s Faust on 4Chan: Takes a psychological look at the alt-right YouTube pipeline’s red-pilling phenomena using a Faustian lens.
Tess Taylor’s Last West is a collage piece about Dorthea Lange and her travels through the California west during the Great Depression. The story explores the ways social and ecological injustices of the past rhyme eerily with those of the present.
Madison Wetzell’s The Lost Ballad…, which follows a well-meaning AI robot, who accidentally provides four seemingly harmless office objects with consciousness, and uses the robot uprising as a catalyst for past and present liberations struggles.
UNTITLED- Queer Climate Crisis Musical: by Weston Scott and Erika Oba: We are thinking queer, disco, dystopian future about found family, and economic inequality.
The Timeline (or beyond the resume)
In 2016, Ciera was appointed the Interim Artistic Director of the nonprofit, FACTR. Here she worked on creating programing for young DACA recipients to devise and express their stories through theater in a safe environment. In 2017, she was an Artistic Direction Apprentice at Magic Theatre under Loretta Greco, and began learning how to develop new plays with local and national playwrights. She also assisted on plays, season planning, producing, and nonprofit arts administration within the company. Following her season-long apprenticeship she became an Ambassador for Berkeley Repertory Theatre’s play incubation series, The Ground Floor for the Summer of 2018. She then returned to Magic Theatre as the Manager of Individual Giving. By 2019, she was the Creative Producer of Pint Sized Play, a themed immersive short play festival dedicated to producing new work by emerging local playwrights, directors, and actors. She started directing locally in the theater scene, and assistant directed nationally-known directors such as Anne Kauffman, Mina Morita, Christine Adaire, and Brian Katz at American Conservatory Theatre and Custom Made Theater. She has been in the room developing plays with playwrights such as Will Eno, Taylor Mac, Naomi Iizuka, and Kimber Lee. At the same time, she was directing elementary schoolers through Tomorrow Youth Repertory. In 2020, she became the New Works Producer at Custom Made Theater, heading the Undiscovered Works Festival for emerging local playwrights.
Most recently she was brought back to The Ground Floor at Berkeley Repertory Theatre as the Associate Producer, where she aided in the production and flow of their annual new works festival. She also took over FaultLine Theater as the Co-Artistic Director of Producing, because of her love of new work, her want to support emerging artists, and her dedication to their mission statement of producing work that lies at the intersection of pop culture and politics. She has received awards for Promising Woman in Theatre, Porter Arts Grant, DaVinci Scholar, Renaissance Artist Award, and winner of Shortlived Play Festival 2019.