Amanda McRaven (Fulbright, New Zealand; MA Community-based Theatre, Massey University, New Zealand; MFA Directing, University of California, Irvine; BA English and Drama, University of Virginia)
Amanda is in her third decade of making theater. She works on performance that is physical, that re-ignites liveness, and that engages non-theater communities. She is most interested in creating collaborative, vigorous, heart-driven, expansive, intimate, audience-centered performance.
Amanda is a proud associate member of SDC, an La Stage Alliance Ovation Award winner for her direction of Meghan Brown’s The Pliant Girls, a member of Lincoln Center Directors Lab, and a Fulbright Award recipient to New Zealand, where she created and directed community-based theater projects including stories with refugee communities for The Mixing Room at Te Papa Tongarewa, Museum of New Zealand. She also directed for Shakespeare Globe Centre New Zealand.
Based in the Los Angeles area, she freelance directs and makes ensemble theater with the company that she founded in 2007, Fugitive Kind. A fierce proponent of feminist social justice performance, she is also the founder and producer of Los Angeles Lady Arm Wrestlers: wild (real) arm-wrestling tournaments with elements of burlesque, drag, and WWE that create safe space for marginalized communities and raise funds for small LA-based non-profits. To date, the organization has raised $40,000 for non-profits in Los Angeles that support queer, trans, youth, and arts communities.
Also a professor of Performance Studies, Amanda has taught Community-based Performance, Spoken Word Poetry, and Performance For Social Change at California State University, Northridge and Massey University in New Zealand. She also facilitates and teaches a theater program for California Arts in Corrections, a love that was first fostered in 2003 while working with women at Fluvanna Correctional Center in Troy, Virginia.
She began her professional career in Shakespeare, as an actor and then Director of Education for the American Shakespeare Center, where she spent three years developing the company’s youth programs, in particular expanding ASC’s flagship Young Company Theater Camp. In 2016, she co-founded Make Trouble, an advanced training program for college students that focuses on the intersection of Shakespeare, devising, and ensemble.
Her productions consistently receive critical acclaim for energetic, passionate, physical performances. In addition to her own work, she is proud to have assisted Dominique Serrand on Red Noses at The Actor’s Gang, Daniel Sullivan on Hamlet at South Coast Repertory, and Bill Rauch on The Clean House at Lincoln Center Theater and on Two Gentlemen of Verona at OSF
Some of her heroes and inspirations are Anne Bogart, Ellen Lauren, James Thiérrée, Roberta Carreri, Ariane Mnouchkine, Kneehigh Theatre, Propeller, Elevator Repair Service, Odin Theatret, Theatre du Soleil, and Derevo.
Also a writer, she is the winner of the New Southerner 2013 Nonfiction Prize, and has been published in NY______ and Penduline.