Alexis Macnab is a director, curator, deviser and performer whose works of new multi-disciplinary performance have been produced internationally and across the U.S. With an emphasis on environmental performance, physical theater, and visual design, Macnab is devoted to strengthening the muscle of imagination by challenging assumptions of form and genre in the live arts.
Macnab's original adaptations of literature for the stage have been staged across the country and include Madeline L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time at the Oberlin Summer Theater Festival, Vladimir Nabokov’s Gods at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, and Henry James’ The Portrait of a Lady in New York, Los Angeles and New Orleans. Her collaborations include choreography and dramaturgy for Danielle Birrattella's contemporary song cycle based on Rilke's Sonnets to Orpheus (Bootleg Theater - LA), directing Janet Sternburg's The Fifth String (REDCAT - LA), and directing and starring in Trigger Happy Jack by Timothy Braun (HERE Arts Center - NYC). Her work has received support from The Jim Henson Foundation, The Puffin Foundation, HERE Arts Center, chashama arts, the Automata Residency Program, the CalArts Center for New Performance, and the City of Santa Monica.
Interested in site-specific and site-responsive performance, she makes pieces for warehouses, living rooms, parking lots, and hallways. The Castle Ivar mansion in the Hollywood Hills was the setting for Honest Ghosts, a roving and haunted adaptation of Hamlet, named as one of the TOP 10 Things to Do in Los Angeles by HUGECITY. Dark Space, an immersive spectacle co-created by Macnab and puppetry artist Kate Brehm, was installed in a 42nd Street Manhattan storefront. In 2016 Macnab founded CHAMBER SHAKESPEARE, a performance company bringing intimate adaptations of Shakespeare's plays into peoples' living rooms.
Her work has been praised by both critics and audiences and called "breathtaking" (The Long Beach Post), “spellbinding” (Informed Edinburgh), and “wonderful” (ThreeWeeks). Macnab is also an actor, dancer, and puppeteer and has performed in works by Heidi Duckler, Jim Simpson, Janie Geiser, Susan Simpson, Juliana F. May, Tom Lee, Redmoon Theater, Jessica Thebus and Joyce Piven, among others. Macnab earned her M.F.A. in Directing for the Theater from the California Institute of the Arts in 2013, and her B.A. with High Honors in Theater in 2001 from Oberlin College in Ohio.
Macnab is also an educator in various disciplines including performance, puppetry and visual art. She has taught various puppet and craft workshops at the Camera Obscura Building in Santa Monica, The Music Center in downtown LA, Automata Arts, Harvard Westlake Middle School, and the Skirball Cutlural Center. Craft workshop topics include kaleidoscope building, pinhole camera photography, shadow puppets, toy theater, and collage. Peformance workshops include story-theater, adaptation, site-specific performance, and puppetry. Macnab is an Assistant Professor of Theatre Arts & Dance at Sonoma State University, and has also served as Guest Director/Lecturer at California State Universtiy Long Beach, Oberlin College, The California Institute of the Arts, and the New York Film Academy.