Nancy Keystone is a Los Angeles-based, multi-disciplinary theatre maker, visual artist, & founding artistic director of Critical Mass Performance Group (CMPG). She is an honored recipient of a 2014 Doris Duke Performing Artist Award, & 2011 United States Artists Hoi Fellowship. Critical Mass Performance Group is a collaborative ensemble developing new works and adaptations of classic texts since 1985. It was named 2013’s Best Theater Company by LA WEEKLY.
In her roles as CMPG’s chief investigator, writer, director, and designer, Keystone has recently helmed: AMERYKA (2010-2016) a kaleidoscopic new work illuminating the promises and betrayals of the United States, through the surprising relationship with Poland;ALCESTIS, a deconstruction of Euripides’ play about love and sacrifice, developed at Getty Villa Theatre Lab, premiered at Theatre @ Boston Court in Pasadena; APOLLO, an epic trilogy exploring the US space program, its relationship with Nazi rocket scientists, and the surprising intersection with the Civil Rights Movement–Parts 1 & 2 premiered at Kirk Douglas Theatre 2005, Part 3 premiered with the full trilogy at Portland Center Stage 2009; THE AKHMATOVA PROJECT, movement-theatre piece inspired by life & work of Russian poet, Anna Akhmatova. Other recent Keystone/CMPG projects: BREAD, 2011 site specific interactive performance-salon, Cornerstone Theater commission; 365 DAYS/365 PLAYS #47 by Suzan-Lori Parks, 2007 site specific, Angels Gate Cultural Center; adaptation of ANTIGONE, 2001 at Portland Center Stage.
As a freelance artist Ms. Keystone has directed & designed award-winning productions at regional theaters (Portland Center Stage, Center Theatre Group/California Plaza, East West Players, Theatre @ Boston Court, Actor’s Express, Georgia Shakespeare Festival, San Francisco Shakespeare Festival), as well as opera (Musica Angelica, Long Beach Opera, San Luis Obispo Mozart Festival) and film.
As a visual artist she creates paintings and collages for exhibitions and commissions. Her work has been honored with, and supported by Theatre Communication Group’s 2003 Alan Schneider Director Award, MacDowell Colony Fellow, grants from NEA, Association of Performing Arts Presenters/Doris Duke Foundation, TCG/Pew Charitable Trusts, Center for Cultural Innovation, Flintridge Foundation, Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, Drama League of New York fellowship. She is on visiting faculty at UCLA, and has been a guest lecturer at colleges and universities around the country. She holds a BA in Theatre from UCLA, and MFA in directing from Carnegie Mellon.