Creativity for justice.
Yes always.
Never let a dream go unchased.

Never pass on an opportunity to hug a goat.

The earliest recorded story of my life as a director began at age three, when I coerced my whole family into performing a production of The Wizard of Oz. It was a stunning success; everyone who was not compelled to act in it was instead required to watch it.

Afterwards, I had a break in my theater career until I chose theater as my elective in high school. In our theater program, EPiC, I had opportunities to explore directing, playwriting, acting, stage management, carpentry, theater tech, and more. Before I graduated high school, I directed five one acts, three of which were new plays written by my peers. I was awarded the EPiC scholarship for outstanding directing.

At Loyola Marymount University (LMU), I pursued a double degree in Theater Arts and Film and Television Production. In my theater degree, I had opportunities to further explore many parts of theater, but focused on directing. I directed two full length plays (including my thesis, The Taming by Lauren Gunderson), three new works for the LMU New Works Festival, assistant directed two main stage shows, and twice participated in the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival (KCACTF) as a Directing Fellow. In my film major I also focused on directing, creating a number of fictional films and documentaries. During my university years, I worked with a number of professional theater, film, commercial, and virtual reality companies. I graduated from the Honors program as Summa Cum Laude, and I was given an award for excellence in theater directing.

Since graduation, I have worked at Santa Cruz Shakespeare (SCS) as a Directing Intern and at Portland Stage Company (PSC) as a Directing and Dramaturgy Intern. With SCS, I assisted director Paul Mullins in his production of The 39 Steps. With PSC, I have worked as assistant director and dramaturg on two main stage shows, Lady Day at Emerson's Bar & Grill and Babette's Feast. I also read and evaluate plays for the Little Festival of the Unexpected and the Clauder Competition, write and edit for PlayNotes (our once-a-play magazine), and founded Pinecone & Tassel Collective (PTC) with other interns to create our own projects. My proudest PTC venture was the Voices Rising Project, an initiative to empower traditionally marginalized voices in theater, specifically through supporting Maine playwrights, in a staged reading series. In the summer following Maine, I directed Crumble (Lay Me Down, Justin Timberlake) by Sheila Callaghan for the North Carolina Women's Theatre Festival, followed by a devised piece based on Dorothy Parker's Men I'm Not Married To at Santa Cruz Shakespeare.


I landed in the Bay Area in 2018 for a ten month Artistic Fellowship with American Conservatory Theater (A.C.T.) in San Francisco, during which I assistant directed for two shows on the Geary Stage (Seascape and Vanity Fair), one show in the MFA program (School for Scandal), and directed the A.C.T. Fellowship Project (The Revolutionists).


Now working as a freelance director in the Bay, I have directed with Cutting Ball Theater, PianoFight, and Actors Ensemble of Berkeley. I am producing the Fresh Play Sunday series at the SF Public Library where local playwrights get time to workshop their new works with actors and present a reading to an audience. I also recently opened She Kills Monsters for Actors Ensemble of Berkeley, and am teaching with Bay Area Children's Theatre and Ruth Asawa School of the Arts.


©2020 by Kayla Minton Kaufman.