Digital Arts and New Media: MFA: Collaboration, Innovation, Social Impact

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Dave Crellin

Digital Art and New Media
second-year mfa students

Dave Crellin, MA., is a director, performer, writer, scholar, educator, and interdisciplinary artist, working primarily in live, performative media. He has created art for over 25 years throughout most of North America and Western Europe, his practice ranging from collaboration with theatre artists, filmmakers, musicians, dancers, circus and cabaret performers to authors, fine artists, sculptures, community leaders and creatives of all ages. He was the co-founder and a principal performer in the legendary, underground performance troupe, Circus Contraption.

His research and creative areas of interest include immersive, devised, documentary and site-specific performance, circus and cabaret, liminality, rhizomatic pedagogy, Deleuzian studies and art as social practice. Dave holds a MA. in Theatre and will complete his MFA in DANM Future Stages in June 2022. His MFA thesis project is interdisciplinary, immersive installation entitled “Troubled Waters: The Ocean as Contested Space in Southern California Surf Culture.”


Research Interests: 

Embodied Performance; Rhizomatic Pedagogy; Deleuze and Guattari; Indigenous Methodologies; Eastern Philosophy; Interdisciplinary Performance Studies; Art as Social Practice, Circus and Cabaret Studies

Selected Publications: 

“Cartographies of Becoming: Mapping A Deleuzian/Zen Framework Onto Live Performance”, Master’s Thesis. Department of Theatre, UC Santa Cruz, 2020

Selected Presentations: 

“Storyville Rising- Race, Sex and Power in Post-Reconstruction New Orleans”, Seattle Immersive Theatre, Seattle, WA, 2019

“Carnivalesque- Turn of the Century Freakshows in American Culture”, Creative Alliance, Baltimore, MA, 2018; John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, 2017

“Squirm Burpee- A Vaudevillian Melodrama”, New Victory Theatre, New York, 2014

“Circus Contraption”, 8 full-length productions, 6 CD’s of original music, over 500 performances worldwide, 1998-2010


Honors and Awards: 

Arts Dean's Fund for Excellence and Equity, 2022

Graduate Dean's Research Travel Grant, 2022

Florence J. French Scholarship Fund, 2022

DANM Fellowship, UC Santa Cruz, 2020-2021

Theater Arts Fellowship, UC Santa Cruz, 2019-2020

Brassy Award for Outstanding Live Production, Las Vegas NV, 2016

Best of Dublin Cabaret, Dublin, IR, 2015

Artist Excellence Grant, Jack Straw Studios, 2010