Caitlyn Tella is a San Francisco-based actor, arts educator, and theater-maker originally from Sunnyvale, CA. Her work leans into the immersive nature of theater and makes space for people to behold and act upon unexplored versions of themselves. With experimental ethos, physical skill, and a dark sense of humor, she tells surreal stories and uses classical drama as ground to play with perceptions of truth.
She has written and directed seven original performances since 2013 in collaboration with musicians, designers, and actors, in addition to directing scripted plays and interactive workshops for the public. Currently, she is creating an adaptation of Euripides' Bacchae with a female ensemble.
Her acting credits range from experimental performance, to improvisation, to classical and contemporary plays. On stage she has performed at The Kennedy Center in Washington DC, and at A Noise Within, Highways Performance Space, Long Beach Playhouse, Fowler Museum, and Powerhouse Theater in the Los Angeles area. Recent performances include a 9-month stint in the immersive San Francisco show The Speakeasy and starring in the short film The Adjunct (dir. Paula Saslow). She is represented by NYLO Talent Agency in the Bay Area.
Caitlyn is an instructor of movement for actors, inspired by Grotowski-based psychophysical acting, Viewpoints theory & practice, and devising theater, and she directs an ongoing training group dedicated to research in collaborative play-making and growth of artists. As a Teaching Artist she has worked with youth in schools across the Bay Area, including three years in a special-needs inclusion school, where she directed A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Currently, she teaches physical theater as an artist-in-residence through SFartsED, devises operas with students through the San Francisco Opera Guild, and teaches movement courses at Studio A.C.T.
In the 2016-2017 school year she served as Visiting Assistant Professor of Acting, Voice and Movement at University of Toledo in Ohio where she directed Anne Washburn’s The Internationalist and a devised piece, Flower School, inspired by the poetry of Rabindranath Tagore. She is co-founder of the fleeting DIY theater, Scatterstate (San Jose), where she directed and produced an all-female cast and design team in Anne Carson’s Antigonick in 2014 at the historic San Jose Armory. Additionally, her original work has been produced and supported in the Bay Area and Colorado by San Jose Repertory Theater Emerging Artist Lab, Elsewhere Studios Artist Residency, Hemera Foundation, TBA CA$H Creates grant, Body-Mind Centering Association, and the Small Acts of Kindness Festival.
Caitlyn holds an M.F.A. in Theatre: Contemporary Performance from Naropa University and a B.A. in Theater with an emphasis in acting from UCLA.