Those with readily apparent skills should be encouraged to share that knowledge if they are ever able to do so. It is how we grow as a society and expand our culture while giving those with a passing interest in certain topics the opportunity to learn a bit more. Travis Preston, an accomplished stage director, teacher, and Dean for a major theater training program, has been generous with his know-how. He has directed dozens of well-received works and taken his skills to Yale, Harvard, New York University and beyond. For those looking to learn more about Travis Preston, the works he has directed and institutions of higher learning that he has assisted, you have come to the right place. This knowledge will help paint a more complete picture of the realm of theater and show what the qualities of a skilled stage director and educator should look like.
California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) has played an instrumental role in Travis Preston’s career development over the years. It is at this private art school in the suburbs of Santa Clarita that Preston has directed some of his most recognized and awarded productions. This includes Fantômas: Revenge of the Image, which earned a world premiere at the Wuzhen Theatre Festival in China; Prometheus Bound, at the Getty Villa which received a world-premiere translation by Joel Agee; The Master Builder at the Almeida Theatre in London, which he directed alongside the talents of Gemma Arterton and Stephen Dillane, as well as a myriad of other award-winning plays. Accolades are nice and provide tangible proof of accomplishments over the course of one’s career, but Travis Preston is equally proud of the fact that he has been able to work directly with students – who are the future of theater. These budding actors, actresses and directors will carry the field once Travis Preston has exited stage left, so to speak. To Travis Preston, being in the position to work with and inspire the next generation of the theater community is unequivocally the most invigorating part of his career. Part of the beauty of the continued evolution of theater is that he often can learn from these artists just beginning their careers as well.
CalArts is not the only institution of higher learning that Travis Preston has had a positive impact on. In fact, he has contributed to programs both at home and abroad. In the latter category, we have examples such as Hong Kong Academy for the Performing Arts and The National Theater School of Denmark. Travis Preston has also directed works in Germany, France, Denmark, China, Poland, Norway, and England over the course of his career. As a result of this work, he has accumulated international accolades. For example, Travis Preston received the Chevalier of the Order of Arts and was knighted in France for his contributions to the theater community. The French minister of culture would also recognize him for “contributions to the arts in France and throughout the world,” which was in response to his extensive directorial achievements. A little bit closer to home, Preston has been a part of the production units and faculty at Columbia School of the Arts and Indiana University. Throughout his storied career, Travis Preston has remained humble and continues to be a perpetual student of the arts. After all, there will always be more to learn in the space and individuals to learn from.
To Travis Preston, one of the facets of the theater that he is most grateful for is the rich sense of community that runs deep within the theater world. Everyone is continuously striving to perform to the best of their ability, but they do not wish to do so at the expense of others’ success. For this reason, members are quite willing to provide support and share what they have learned about the space. Travis Preston is happy to be part of a community that exhibits such kinship and recognizes that, now more than ever, the resiliency and dedication of individuals within the theater industry have been in full effect. He knows that his position allows him to act as a resource for those looking for information or guidance while traversing the scene and hopes that this site will function to fill that need.