Denise Serna Artistic Statement

Denise Yvette Serna, Associate Artistic Director
Artistic Statement

I am drawn to work that is malleable in terms of aesthetic, sensory narratives, and representation. I am excited when I can craft a theatre experience that incorporates diverse mediums such as live music, devised soundscapes and sound collages, live painting and drawing, sculpture installations, choreographed and ritualistic movement, beading, shadow puppetry, acro yoga, live sound looping, and rope bondage.

I gravitate towards narratives that illuminate the lives and spirits of women and gender-nonconforming individuals – especially those of Black, Latinx, and Indigenous roots. As these narratives often decenter white hetero-patriarchal gaze, they were not widely produced on regional stages until the current century. I therefore find myself time and again in genre defying rooms that are devising and developing new work and world premieres with powerful women of color at the helm. This privilege is one that inspires and challenges me, and expands my performance rhetoric exponentially.

I creatively organize and maintain productions and deadlines with multiple moving parts, with colleagues in different time zones, managing up in order to share labor with my collaborators. This requires attention to detail, exceptional communication, confidence, and the ability to acknowledge and learn from my mistakes. These traits are valuable assets to my creative work.

My work in the last few years has been primarily focused on directing, curating, and producing theatre and performance art events. My passion for accessibility, global collaboration, and holding space for QTPOC artists has allowed me to curate salons, house shows, and experimental theatre workshops in the United States and in multiple international cities. My work as a director and producer has found audiences at storefront and DIY performance venues around Chicago, as well as notable institutions around the city. I have assisted some of the finest American directors working today, and championed my values and intersectional feminism in every room I am invited into.

I am an eager, hardworking woman with unceasing passion and thirst for experience. I am passionate about the power of artistic experiences to bring people together for vital conversations.

Rivendell Theatre Ensemble
Theatre: 5779 N. Ridge Avenue
Office: 5775 N. Ridge Avenue
Chicago, IL 60660


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