Photo of Cristina Ibarra
  • Class of 2017

  • Roots of GU experience: Davis Center (on/offstage), TPST Classes, The Laboratory for Global Performance & Politics, Black Theater Ensemble, Mask & Bauble, Nomadic
  • What’s the Davis Center’s lasting impact on your current values and work? Because of TPST, I have a foundation for creation and process. With any project, be it theater or socio-emotional educational content, I’m prepared to produce original, engaging, and self-aware work through playful collaboration and ambitious curiosity. As a person, I’ve also cultivated a love for life’s nuances and complexities as well as a desire to share this love with my family, friends, and strangers. TPST was one of the first places that reminded me of my agency to create, inspire, and share my truth – and I absolutely hope to keep doing so for the rest of my dingdong life!
  • What are some professional highlights? I worked with kids who had been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic – some of them recent immigrants, experiencing homelessness, or simply lonely during this dark time. The best part of my job was sharing a Zoom space with them all to make their days a little brighter…I’ve had kids open up to me about heavier topics, and perhaps that’s because of the listening skills needed as an artist/the self-awareness that TPST cultivated and encouraged. In addition to collaborating with community organizers and teachers to better serve our classrooms and neighborhood, I get to model creativity, playfulness, and curiosity as a brown Asian woman for many brown and Asian kids. Kindergarten’s favorite game is where I grab a giant pair of plastic scissors from my wall and pretend to give them all virtual haircuts (“ARE YOU READY FOR YOUR PANDEMIC HAIRCUT”) as they dodge left and right – the giant scissors from a reading I did with [Professor] Natsu [Onoda Power] at Spooky Action Theater.

    A teacher at the Bessie Carmichael School in San Francisco used my thesis play, Landas (Kennedy Center’s Page to Stage 2017) for one of his lessons.

  • What is your wish for the future of the Davis Center? Engage and recruit more BIPOC students! Often we end up at a place like Georgetown and don’t consider creative pursuits and their benefits, but TPST gave me so many tools and reminded me of my agency and courage to create and be loud! And now I get to look for ways to inspire the same for others like me – or not like me at all!

I assess and help treat students' immediate mental and physical health needs at a high school wellness center. I also support students' creative and advocacy endeavors through community wellness outreach projects. From queer-identifying to newcomer students, I get to support youth in their most vulnerable moments and watch them grow. These skills of engaging different cultures, building trust, and inspiring playfulness began in TPST: Dean Colbert's Cross-Cultural Performance Studies and Natsu's Adaptation of Japanese Literature and Manga come to mind.

Cristina Ibarra