Luminary Spotlight: Tristan Cunningham

Every year, we bestow a Guiding Star award and recognize four Bay Area Luminaries whose greatness inspires us. The Luminaries represent the best of our four pillars of work: MAKE, LEARN, ENGAGE, and SUPPORT.

Tristan Cunningham (Luminary: LEARN) has been a teaching artist at Cal Shakes since 2013 and has been seen onstage at the Bruns in Measure for Measure, A Winter’s Tale, The Comedy of Errors, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Life is a Dream, and The Tempest. Other Bay Area credits include: The Arsonists (Aurora Theater); Tree (San Francisco Playhouse); And I and Silence (Magic Theater); The Book Club Play (Jewel Theater). She holds a BFA from SUNY Purchase and is a proud member of Actors Equity Association. She is a TBA and BATCC Award winner for her work in The Taming at Marin Shakespeare Theater. You can currently see Tristan onstage in Dominique Morisseau’s Skeleton Crew at TheatreWorks.

Audiences have been charmed with Tristan’s work onstage at Cal Shakes, most recently as Escalus in Measure for Measure. That sternly capable role belied her playful spirit, which delights fellow actors backstage and kids in classrooms alike.

Tech day with Measure for Measure cast; photo by Tristan.

Cal Shakes Director of Artistic Learning says, “Tristan has become one of our premiere teaching artists. Her work with students combines social justice focused learning alongside academic and performance based teaching. She is also an engaging ambassador for the work the company is doing.”

We asked Tristan for some of her favorite photos from teaching around the Bay Area for Cal Shakes and beyond. Here are some of her picks:

Peace Camp, hosted by the Contra Costa Family Justice Center.

Clowning class taught by Tristan.

Letter from one of Tristan’s students.

We are so proud to be honoring Tristan’s contributions to Artistic Learning here at Cal Shakes and throughout the Bay Area during our Guiding Stars celebration. We’ll be going live throughout Saturday’s ceremony and party, featuring keynote speaker and Guiding Star Marcus Gardley. Follow us on Facebook to make sure you get our updates!

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