Nancy Keystone is a Los Angeles-based theatre and visual artist, and the founding Artistic Director/Executive Producer of the collaborative ensemble, Critical Mass Performance Group. With CMPG her work encompasses a wide range of forms including epic historical projects, adaptations of classic texts, intimate interactive salons, public happenings, and social practice art. Known for exuberant theatricality and surprising collisions of ideas, CMPG was named 2013's Best Theatre Company by the LA Weekly. Ms. Keystone is the honored recipient of a Doris Duke Performing Artist Award, and United States Artists Hoi Fellowship.
As a freelance artist Ms. Keystone has directed and designed award-winning productions at theatres across the country, including Portland Center, Center Theatre Group, Denver Center Theatre, East West Players, Theatre @ Boston Court, Actor’s Express, Georgia Shakespeare Festival, San Francisco Shakespeare Festival. Other directing forays include opera (Long Beach Opera, Musica Angelica, San Luis Obispo Mozart Festival, Cal State Long Beach) and film. As a visual artist, Ms. Keystone works in mixed media, creating paintings and collages, and unique scenic environments for her productions. In 2006 she was design consultant, with Peter Maradudin, for Portland Center Stage's new theatre in the historic Portland Armory, designing four lobby spaces.
She is the recipient of Theatre Communications Group’s Alan Schneider Director Award, and was named one of the “Faces to Watch ” by the Los Angeles Times. Other grants and fellowships: Los Angeles Institute for the Humanities Fellow at USC, MacDowell Colony, NEA, APAP/Doris Duke Ensembles Collaborations grant, TCG/Pew Charitable Trusts’ National Theatre Artists Residency Program, Center for Cultural Innovation, Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, Drama League of New York, California Community Foundation, Flintridge Foundation, among others. She earned an MFA in directing from Carnegie Mellon, and a BA in Theatre Arts from UCLA, is on the visiting faculty at UCLA, and a frequent university guest lecturer, and an instructor in arts-in-education programs.