ABOUT • Jesús López Vargas
Jesús graduated from the University of California, Irvine with a Masters of Fine Arts (MFA, 2021) degree in Production Stage Management, and holds a BFA in Technical Theatre & Management from UT at El Paso (UTEP, 2018). Jesús has worked in the US & internationally as a producer, director, production manager & production stage manager, educator, lighting designer, freelance event & portrait photographer, publicity artists, cinematographer, video editor, writer, and as a translator for English/Spanish.
Jesús is the founder and the current Artistic Director for MOON Collective, an independent group of creatives & storytellers whose passion anchors on an insatiable curiosity for human nature - "we believe that the processes of exploration & collaboration inclusively lead to both an unlearning & learning of our contexts. Our goal is to study & challenge our past & our presents, using storytelling as a tool through which both the process & the end product guide us through becoming not necessarily better, but further." Since 2020, Jesús has also worked as an Associate Creative alongside Transversal Theater & their artistic director, Bryan Reynolds, producing and devising new work internationally as a director, production manager, writer & choreographer.
Jesús is also a co-founder and the current Managing Director & Associate Creative Director for K.B. Theatre Company in El Paso, TX., a small theatre company that he runs alongside collaborator and friend, artistic director Stephanie Carrillo. K.B. focuses mainly on supporting young local artists with their career development whilst providing opportunities to exercise their training. Amidst the COVID-19 crisis of summer of 2020, the company produced "Re-Creating the Stage: a Roundtable for our New Reality", a virtual, nationwide, and free summer program aimed at undergraduate/graduate-level students and young industry professionals in the United States who lost their internships, apprenticeships & summer work opportunities.
As a passionate producer of the performance arts, Jesús has produced, written & directed 5 live-performance productions, 5 short-films, 1 feature art film & a long-form interactive web series. His first original live production, RED (2017), was a 35min. performance poetry piece that touched on themes of trauma & healing. His second original production, /Echo (2018), opened for a 7-performance sold-out run in April 5th, 2018, an hour-long production with a score & script involving lyrical narrative, performance poetry, contemporary dance & rap. In 2019 Jesús presented a performative art-installation piece at the Segerstrom Center for the Art's Plaza, CA, titled In This Light | There is Silence (2019), showcasing animation, lighting design, dance, poetry & an original score created by Dimitri Soto and music by Ernie Figueroa. Jesús also wrote and co-directed the 90-minute theatrical event Tzaqik | a tale, of many (2020), a collaboration with dance, theater, music & visual artists, co-directed by Shelby Caughron & choreographed by Piper Bockstahler, which was unfortunately postponed due to COVID-19 two weeks before its sold-out opening night. In July 2020 he released a short film titled Zu Sein (2020) produced by the Medici Circle & MOON Collective, scored by Pan-Pan Gou & starring Erica Clark, followed by Symptoma 20 (2020), a post-dramatic video project in collaboration with MOON Collective released in Halloween. In April 2021, he traveled to Cairo, Egypt to co-direct alongside Bryan Reynolds a movement-based devised show with Transversal Theater & Dawar Arts, No Erasure (2021). Jesús is currently working on three new projects set to premier in 2021: A Trilogy on Duality, a short-film trilogy that explores various definitions on duality using animation & live action, Distance in its Movement, an interactive movement art-film, and WWW an immersive virtual limited-series that voyeuristically follows an international group of individuals, inspired by the suspense & horror genres.
Jesús worked as a Prod. Stage Manager for New Swan Shakespeare Festival in Southern California in 2019 as well as the Assistant Artistic Director in 2020, working alongside Eli Simon & Julia Lupton as the festival merged with the inaugurating New Swan Shakespeare Center at the University of California, Irvine. Jesús also worked as a Production Stage Manager for Monomoy Theater in Chatham, MA, for the summers of 2017 & 2018. During his time at Chatham he also collaborated with most theater artists of the company in various photographic ventures.
While working at the University of California, Irvine, Jesús taught Introduction to Stage Management to undergraduate student and he revamped the course curriculum alongside Arielle Singer, making the course a much more culturally-enriching experience for the students. He also assisted Bryan Reynolds in various in-person & remote courses in Performance Art & Performance Culture. Jesús was also heavily involved in highlighting student-led work at UCI & helped lead the department's conversations regarding cultural-justice & community awareness through his role as a leader for the student group Brown Bag Theater Company (BBTC) & through his consultation of Students Mobilizing Change (SMC).
In the Summer of 2016, Jesús published his first book of poetry & photography for young adults titled I See Red, under his blog penname K. Zakrevski - available worldwide for distribution through Barnes & Noble and Amazon.com. He is currently working on his second poetry & photography book, as well as on multiple literary research projects with Transversal Theatre Company & MOON Collective.
Jesús was proudly born in Sonora, México and has spent his life studying & working in both the US & México, having lived in California, Idaho, Massachusetts, Arizona, Texas, Chihuahua & San Luis Potosi. He is bilingual in English (United States) & Spanish (México) - most of his written & performative work is written in both of these two languages. He is the son of an accountant & a graphic designer / event manager. Jesús is proudly married to media & lighting designer, video editor, and technical director, Merle DeWitt III, with whom he parents two lazy cats: William Shake'the'Spear Apropo DeWitt I & Captain Max.
Some of his biggest inspirations in the arts are photographers Duane Michals, Francesca Woodman & Arthur Tress as well as artists Nicola Samori, Marina Abramovic, Björk Guðmundsdóttir, Roberto Ferri, Eugenio Salvador Dalí, Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio, Anna Malina, Arca & the choreographer & director Damien Jalet. His literature & poetic inspirations, whom have motivated him to continue pursuing a new unconventional style for playwriting & experimentation for lyrical productions are Ed Alvarez, Frank Bidart, Anne Carson, Mark Danielewski, Roberto Bolaño, Wisława Szymborska, Mary Oliver, Sarah Kane, Benjamin Alire Saenz, Sor Juana Inez de la Cruz, Dylan Thomas & the Wachowski Sisters.
*All photography in this website was taken by Jesús López unless stated otherwise*
(c)opyright Jesús López 2021
(c)opyright Jesús López 2021