CECILE PINEDA completed her theater studies in 1970,
taking an advanced M.A. degree in theater from San Francisco
State at the time of the San Francisco State student strike,
the longest student strike in American university history. Among
her chief formative influences she counts Peter Schumann of the
Bread & Puppet Theater, Paul Rebillot of the Drama faculty
of San Francisco State and later Stanford University; and the
writings of Antonin Artaud. Her mentors include Dugald MacArthur,
formerly of the drama faculty of San Francisco State and later
of Temple University; and R. G. Davis former director of the
S.F. Mime Troupe, who was responsible for organizing the Radical
Theater Festival which took place at S. F. State in 1969.
She founded Theatre of Man which she directed from 1969 to 1981.
Envisioned as a poet's theater, her work drew on the hidden sources
of dream, archetype and myth to move an audience in ways other
than the purely rational. Performance pieces were developed in
an intense rehearsal process in which actors collaborated with
composers, designers, choreographers, playwrights, and sculptors
under her direction. Her work in the theater eventually became
the apprenticeship she would require to transform her primary
medium to fiction.
Among her collaborators were William E. Young and Martin Bresnick,
composers; Roger Berry, Nancy Worthington, and Peter Veres, sculptors;
and Michel Indergand, conceptual artist and designer.
IN THE UNDERGROUND