Maven Of Make Believe

Maven Of Make Believe

5.0 (2)

About this pro

Erin Leigh Crites is an international theatre artist, educator, and maven of make-believe. She has 15 years of travel, performance, and teaching under her belt and is ready to help you find the power of positive presence to activate your creative ownership, artistic impulses, and authenticity in performance. She has served as full-time faculty at both the University of Louisville and Idyllwild Arts Academy, which means she has worked extensively with ages 12 to 45. She currently teaches at Idyllwild Arts Academy, is Vice President of the Board of Directors for Clowns Without Borders, a founding ensemble member of LA-based Fiasco! Physical Theatre, and an Alexander Technique teacher in training.

She received her MFA in ensemble-based physical theatre from Dell'Arte International in 2010.

She originated a role in Nobel Laureate, Dario Fo's last play, La Storia di Qu, for the Milan International Expo in 2015.

She debuted The Christians at the Mark Taper Forum in 2015. 

She has directed five original, devised pieces for mainstage since 2015. Hint! A Masked Murder Mystery, Improvaganda!, Commedia Canon!, The Man Who Knows, Off the Grid: A devised musical, and Death and the Fool.

I truly believe that human connection and play are our main tools for personal innovation, development, and quality of life. These are really important muscles for a theatre artist to exercise but I would argue that they are valuable for anyone who wants to connect to others. When students make discoveries and look to me to share that moment, the whole world lights up and we both are changed. I live for those moments. 

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Tarzana, CA 91335
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2 Reviews


  • Sofia P.

    Erin makes me feel like I have a voice that is worth hearing. My confidence has increased so much since I started working with her.

  • Aurora Winger

    By offering me an insight into the hardwork of creativity, Erin has been one of the best teachers/mentors in my life. In the three years I've known her she has always put the same amount of energy I put into my education into the training she gives me. She engages her own mind outside of teaching to reinspire herself and find new material to bring back to us as students. She treats her students like proffessionals, training us to endure, be conscious of our bodies, and to think outside of the box. She constantly walks the tight rope between being tough on her students and encouraging her students to excel. She has been willing to imagine the unimaginable, making her rehearsal/classroom spaces into safety zones for students to push themselves out of their comfort zones. She allows her students to experiment, exploring themselves, each other, and the world around them. Working with Maven Of Make Believe has changed my perception of theatre and provided me with the skillsets needed to be attentive in my own growth and work.

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What is your typical process for working with a new student?

Many of my students describe me as part life-coach, part comedian, part performance coach. I get to know the student and their habits as a way of linking their personal life to their artistic career, if they want this kind of detail. After getting to know these habits, we work on small, actionable plans to experiment with those habits and potentially develop new habits for success in daily life as well as the audition room and in front of an audience. I have worked in many modalities and have the expertise to craft multiple access point for students to grow into a fuller, more confident version of themselves. 

What education and/or training do you have that relates to your work?

MFA in ensemble-based physical theatre from Dell'Arte International School of Physical Theatre. 

Trained with Nobel Laureate, Dario Fo in Arezzo and Milan, Italy. Originated a role in his last, unpublished play for the Milan International Expo.

Vice President of the Board of Directors for Clowns Without Borders USA, a humanitarian aid organization that offers support to children and their families in areas affected by crisis. 

Lessons offered

Acrobatics Classes Acting Classes Child Acting Lessons Circus Arts Lessons Clowning Training Improv Acting Classes Shakespearean Acting Classes Speaking Voice Training Stage Performance Training Stand Up Comedy Classes Theater Acting Classes Theatrical Dance Classes Voice Acting Classes Tumbling Classes