Leadership

Artistic Director Rob Salas has directed the Ensemble’s productions of Romeo and JulietTwelfth NightA Midsummer Night’s DreamHenry V, and Macbeth: The Radio Play while serving as a founding Artistic Director. While establishing the Ensemble, he received his MFA in Directing from UC Irvine, where he helmed the productions of Mary Stuart, Escape from Happiness, The House of Bernarda Alba, Rhinoceros, and Speed-the-Plow. Mr. Salas has assistant directed at many prestigious theaters including Oregon Shakespeare Festival, South Coast Repertory, American Repertory Theater, and the Utah Shakespeare Festival. Other directing credits include The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged) at New Village Arts in San Diego, Action: Ecuador at Dramatic Adventure Theater in New York, and Harvard University’s productions of The Zoo Story, Julius Caesar, and The Tempest. Mr. Salas received his BA in English and Dramatic Art at Harvard University.

Artistic Director Gia Battista is a founding Artistic Director of DSE as well as an actor, director, and education coordinator. Her acting credits include: Eurydice in Relapse (DSE), Puck in A Midsummer Night’s Dream (DSE), Beloved in The Sonnet Project (DSE), Viola in Twelfth Night (DSE), Juliet in Romeo and Juliet (DSE), Gallethea in Gallethea (UC Davis), Isabella in Measure for Measure (UC Davis), Perdita in A Winter’s Tale (UC Davis), and Sheila in Hair (Studio 301). Ms. Battista’s directing credits include: Macbeth: The Radio Play, Relapse, The Complete Works of William Shakespeare Abridged, The Sonnet Project (DSE), Fuddy Meers, Macbeth (Studio 301), and Love’s Labour’s Lost (North Coast Repertory Theatre).  While studying at UC Davis she taught Shakespeare to K-12 students through the Mondavi Center’s ArtsBridge Program. Ms. Battista received her BA in English and Dramatic Art from UC Davis.

Associate Artistic Director/Resident Composer Richard Chowenhill, in keeping with the mission of the Davis Shakespeare Ensemble, is fiercely committed to bringing the work of Shakespeare into a modern context through the incorporation of relevant and contemporary forms of music and musical ensembles. Recent credits include original scores for the Davis Shakespeare Ensemble’s productions of Twelfth NightThe Sonnet Project, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Relapse, Henry V, and Macbeth: The Radio Play as well as sound design for The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged). A graduate of UC Davis, Mr. Chowenhill holds a degree in Music (emphases in Composition and Classical Guitar Performance), and is the recipient of the Olga Brose Valente Memorial Prize for Excellence in Musical Composition, a Departmental Citation for Outstanding Undergraduate Accomplishment in Music, and the Department of Music Faculty Award for Excellence in Musical Performance. Mr. Chowenhill is currently an MFA candidate in music composition and theory at Brandeis University.

Resident Visual Artist Daniel Olivas is an artist with a passion for expressive works that deliver strong emotional value. His custom work for the Davis Shakespeare Ensemble embodies storytelling through imagery. His involvement includes original designs for the Davis Shakespeare Ensemble’s productions of Romeo and Juliet, The Sonnet Project, A Midsummer Night’s DreamA Winter Evening with Davis Shakespeare Ensemble, Relapse, Henry V, and Macbeth: The Radio Play. Mr. Olivas’ involvement extends to designing the Davis Shakespeare Ensemble logo. He is also the graphic designer for the motion picture production company Olivisual Productions in San Diego. Mr. Olivas graduated from UC Davis with BA’s in Art Studio (emphasis in painting & video) and Film Studies and received a Departmental Award for Outstanding Performance in Art Studio as well as the Davis Short Film Festival Award for Best Experimental film. In addition, Mr. Olivas is a freelance artist who specializes in custom paintings commissioned by private and public patrons.