Ashley Tata is a director and designer of multi-media works of theater, contemporary opera, performance, live music and immersive experiences. Her work frequently sits at the intersection of music, installation and performance and has been presented in venues and festivals throughout the U.S. and internationally including LA Opera, Austin Opera, The Miller Theater, Mass MoCA, National Sawdust, The Kitchen, EMPAC, BPAC, Dixon Place, Roulette Intermedium, HERE Arts Center, PROTOTYPE Festival, The Crossing the Line Festival, the Holland Festival, The Big Ears Festival, The National Centre for the Performing Arts in Beijing, Fargo-Moorhead Opera, and the Bard Fisher Center. She earned her MFA at Columbia University and has taught or guest taught at Harvard University, MIT, Marymount Manhattan College, Colgate College, Bard College, LIU Post and NYU. She is a member of the Lincoln Center Theater’s Directors’ Lab, the recipient of the Lotos Foundation's Emerging Artist Award in Arts and Sciences and a winner of the 2017 Robert L. B. Tobin Director/Designer grant. Recently: David T. Little's Soldier Songs with video by Bill Morrison at LA Opera and the launch of Austin Opera's ATX with Beth Morrison Projects — called an "extraordinarily powerful production" by The LA Times; Found Sound Nation's Mosaic: Interactive at the Big Ears Festival in Knoxville, TN; Kate Soper's Ipsa Dixit -- remounted in 2018 after being named one of the top “ten notable performances of 2017” by Alex Ross of The New Yorker; the New York premiere Huang Ruo’s Bound at Baruch Performing Arts Center with Fresh Squeezed Opera; and she was Associate Director to Daniel Fish on his acclaimed production of Oklahoma! at St. Ann's Warehouse, which is now running on Broadway.
Her Associate work has been with directors Robert Woodruff, Jay Scheib, Daniel Fish and Michael Counts, among others in such venues as the Brooklyn Academy of Music, St. Ann’s Warehouse, The Lincoln Center Theater Festival, The Park Avenue Armory, Spoleto Festival, USA, Fort Worth Opera and LAOpera at REDCAT. In addition to her work in opera she has worked in the realm of immersive entertainment, escape rooms and advertising and was the Creative Director of Michael Counts’s Immersive Escape Productions from 2017-2018 where she devised environmental, multi-platform, immersive escape rooms and experiences including Paradiso: The Memory Room and The Path of Beatrice. She has created immersive escape experiences for musician St. Vincent, tailored for the drop of her most recent album, Masseduction (Spotify, NYC) and worked with medical add company GSW as the lead creative (writer/director) for a new escape experience tailored to the release of a new cholesterol-reducing drug for Amgen. This experience which premiered at the American Cardiologist Association’s Convention in Orlando, FL in 2018 earned the team a gold medal in the Medical, Marketing & Media awards of 2018.
Her work has taken her to The Radikal Jung Festival at the Volkstehater in Munich, Germany, to Kiev, Ukraine for the International Bulgakov Theater Festival, to Poland to train at the Centre for Theatre Practices Gardzienice, to Prague to create a piece of environmental theater at the 2011 Quadrennial and to Berlin to conduct research for her MFA thesis production of Bertolt Brecht’s The Good Person of Szechwan. She received her BA in Theater Studies from Marymount Manhattan College, graduating Summa Cum Laude, and her MFA in Directing from Columbia University where she studied with Anne Bogart and Brian Kulick and subsequently worked with Kulick at Classic Stage Company as the Associate Artistic Director during the Spring 2013 season. At Marymount Manhattan College she has taught classes on the history of experimental theater in New York City and on performance.