Ashley Tata is a New York-based director of contemporary opera, multi-media performances and immersive experiences. Her work has been seen in venues and festivals throughout the U.S. and internationally including National Sawdust, The Kitchen, EMPAC, Dixon Place, HERE Arts Center, PROTOTYPE Festival, The Crossing the Line Festival, the Holland Festival, The National Centre for the Performing Arts in Beijing, Fargo-Moorhead Opera, and the Richard B. Fisher Center at Bard College. In the 18/19 Season her production of David T. Little's Soldier Songs will have it's LA Opera premiere, her production of Kate Soper's Ipsa Dixit will be presented at the Miller Theater as part of their Composer Portrait series, she will be the director in residence at Harvard University where she will develop a new work, she will stage the NYC premiere of Huang Ruo's opera Bound with Fresh Squeezed Opera and her staging of David T. Little's Soldier Songs will be presented with Opera ATX, Austin Opera. She earned her MFA at Columbia University and has taught or guest taught at Marymount Manhattan College, Colgate College, Bard College, LIU Post and NYU. She is 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: Stop Motion with Contemporaneous Ensemble as a part of the MATA Festival (The Kitchen, NYC); a semi-staged performance of excerpts from the new opera Turing by Eamonn Farrell and William Antoniou (National Sawdust, NYC); Cut Piece for Pants Suit — after Yoko Ono’s Cut Piece which was co-created/directed with JoAnne Akalaitis (Madison Square Park, NYC); the multi-media pop-up series “Out of Bounds” (PROTOTYPE Festival 17, NYC); Kate Soper’s Ipsa Dixit (EMPAC; Dixon Place, NYC) -- named by the New Yorker as one of the top “ten notable performances of 2017”; Molière's Don Juan at the Fisher Center at Bard College (NY); a multi-media concert staging of David T. Little’s opera Soldier Songs with video by filmmaker Bill Morrison (Atlas Theatre, DC and The Holland Festival, Amsterdam, Beth Morrison Projects); the premieres of George Lam’s Dolly Parton-fan inspired opera Heartbreak Express (Rhymes with Opera, NYC); thingNY’s environmental opera This Takes Place Close By (Knockdown Center, NYC); Mojiao Wang's opera Encounter (National Centre for the Performing Arts, Beijing Modern Music Festival, Beijing, China); Lainie Fefferman’s oratorio Here I Am featuring Newspeak Ensemble and Va Vocals (Roulette, NYC); and Morningside Opera Company’s A Weimar Flute, incorporating texts of Weimar-era writers with Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte (Housing Works Bookstore, NYC). As an assistant and associate director she regularly works with Beth Morrison Projects and with directors Robert Woodruff, Jay Scheib and Daniel Fish in such venues as the Brooklyn Academy of Music, The Lincoln Center Theater Festival, Spoleto Festival, USA, Fort Worth Opera and LAOpera at REDCAT. In September she assisted Dutch director/composer Michel van der Aa on his production Blank Out at the Park Avenue Armory. She is an associate with Michael Counts on many of his live performance experiences and was the Creative Director of 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 was the lead creative (writer/director) for a new escape experience tailored to the release of a new cholesterol-reducing drug for Amgen. 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. She is on the faculty of the theater department at Marymount Manhattan College where she has taught classes on the history of experimental theater in New York City and on performance.