Duende CalArts an initiative of the CalArts Center for New Performance dedicated to developing and producing innovative work emerging from Latinx and Latin American communities and sources. Marissa Chibas heads Duende CalArts as party of the CalArts Center for New Performance.

Established in 2009 by Marissa Chibas, Duende CalArts brings prominent and emerging Latinx and Latin American artists from the performance community to develop adventurous projects at CNP. It aims to expand aesthetic boundaries and performance discourse, collaborating with national and international Latinx artists and advancing multilingual works.

Featured Project: Shelter


Una obra sobre travesías (A play about journeys)
Conceived and written by Marissa Chibas
Directed by Martin Acosta

SHELTER is a theater and documentary film project that shares stories of the massive human crisis of children refugees who pass through the U.S. deportation shelter system. Marissa Chibas leads an interdisciplinary team of artists including choreographer Fernando Belo and Mexico-based director Martin Acosta.

Watch Work Sample


by Marissa Chibas

Shelter by actor-writer Marissa Chibas is a powerful story of those who cross borders and those who try to find a way to make their dreams come true. This publication is part of NoPassport Press’ Dreaming the Americas Series.

buy Now

“…Chibas’ oddly hopeful tale and the tautly riveting invention of Acosta’s dynamic movement-
based staging could hardly be more on point or movingly intact.”

LA Weekly

““…playwright Marissa Chibas’ affecting and politically trenchant tapestry of all-too- real horrors.””

LA Weekly

“Chibas’ real coup is in her portraiture…the characters in Shelter’s sharply sketched
collage…are notable for the disarming, everyday sameness of their aspirations to those of any
American adolescent living in Sherman Oaks or Highland Park.”

LA Weekly

“Chibas and Acosta stirringly connect the dots of the crisis”

LA Weekly

Shelter News

Shelter –

October 11th

Mexican National Theater School (ENAT) International Theater Conference in Mexico City, Punto de Encuentro: Identidades/Diferencias (Meeting point, Identity and Differences)

Selections from the play Shelter and the documentary will be presented.

Shelter Documentary blurb –

Shelter shares the stories of several unaccompanied minors and how their stories were made in to a play.  The documentary focuses on the experiences the young people had making their journey’s, their two year long involvement with the play, as well as how the lives of the creative team were changed.  Shelter received National attention and was performed in Lincoln Park, several conferences and community centers, And the Kennedy Center.  It is narrated by one of the girls who was interviewed four years ago for the play, and who is now going to college to be an engineer.    

August 17th

Screening of the CalArts Center for New Performance/Duende CalArts documentary Finding Shelter at Museum of Social Justice, 4-6 followed by a panel moderated by Marissa Chibas with representatives of KIND (Kids in Need of Defense), and CARECEN LA. Finding Shelter screened at the San Diego Latino Film Festival, Martin Segal International Film Festival NYC, Sotomayor High School, Nevertheless film Festival.

Screening at the NewFilmakers Film Festival (NFMLA) in collaboration with the Oscars on September 14th at The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science’s Linwood Dunn Theater in Hollywood.

Learn More about Duende