Visiting Associate Professor
Cynthia Ettinger is a Los Angeles-based actor, director and theater creator who has been working as a stage, motion picture and television industry professional for more than 35 years. Her reputation as both a performer and teacher have brought her guest artist invitations to teach acting and theater development in nine countries across four continents. She is a founding member of The Actors’ Gang theater company, where she has served as a co-artistic director and resident master teaching artist. During the company’s 35-year history, Ettinger has directed numerous productions, adaptations and new works, including seven Shakespeare adaptations presented through The Actors’ Gang’s free Shakespeare in the Park for Culver City, which have used Shakespeare and pop culture to inspire and entertain more than 10,000 children and adults.
Other notable recent credits include conceiving and directing The Actors' Gang productions of I'm not a Racist, but… and The Pursuit of Happiness, and directing Dante for Get Lit! In addition to her own productions, Ettinger has helped develop and mount countless Actors’ Gang shows in collaboration with the company’s ensemble. For more than a decade she has worked as a teaching artist in The Actors’ Gang’s Education and Outreach Program, the Prison Project, and an immersive UCLA TFT course teaching The Actors’ Gang "style" to both undergraduate and graduate theater students.
An award-winning actor, Ettinger has appeared onstage in dozens of venues and at The Actors’ Gang in countless productions, most notably The Seagull, Mephisto, Self-Defense, Red Noses and Carnage: A Comedy. She has worked onscreen with directors such as Jonathan Demme and Stephen Frears, and television creators including David Milch, Alan Ball and Larry David. Credits include Carnivale, Deadwood, The Silence of the Lambs, Thirteen, the live CBS production of Fail Safe, Frailty, Grey's Anatomy, Curb Your Enthusiasm, ER, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Seinfeld, and most recently, Here and Now on HBO.