Jesse Bonnell is an artist based in Brooklyn and Los Angeles. His original work has been shown at REDCAT, Museum of Contemporary Art Santa Barbara, RADAR L.A., South Coast Rep, The Getty Villa, EMPAC, The Collapsible Hole, Baruch Performing Arts Center, Machine Project, and CAP UCLA. Internationally, his work has toured Eastern Europe, performing in Croatia, Poland, and Serbia, and was presented at the 2009 Grotowski Festival. Bonnell has received major support from Theater Communications Group (TCG), United States Embassy Belgrade, Los Angeles County Arts Commission, The Ahmanson Foundation, LADCA Cultural Exchange International Grant, and Creative Capital. He has been awarded a MacDowell Colony Fellowship, and other residencies at REDCAT, Rotterdamse Schouwburg, Headlands Center for the Arts, Abrons Art Center, and the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, among others. His work has been written about in the American Theater Magazine, Theater Magazine, Beautiful Savage Magazine, and Theater Journal. He is an inaugural member of the APAP Artist Institute created by Liz Lerman, and Marc Bamuthi Joseph. From 2018 - 2019 he was an Artist in Residence at CAP UCLA which commissioned and presented a new work titled, Group Therapy. He was a cofounding member of Poor Dog Group, a theater collective based in Los Angeles. MFA, California Institute of the Arts (2020).
I am a director of theater, film, and opera. My work germinates within the intersectionality of forms including painting, photography, writing, and media.
As a director, I collaboratively generate original performances and radical interpretations of existing texts. Traditional at times, and categorically defiant at others, my work begins as an obsession into psychosocial encounters. From here I develop narratives drawing upon a variety of source material. I am interested in ephemeral art as a way to critique our society, germinating within visual art vocabularies, cinema, subverted theatrical idioms, non-hierarchical collaboration, and lab-like experimentation with language and emotional embodiment.