Nikki Appino

For three decades, Nikki Appino, a multi-disciplinary theater artist and filmmaker, has refined her career as a director, writer, and producer for stage and screen.

Her work has been recognized through commissions and grants, including the Pew Center for Arts & Culture, the Flintridge Foundation, Paul Allen Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts/TCG Fellowship.

In the 90’s she founded the company House of Dames to develop and produce original theater and film works. From 1998 to 2003, House of Dames produced over ten original pieces, including Invisible InkBefore the Comet ComesRain City Rollers, and Djinn.

“Each of writer-director Appino’s pieces has had its own singular style.  But running through much of her original work, from the visually grand Djinn, to the more intimate Invisible Ink and Project X are currents of melancholy…humor, and a human-scale approach to epic subjects.”—The Seattle Times

Appino has collaborated with a range of artists and composers, including Eyvind Kang, Robin Holcomb, Tenzin Choegyal, Wayne Horvitz, and Philip Glass. Her directing credits include Robin Holcomb’s Silent Spring (Walker Center, Wexner, Flynn Center, Dance Theater Workshop).

From 2010 to 2013, Appino worked with the International Women’s Partnership for Peace and Justice in Thailand teaching generative theatre and media production. While there she collaborated on three video documentary projects: Inside OutWorld on Fire, and The Art of Change.

With her present company Appino Productions she directed and produced the documentaries A Girls’ Gotta Ride (about women and the rodeo) and American Rimpoche: A Tibetan Lama in the Twenty-first Century (about the arrival of Tibetan Buddhism in the West, with music by Philip Glass).

She currently has three projects in development: The White Lama, which explores the life and disappearance of Theos Casmiri Hamati Bernard, Transcontinental, a musical myth about two women in love at a 1932 roller derby contest and Archivist with Saori Tsukada.

Her recent project, Club Diamond (with Saori Tsukada) was selected for the Sundance TheatreMakers Residency and its Theatre Lab at MassMoCA. Club Diamond premiered at the Under the Radar Festival at the Public Theater in New York City, and it played at the Days and Night Festival in Big Sur, California.

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