Rachel Rosenthal is an interdisciplinary solo performer. Born in Paris of Russian parents, her family fled Europe during WWII to New York where she graduated from the High School of Music and Art and became a U.S. Citizen. She studied art and theatre in Paris and New York after the war, with such teachers as Hans Hoffmann, Merce Cunningham, Erwin Piscator and Jean-Louis Barrault.
She moved to California in 1955 where she created the experimental Instant Theatre, performing in and directing it for ten years. She was a leading figure in the L.A. Women's Art Movement in the 1970's, co-founding Womanspace, among other projects. Since 1975, Rosenthal has focused primarily on performance, creating, writing and performing over 30 full-length solo and group pieces.
She has appeared in such venues as documenta 8/Kassel-West Germany, The Festival de Theatre des Ameriques/Montreal-Canada, the Kaaitheater/ Brussels, Festival Internacional de Teatro/Granada-Spain, the Theatre Festival / Zagreb -Yugoslavia, U.S Time Festival/Ghent-Belgium, The Helsinki Festival/Helsinki-Finland, The Internationales Sommer Theater Festival/Hamburg-Germany, I.C.A./London, The Performance Space/Sydney-Australia, The Kitchen, Dance Theatre Workshop and Serious Fun!(Lincoln Center)in New York City, the L.A. Festival (1987, 1990) Japan America Theatre, and Museum Of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, Jacob's Pillow Splash Festival/Lee, MA and the Kala Institute/ Berkeley, CA. In 1990, Ms. Rosenthal premiered "PANGAEAN DREAMS" at The Santa Monica Museum Of Art for The L.A. Festival. Her 1992 piece "filename: FUTURFAX" was commissioned by the Whitney Museum in New York. In 1994 she premiered her 60-performer piece "ZONE" at the UCLA Center for the Performing Arts' Wadsworth Theatre.
She spoke at Carnegie-Mellon University's Robert Lepper Distinguished Lecture in Creative Inquiry series. In addition to personal appearances as performer, panelist and lecturer, Rosenthal teaches performance in her private studio in Los Angeles and has been a visiting artist at such institutions as UCLA, UC Irvine, CSU Long Beach, California Institute of the Arts, The Art Institute of Chicago, Otis Parsons, NYU, UCSB, etc.
Grants received include: NEA Solo Performer Fellow (1983,1990,1993,1994), California Arts Council Fellow (1988), J. Paul Getty Fellow (1990), five USIA travel grants (1987-1993), Art Matters(1988-1990), The Tides Foundation (1988-91), City of L.A. Cultural Affairs Department (1989-1993), National State County Partnership.(1989,1991,1993,1994,1995), NEA Interarts (1992), Foundation for Contemporary Performing Arts, Inc. (1988-1990) and The Rockefeller Foundation MAP (1993), and most recently The J.Paul Getty Trust Fund for the Visual Arts (1995).
Awards include the Vesta Award (1983), the Obie Award (1989), the LA Artcore Art Award (1991), the College Art Association of America Artist Award (1991), the Women's Caucus for Art Honor Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Arts(1994). Artist Robert Rauschenberg has honored her in a new suite of prints entitled Tribute 21(1994) as the representative for Theatre in a list including Art, Music, Civil Rights, Space & Ecology. Recipients include Mikhail Gorbachov, R.Buckminster Fuller, Toni Morrison, Nelson Mandela and the Dalia Lama. Last March, she received The Ark Trusts' Genesis Award for spotlighting animal rights issues with "courage, creativity and integrity".
She is director of The Rachel Rosenthal Company, a Non-Profit organization, since 1989. She lives in Los Angeles in the company of two dogs and two cats and describes herself as a feminist, an animal rights activist, a vegan vegetarian and an Earth worshipper.