QUEST SKY ZEIDLER
An Angeleno born and raised, I was practically predestined to be a storyteller. With a first name most commonly heard in tales of high fantasy and a middle name taken from Guys and Dolls, what other choice did I have? I was an indoorsy child who occupied myself making Halloween decorations out of construction paper and creating digital picture books in Storybook Weaver. When I was dragged to my older brother’s little league games I sat in the bleachers with my back to the field and my nose in whatever book I brought with me. My love for performance was sparked in second grade, playing the role of a satyr in King Arthur’s Quest (penned by our teacher, Valerie Plaisance). Theatre would remain a constant throughout my adolescence, in afterschool programs and middle school play production. I decided to forgo the nearest high school and instead enrolled in the Performing Arts Magnet at Van Nuys High School. I became a fixture within the department: acting, directing, dancing, choreographing, and even being elected president of the drama club.
I fell in love with the University of California, Santa Cruz as soon as I stepped foot on its campus. The Theatre Arts Department not only reinvigorated my passion for drama and dance, it awakened a drive and ambition within me that I never knew I had. During my time there I acted in seven productions, directed five more, assistant directed on three faculty projects, founded a performance troupe—not to mention dabbling in prop mastery and sound design. Suffice it to say I tackled every project that came my way while maintaining exceptional grades. I even took on a second major, becoming enamored with the History of Art and Visual Culture. My efforts in art history were by no means a secondary priority; I received the Arts Dean’s Award in 2016 for a paper I wrote about Yvonne Rainer’s Trio A, as well as Honors in my Senior Seminar on Bronze Age Greek wall paintings.
Still not satisfied, I continued my studies at UC Santa Cruz in their Theatre Arts M.A. program. Alongside my degree requirements I honed my abilities in the classroom as a teaching assistant for three theatre history courses. I was already well aware of several research interests that fascinated me—theatrical semiotics, gender performativity, monster theory, expressionist theatre—which I had the joy of experimenting with in my capstone thesis project. The resulting paper, You Can’t Just Be a Picture: Expressionistic Memory and Trauma in Lion in the Streets, articulates not only my process for that production but the trails I hope to blaze with my future theatrical work. I remained in Santa Cruz after graduate school where I volunteered with the Bay Area Playwrights Foundation, found employment at Santa Cruz Shakespeare, and worked a lackluster retail day job.
Eventually the high cost of living outweighed my deep affection for the redwood groves and I returned to my hometown in the San Fernando Valley. Just as I was beginning to find my footing within the Los Angeles theatre scene, the COVID-19 pandemic reared its ugly head. With live performance off the table for the time being, I invested my time in a multitude of pursuits in the comfort of my own home. I joined a collaborative creative writing group, continued researching my many academic fixations, began production on several video essays and podcast episodes, and played an embarrassing amount of Animal Crossing: New Horizons. Beyond the realm of performance studies and dramatic literature, I fill my time by reading about a multitude of subjects, especially mythology and mythography, monster theory and horror criticism, and queer theory. I’m also a sucker for the fantasy genre, especially in video games and tabletop role-playing games. Even in my downtime I find myself compelled toward storytelling and analysis, engaged in a constant creative quest.
AWARDS & ACADEMICS
2017 - Master of Arts in Theatre Arts,
University of California, Santa Cruz
2016 - Bachelor of Arts in Theatre Arts and
History of Art & Visual Culture
University of California, Santa Cruz
2016 - Art's Deans Award in History of Art & Visual Culture
2016 - Honors in History of Art & Visual Culture Senior Seminar