The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

No script? No problem!

Actor and director Davis Freeman focuses on avant-garde pieces that both engage and involve audiences. He’s toured all over Europe, and is taking on his next challenge here at City College.

Born in Los Angeles and raised in Santa Barbara, Freeman has been surrounded by the essence of theater arts. From infancy, Freeman was molded and influenced by his mother and his father Pope Freeman, a retired City College theater professor.

“I starred in some of (my father’s) shows,” says Freeman. He has always been around positive influences, such as theater professor Rick Mokler.

“I’ve known Davis since he was a little kid,” Mokler said.

Story continues below advertisement

After high school, Davis went to a theater arts university in Indiana where he further nourished his love for theater. He returned to LA to pursue an acting career following college.

“I was just doing (television) series and commercials,” he said. His thirst for more was quenched when he went to Europe and discovered a more lavish way of expression through improvisation, Dance Theater and performance art as a whole.

These techniques influenced him to create his own unique pieces, such as “Investment.” In that performance, the audience is given a lottery ticket, which has the opportunity to win massive amounts of money. Then they are asked what they would most likely want to invest their money in. The options vary from giving to charity, investing in theater, or purchasing something for themselves. When engaged they aren’t separated from the actors or the piece but much rather involved and more eager to listen.

Freeman is now settled in Brussels, Belgium. He lives there with his wife, Portuguese choreographer Lilia Mestre, and their 10-year-old son. The couple created a production company, Random Scream, which mainly focuses on improvisation, dance theater, and performance art.

“It’s a company with just me and my ideas,” Freeman said. In his acting there are no scripts, simply nourished ideas that flow.

His productions take months to create. “Investment” was an idea that came about in a year, requiring months of research from different institutions and extensive weeks for creation.

Now at City College, he’s faced with the challenge of putting together a entire performance with a cast of 12 actors working about 20 hours a week.

“I’m used to working eight hour long days, seven days a week,” he said. “It’s a job.”

This makes “The Davis Freeman Project” a challenging, but worthwhile task for Freeman.

When asked why he chose Santa Barbara City College he said, “it chose me.” Rick Mokler called him since there’s a lack of space due to the reconstruction of the Garvin Theatre. Freeman believes that this project is like a baby and must be fed.

“We have to find out what it needs, what it wants,” he said.

The cast doesn’t know what they’re in for. When coming in to their very first rehearsal on Sept. 17, they were ready for the unexpected. Theater Arts major Ingrid Lino, 23, said she was unaware of what awaited her in the next room.

“I’m excited about it,” she said.

As for 19-year-old Sara Beroff, she is just happy that a different form of theater is coming to City College.

“It’s so different,” she said.

“The Davis Freeman Project” will be performed in the Interim Theater on Oct. 15 and 16.

More to Discover