Mythic Imagination and the Actor

a new approach to contemporary actor training that envisages a move towards the mythic, the poetic, and the inclusive

“Sages, tricksters, femme fatales, and wrestlers swarm the pages of this remarkable book by Ms. Chibás. In crafting an approach to acting that is transformational, she has achieved something even more special: a book that is not only about to how act, but how to live.”

Octavio Solis, writer of Lydia, Mother Road and Retablos

Selected to be a featured book at
ATHE (Association for Theater in Higher Education)
conference August 2023.

About the book

In Mythic Imagination and the Actor, Marissa Chibás draws
on over three decades of experience as a Latinx actor, writer,
filmmaker, and teacher to offer an approach to acting that
embraces collective imagination, archetypal work, and the
mythic. In the context of Mythic Acting, the book explores
awareness work, solo performance creation, the power of
archetypes, character building exercises, creating a
body/text connection, and how to be the detective of your
own process. Written for actors and students of Acting,
American Drama, and Film and Theatre Studies, this book
provides practical exercises and prompts to unlock and
interpret an actor’s deepest creative sources.

Illustrator Makena Janssen

“The beauty of this work is that it reminds you that your power is within you.”

Nataki Garrett, Artistic Director Oregon Shakespeare Festival

“This Book is a MUST READ”.

Ron Cephas Jones, Two-time Emmy award winning actor. 

“A beautifully written exploration of the key aspects of the actor’s craft as seen through the lense of mythology, imagination, spirituality, and the hero’s quest.”
José Rivera, Playwright of Marisol and academy award nominee for Motor Cycle Diaries

“This book will inform and impact the future of acting training.”
Dawn Akemi Saito, multi-disciplinary theater artist, faculty at Fordham University and Julliard Drama

Meet the Author



Her work as an actor has been seen on Broadway and on major stages throughout the world and her solo show, Daughter of a Cuban Revolutionary, has toured the U.S., Europe, and Mexico and was published by Routledge Press.

Her short film, Finding Shelter, won best documentary short at the San Diego Latino Film Festival in 2019 and she received a filmmaker of the month award (September 2019) from NewFilmmakers LA. Her silent film/performance piece, Clara’s Los Angeles, was presented at REDCAT’s NOW festival.

Her films have screened at; Nevertheless Film Festival, Anthology Film Archive, The Segal Center in NYC, Echo Park Film Center, NewFilmakers LA co-hosted with the Oscars among others. She recently completed A Cuban Documemory, a feature length film based on her reflections of her travels to Cuba since 1993, and her life as the daughter of a Cuban revolutionary and runner up Miss Cuba.

She is on the Theater School faculty at California Institute of the Arts where she is Director of Duende CalArts, an initiative of the CalArts Center for New Performance that produces innovative Latinx and Latin American artists.


“I cannot recommend Marissa Chibás’s book more highly.”

Daniel Alexander Jones, award winning American performance artist, playwright, director, essayist and educator.


Archetypes are fluid, not fixed; they are powerful portals to finding the specificity and dynamism of the characters we are portraying . . . because these archetypes are personas that have been around for thousands of years, and have been developed, expanded, and brought forward in stories for ages, they are known to us on a cellular level. 

— Chapter 3: Archetypes

No matter where an actor works, the space they engage with needs to become sacred.  Especially as rehearsal processes get more and more corporate, we need to find ways to remind ourselves of the spiritual aspect of what we do, no matter how dreary a space we may be in.  There is always something to fall in love with.

— Chapter 2: Laying the Ground Work

“This book is filled with exercises to enliven the imagination of the actor.”  

Cynthia Santos-DeCure, actor, voice and dialect professor, Yale School of Drama 

Send Us an Email with your address and quantity of ARCHETYPE CARDS FOR ARTISTS desired and you’ll be contacted with more payment and shipping details.


September 15, 22, 29 2021
Pacifica Graduate Institute