Rubén Polendo is Founding Artistic Director of Theater Mitu. Committed to challenging the parameters of theater research and practice with Mitu for over twenty years, Polendo’s practice and pedagogical work is situated in the tension between acting and performance, theatrical design and installation, multi-media and interactive technology. Theater Mitu is located in its own interdisciplinary arts space in Gowanus, Brooklyn called MITU580. This former glass recycling warehouse is a unique gathering place where transdisciplinary arts practice is interrogated, incubated, and produced. With over forty-five original company-created works, Theater Mitu has been presented and developed nationally (including New York Theatre Workshop, Public Theater, Skirball, Lincoln Center, NAATCO, Rattlestick Theater, 3LD, Kennedy Center, McCarter, Perseverance, The Alliance, Mark Taper Forum, A.C.T., Sundance, Watermill, NACL, Zspace, Rubin Gallery, MassMOCA, NOLA Contemporary Arts Center, LATC, BAM, Mercury Store) and internationally (including Patravadi Center/Thailand, CCPN/Mexico, DUOC/Chile, Visthar/India, UB Blkbx/Mongolia, Mansion Blatt/Lebanon, Manarat Al Saadiyat/ UAE, NYUAD Arts Center/UAE, Kontakt Festival/Poland, CIFCET/ Egypt, MESSFestival/ Bosnia & Herzegovina, National Theater/ Bahrain).
Polendo’s work with Mitu has been recognized by a range of awards, grants, and organizations, including the National Endowment for the Arts, MAP Fund, CEC Arts Link, Rolex Protégé Arts Initiative, New York State Council for the Arts, The Rosenberg Foundation, The Alpert Award, The Greenwald Foundation, The Mental Insight Foundation, and The Howard Gilman Foundation. Theater Mitu has been company-in-residence at The Watermill Center, Sundance Theater Lab, The Public Theater, New York Theater Workshop, and at The NYU Abu Dhabi Arts Center.
Polendo served as Founding Theater Program Director and Founding Associate Dean for the Arts Center at NYU Abu Dhabi where he is affiliated faculty. Polendo most recently served as Chair for The Department of Drama and is currently Associate Dean for the Institute of Performing Arts.
Polendo was educated in Mexico and the US. He holds an M.F.A. in Directing from the UCLA School of Theater, Film, and Television; an M.A. in Global Performance from Lancaster University in the U.K.; and a B.S. in Biochemistry from Trinity University.