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ASU Gammage 2023-24 Scholar
Presidential Graduate Assistant

Arizona State University 
Herberger Institute

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All About Crestcencia Ortiz-Barnett, Ph.D.

Crestcencia Ortiz-Barnett, Affectionately known as CeCe, is a motivated and passionate Educator and Theatre Director from Detroit, Michigan. Crestcencia believes that theatre is a transformative art form and has the power to impact lives though the influence of story telling. Each performance reflects the human experience and gives us a glimpse into our current society. Her aim is to grow as a skilled and recognized Educator and Theatre Director with notable research on sense of belonging for students of color in higher education and the impact of student theatre organizations that center on the Black lived experience and belongingness.  

CeCe holds an Associates in Education, a Bachelors in theatre studies, a Masters in Theatre with a concentration in African American Theatre, a Ph.D in Education (Curriculum Accessment and Instruction) and is currently pursuing a Master of Fine Arts in Theatre Directing (2024).

Please browse her site to view highlights of her work, and get in touch with any questions.

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Directing Experience


Detroit 67 by Dominique Morriseau

Arizona State University

Pipeline by Dominique Morriseau

Arizona State University

Colorful Black History Month Instagram Story_edited.jpg

NEAT by Charlayne Woodard

Arizona State University

For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide / When The Rainbow Is Enuf by Ntozake Shange

University of Nevada Las Vegas 
Paul Harris Theatre


Miss Evers' Boys by David Feldshuh

University of Las Vegas 
Paul Harris Theatre

Instructions On How To Love A Black Girl by J. Rich

University of Nevada Las Vegas
Paul Harris Theatre


Aladdin Jr. by Chad Beguelin

Shreveport Little Theatre, LA

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Assistant Directing Experience


EVERYBODY By Branden Jacobs-Jenkins

Arizona State University

Bright Star by Steve Martin and Edie Brickell

Arizona State University


Seven Guitars by August Wilson

Nevada Conservatory Theatre


A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams

Nevada Conservatory Theatre

The Mystery Of Irma Vep by Charles Ludlum

Auburn University Montgomery Theatre

Irma Vep web.jpg

Blues for Mr. Charlie by James Baldwin

Auburn University Montgomery

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Related Experience

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Stage Manager for Auburn University Theatre, 1 season

Sound Technician for Bossier Parish Community College “Peter Pan” production

Spotlight operator for Nevada Conservatory Theatre for “Christmas Carol” production

Producer UNLV student theatre for “Fabulation” production

Lighting Technician for Auburn University Theatre for “Fiddler on the roof” production

Wardrobe Assistant for Disney on Ice

Education / Training 

Arizona State University MFA Directing

University of Arizona Global Campus, Ph.D. Education 

University of Nevada Las Vegas, MA Theatre 

Auburn University, Photography Certification 

ITTT TEFL Teaching Certification 

University of Nevada Las Vegas, BA Theatre 

Stage Management Workshop, AUM, ​

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Ortiz-Barnett, Crestcencia Lynn.   "A Phenomenological Exploration of Sense of Belonging in First-Generation African American Female Students and Its Influence on Persistence to Graduation" University of Arizona Global Campus ProQuest Dissertations Publishing, 2023. 30523371.


Ortiz-Barnett, Crestcencia Lynn, "African American Student Theatre Organization Involvement and the College Experience at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas" (2015). UNLV Theses, Dissertations, Professional Papers, and Capstones. 2404.

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Arizona State University Catalyst Award

Since 2017, the Committee for Campus Inclusion Catalyst Award honors individuals, groups, teams, clubs, organizations/units and programs that have catalyzed change by fostering and promoting diversity and inclusion.

Arizona State University JEDI Award

GPSA Justice, Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion (JEDI), Social Justice Spotlight Award

2022 Best Graduate Mentor Award

Award given by ASU Music Dance and Theatre program.

Presidential Graduate Assistantship Professional Development Award

Award given by ASU Graduate College

Artistic Director of Excellence Award

Award given by the African American Student Association for Theatre and Film.

Humanitarian Award

Award given by Delta Tau Lambda Sorority Inc.

Graduate Roosevelt Fitzgerald Award

Award Given by University of Nevada, Las Vegas Graduate Department

Alumni of Excellence Award

Award given by the University of Nevada, Las Vegas Academic Success Center.

Commitment to diversity

Award given by University of Nevada Las Vegas Civic Engagement & Diversity Department.

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Founder of The African American Student Association for Theatre and Film

University of Nevada Las Vegas  (2012)

Founder of The Black Theatre Organization (2022)

Arizona State University

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Directing Philosophy

Teaching Philosophy

Crestcencia's CV

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ASU News

Making Headlines

Actors on stage
Acting Rehearsal
Actors Rehearsing

PGA scholar discusses belongingness and how soul work moves mountains

March 27, 2023

Students work to bring Black theater to the stage at ASU

February 21, 2023

ASU theater students honor Black History Month with one-woman show

February 14, 2022

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