Carly Pandza was born in San Diego, CA and has been directing stage and film from the ripe old age of 5 when she’d steal her mom’s old VHS tape recorder and put on live productions with all her cousins in her grandmother’s back living room. She received her double Bachelor of Fine Arts from Chapman University for Film Production and Screen Acting. She won the prestigious Cecil B. Demille for ‘Achievement in Screen Acting’ award as well as the Ron Thronson ‘Outstanding Performance’ award for her studies and performance while in school. She has studied storytelling and worked on her craft under some of the most prestigious creative companies from around the world such as the famous The Old Globe Theatre in San Diego, CA, A Noise Within theater company in Pasadena, California, Ensemble Studio Theatre in Los Angeles, California, Manhattan Film Institute in New York and The National Theatre School of Ireland in Dublin, Ireland. She has travelled, worked and studied around the world in various countries in Europe and in Africa. Her 2010 documentary short “Shadows in the Forest” was accepted into several festivals including the Newport Beach Film Festival. One of her most proud partnerships was acting within the popular, highly acclaimed immersive theatre of cruelty production of “Creep: Entry” from Just Fix It Productions. She is responsible for producing the successful “You Are Not Your Hair” charity event in summer 2014 in Los Angeles. Her 2015 feature-length documentary entitled “Hair” followed her on her journey of discovering cultural identity through hair. The award-winning film was bought by Hulu and ran on their streaming service platform.
She has just launched her own theatre company, HER Theatre Company, with their first production of Theresa Rebeck’s play, “Sunday On The Rocks” that premiered in June 2019 and is following it up shortly after with Swiped at this 2019 Hollywood Fringe Festival. They are planning their next project to be a modern-day LGBTQ + retelling of William Shakespeare’s classic play “Romeo & Juliet.” HER Theatre will focus on female character driven plays and producing female playwrights. All aspects of production including casting, directing as well as technical / design roles are intended to be filled by women. The companies focus is to illuminate, encourage, showcase and raise the visibility of underrepresented female artists in theatre.
Carly has been teaching, volunteering and mentoring children from infants to high schoolers for the past 8 years. She has a passion for working with youth as she considers herself just a big kid at heart. She has a passion for unlocking potential for all ages as she is a coach, consultant and leader of adult transformational learning programs since 2014. She has been trained and led transformational coaching and leadership programs at Landmark Worldwide that has impacted thousands of people’s lives. Outside of the classroom, she loves dancing, is obsessed with going to the movies and adores spending time with her husband of 3 years, their two new puppies as well as her sister and her husband who are her upstairs neighbours! A renaissance woman but when it boils down to it, she’s a storyteller. Through whatever medium or opportunity she’s committed to telling compelling stories that touch, move and inspire others. Her passion is creating art that raises social consciousness and causes transformation in the world.