Natividad Mercedez Uehara was raised to follow her dreams. She is blessed to be given opportunities to explore her passion time and time again.
She earned her Bachelor of Art majoring in theatre at Alma College. Under the guidance of her mentor, Joseph Jezewski, she trained in the Meisner Technique among other offerings from the department. Nati spent a year studying film at Miami International University of Art and Design, and continued this interest through the New Media Studies program at Alma College. Later, during her internship she served as part time faculty which included assistant teaching Theatre History, Acting and Directing related course offerings. She was privileged to assistant direct for her mentor four times and direct nine productions over her time at Alma .
Nati went on to direct plays for several companies including Tipping Point Theatre, Performance Network Theatre, The New Theater Project, Raw Festival Detroit and BoxFest Detroit-- a festival which aims to support female directors. Nati was awarded a grant at this festival to further training in directing. With this grant she participated in the One Year Lease Theatre Company summer apprenticeship in Greece. Through her apprenticeship with OYL she had the opportunity to assistant direct an adaptation of The Birds by Aristophanes, and trained in the Suzuki as well as Viewpoints methods. She continues to train occasionally with this company at annual retreats.
Nati taught acting to youth at Tipping Point Theatre, Jewish Community Center of Greater Ann Arbor, and Creede Repertory Theater in Colorado. At Creede Rep, she also was a Patron Services Associate and directed a one act play.
Recently she served as the Director of Patron Services at Cleveland Public Theatre. A job Nati organically trained for through her positions in Front of House departments at some of the companies previously mentioned. At CPT she trained in directing and devising her own original work under the guidance of the Executive Artistic Director. Throughout February and March 2016 she assistant directed a Spanish language play, Uz, El Pueblo by Guillermo Calderon, for its American premiere with CPT’s Latin American resident acting company, Teatro Publico de Cleveland. In April 2016 Nati led and created a twelve minute bilingual piece titled “Mariel’s List”, for CPT’s 3rd annual “Station Hope”, a multi arts event which addresses contemporary social justice issues.
Nati currently serves as the Executive Director for The (Beat) Theatre Collective, a company she helped found in 2015.
There aren’t perfect words to express how grateful she is to live out her dream of running a theatre company and working as an artist with so many wonderful organizations and people. Her husband and son are the what makes life full of joy and purpose.
Nati is a Miami Beach native, artist, friend, daughter, big sister, wife and mother. She loves and is loved. What a wonderful life it is.