Marya Sea Kaminski is a director, writer, and producer based in Seattle. Kaminski has worked across the United States and in Europe and has dedicated her career to developing a versatile and comprehensive expertise in storytelling for theatre and film. Now working primarily as a director, she combines her experience as a producer, playwright, solo performer, and scenic designer to create detailed, magical experiences for audiences that both delight and challenge us to see ourselves and one another in new ways.
She believes that theatre is not only an artistic but also a civic act and is most powerful when the creative process prioritizes both excellence and equity, both virtuosity and justice, both high art and beloved community.
Since 2014, Kaminski has served as associate artistic director at Seattle Repertory Theatre where she’s partnered with the Public Theater in NYC and Dallas Theatre Center to create Public Works Seattle, a major new initiative based on long-term, authentic partnerships between regional theaters and local non-profits to create theatre of, by, and for the people. Her production of The Odyssey, a musical adaptation by Todd Almond, featured a cast of over 150 people including professional actors, community artists, and regional performance groups like the Seahawks’ Blue Thunder Drumline. The production played to packed houses and, in a single weekend, brought almost 2000 new audience members to Seattle Rep. Other directing credits include: the West Coast premiere of Sarah Burgess’ DRY POWDER (Seattle Repertory Theatre), the new musical THE RUMBLE WITHIN by Andrew Russell and Richard Andriessen (The 5th Avenue Theater’s NextFest), Ellen McLaughlin’s IPHIGENIA AND OTHER DAUGHTERS (University of Washington), Adam Rapp’s FINER NOBLE GASES and Jordan Harrison’s THE MUSEUM PLAY (Washington Ensemble Theatre), CONDO MILLENNIUM (Northwest Film Forum), THE LAST IN THE DOOM SERIES (Richard Hugo House), Ellen McLaughlin’s AJAX IN IRAQ and Kevin Kerr’s UNITY (1918) (Cornish College of the Arts), as well as new work development workshops with playwrights Karen Hartman, Trista Baldwin, Holly Arsenault, Brendan Healy, and Peter Skinner.
As a generative artist, she’s premiered her work at HERE Arts Center and PS 122 in New York City, the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland, the Myrna Loy Center in Helena MT, Bumbershoot and On the Boards in Seattle, and on subway platforms across lower Manhattan. In 2012, she debuted her original rock musical RIDDLED to sold-out houses for Richard Hugo House in Seattle. And in 2015, she performed a new collaborative solo play, WOMAN AT THE WELL (co-conceived with and written by Martyna Majok), at HERE Arts Center in New York City as part of the Downtown Urban Theater Festival. She was commissioned by the Frye Art Museum for their recent GENIUS Exhibit, for which she created a multi-media performance installation on ghosts and schizophrenia titled THE MYSTERIOUS OTHERS.
Marya has been awarded the Genius Award in Theater from The Stranger, Artist of the Year from Seattle Magazine, the Seattle Gregory Award for Outstanding Actress, Best Local Stage Actor and Best Performing Artist by the readers of the Seattle Weekly, as well as multiple City Artist Awards for Literature from the Seattle Office of Arts and Cultural Affairs. As a founding member and co-artistic director of the Washington Ensemble Theatre from 2004-2008, Marya directed several regional premieres and performed as the former First Lady in the national premiere of Jane Martin’s LAURA’S BUSH (Seattle Times Footlight Award) and as M in Washington Ensemble Theatre’s renowned production of Sarah Kane’s CRAVE. Additionally, she served as Literary Manager for the development of new and original works including Stephanie Timm’s CRUMBS ARE ALSO BREAD and Paul Mullin’s THE TEN THOUSAND THINGS.
Marya holds a BA in English and Theatre Arts from the University of Pennsylvania and an MFA from the University of Washington’s School of Drama. She has taught and lectured at Hollins University, University of Washington, and at Cornish College of the Arts, where she was honored with the Drama Department’s Award for Teaching Excellence. In the summer of 2018, Marya will be moving back east to serve as the next artistic director of the Pittsburgh Public Theater.