MARYA SEA KAMINSKI
I am devoted to exploring the place where artistic excellence and authentic relationship meet, where performance and community intersect. Through writing, directing and artistic leadership, I aim to strengthen the fabric between us through rich storytelling and responsible participation, to make a more curious, compassionate and creative world.
Producing and Artistic Leadership
Associate Artistic Director. Seattle Repertory Theatre, Seattle WA. 2014 to present.
- Lead contributor to season planning, artist commissions, casting and new play development for a major regional theatre.
- Developing Public Works Seattle, a major initiative based on Lear deBessonet’s Public Works program at the Public Theatre that fosters long-term partnerships with non-profit organizations across the region through ongoing events and programming, culminating in an annual large-scale production with a cast of over 100 Seattle citizens, professional actors and cameo artists.
- Conceived and supervises several artistic engagement programs including a City Ambassadors Council to foster conversation and leadership in our community, with an emphasis on inspired and responsible engagement, as well as our internal Racial Equity Initiative.
- Works closely with the Marketing and Development departments to create a cohesive vision and agenda to strengthen our fiscal future by placing artistic excellence at the center of our conversation.
Co-Producer. One Coast Collaboration, Seattle WA and New York NY. 2013 to present.
- Co-produces an annual invitational festival dedicated to developing and celebrating new plays by pairing emerging East Coast playwrights with West Coast theater artists.
Founder and Artistic Director. The YesYesNow Conspiracy, Seattle WA and Brooklyn NY. 2011 – 2014.
- Founder and Lead Instigator of a collective of artists from multiple disciplines who blog monthly about the creative process and champion each other’s work and creative experiments nationwide.
Founding Co-Artistic Director. Washington Ensemble Theatre, Seattle WA. 2004 – 2008.
- Served as Literary Manager, founded Work/Play (a new play workshop series) and lead season planning for three consecutive seasons, as well as serving as Communications and Publicity Director for four seasons.
Education & Training
Theatre & Professional Practices:
Leadership Tomorrow, Seattle WA
Year-long seminars and retreats focused on the most critical issues facing our region alongside other leaders and activists from the private, public and non-profit sectors, (expected 2017)
The Helikos School, Florence, Italy
Master classes in Mask, Clown and Physical Technique, 2012
University of Washington Foster School of Business, Seattle WA
Coursework completed: Accrual Accounting, Organization Behavior, Strategic Planning, 2010.
University of Washington School of Drama, Seattle WA
M.F.A. / Acting & Performance, 2004
University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia PA
B.A. / English Literature and Theatre Arts, 1999
Honors Theses in Performance and Scenic Design, magna cum laude
The Society of American Fight Directors
Certified / Rapier & Dagger, Hand to hand, Broadsword, 2003
Chautauqua Conservatory Institute, Chautauqua NY
Company Member, Full scholarship awarded by faculty of the Juilliard School, 2000
Racial Equity and Diversity Practices:
Organizational Equity Workshop with Victoria Santos, 2016.
Creating Change! A Community WORKSHOP Addressing Issues of Inclusion and Equity in Arts Institutions with Carmen Morgan, 2015.
Inclusive Casting Workshop with Kathy Hsieh, 2015.
White Fragility: Building White Racial Stamina Workshop with Robin DiAngelo, 2014.
Academic Positions & Appointments
Guest Lecturer. Hollins University Graduate Playwrighting & Directing Programs, Roanoke VA. 2014 – 2015.
Guest Instructor, Solo Performance. University of Washington, Seattle WA. 2013 – 2015.
Adjunct Instructor of Acting. Cornish College of the Arts, Seattle WA. 2006 – 2014.
Lead Teacher & Co-Founder. Writing on Location. Seattle, Paris, Berlin, Barcelona. 2008 – present.
Lead Teacher & Co-Founder. SeaPlace Studios. Seattle WA & New Haven CT. 2008 – present.
Adjunct Faculty. Antioch University, Seattle, WA. 2006 – 2013.
Core Faculty. Freehold Studio and Theatre Lab, Seattle WA. 2005 – 2013.
Core Faculty. Young Actors Institute. Seattle Childrens Theater, Seattle WA. 2008 – 2010.
Guest Speaker. University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia PA. 2005.
Graduate Student Instructor. University of Washington, Seattle WA. 2002 – 2004.
Honors & Awards
University of Washington School of Drama Commencement Speaker; 2016
TCG National Conference, featured panelist and facilitator; 2016
Selection Panelist, Core Writers Program; The Playwrights Center, Minneapolis, 2016
Best Performance by Seattle Actress (for Riddled), Seattle Metropolitan Magazine; 2012
City Artist Award for Literature, Seattle Office of Arts and Cultural Affairs; 2011
Genius Award for Theatre, The Stranger; 2010
Gregory Award for Outstanding Actress, Theatre Puget Sound; 2010
City Artist Award for Solo Performance, Seattle Office of Arts and Cultural Affairs; 2010
City Artist Award for Theatre, Seattle Office of Arts and Cultural Affairs; 2009
Drama Award for Teaching Excellence, Cornish College of the Arts; 2008
Best Stage Actor, The Seattle Weekly; 2008
Spotlight Artist Award, Seattle Magazine; 2007
Annual Footlight Award, The Seattle Times; 2004, 2007, 2010
Genius Award Shortlist, The Stranger; 2006 – 2009
Best Local Performing Artist, The Seattle Weekly; 2006
Northwest New Works Artist Grant, On the Boards, Seattle WA; 2006
Chautauqua Conservatory Fellowship, Chautauqua NY; 2000
Apprentice Scholarship, Berkshire Theatre Festival, Stockbridge MA; 1998
Public Works Seattle – musical adaptation by Todd Almond. Seattle Repe
“Dry Powder” – by Sarah Burgess. Seattle Repertory Theatre, Seattle WA, 2017 (upcoming).
“TASTE” – by Brendan Healy (reading). Northwest Playwrights Alliance, Seattle WA, 2014. The Umbrella Project, 2017.
“Iphigenia and Other Daughters” – by Ellen McLaughlin. University of Washington, Seattle WA, 2016.
“The Rumble Within” – by Andrew Russell and Richard Andriessen (workshop). 5th Avenue Theatre Next Fest, Seattle WA, 2016 .
“Full Moon Suite” a promenade spectacle conceived with Waxie Moon. Seattle Repertory Theatre, Seattle WA, (workshop).
“The Edge of Farallon” – by Peter Skinner (reading). Northwest Playwrights Alliance, Seattle WA, 2016.
“Ajax in Iraq” – Cornish College of the Arts, Seattle WA. 2013
“Condo Millennium” – Northwest Film Forum, Seattle WA. 2010.
“Unity (1918)” by Kevin Kerr – Cornish College of the Arts, Seattle WA, 2009.
“The Taming of the Shrew” – Kirkland Performance Center, Kirkland WA, 2007.
“The Museum Play” – Regional premiere by Jordan Harrison. Washington Ensemble Theatre, Seattle WA, 2006.
“Finer Noble Gases” – Regional premiere by Adam Rapp.Washington Ensemble Theatre, Seattle WA, 2004.
Publications & Commissions
Theatre Communications Group, New York NY
- Invited to submit a blog narrative about my experience with the Audience R(e)volutions program
The Frye Art Museum, Seattle WA
- Commissioned to write and perform a full-length performance installation as part of the 2015/2016 GENIUS Exhibit
City Arts Magazine, Seattle WA
- Commissioned to collaborate with artist Mark Mitchell to create an original full-length performance as part of the 2014 City Arts Genre Bender Festival
Richard Hugo House, Seattle WA
- Commissioned to write and perform a new full-length rock musical in collaboration with composer Sean Michael Robinson
City Arts Magazine, Seattle WA
- The Doing and The Teaching – A featured essay about the intersection of creative process and teaching, June 2011
- Hired to blog for the annual City Arts Festival, October 2011
- Jesus, Mary, Joseph and Mikey – A comedic essay about holidays and a not-so-holy family
Northwest Film Forum, Seattle WA
- Commissioned to write and direct a full-length play about the personal politics of urban development – Condo Millennium
Richard Hugo House, Seattle WA
- Commissioned for their 2010 Literary Series to compose a performance essay on The Laws of Attraction
Msn.com Womanity website
- Commissioned to write a 500-word article on the decade’s most provocative roles for women.
American Theatre Magazine, Season Preview October 2008
- Published short essay about Seattle’s upcoming theatre season
Rivet Magazine, Right Issue
- Where Everybody Knows Your Name, an essay about big fishes in small ponds
New York Theatre Review
- From Seattle to NYC: A Love Letter to the American Theatre, an essay on the regional rise of ensemble-generated theatre
KNOCK Magazine, Autumn
- The Last in the Doom Series, a new play
Rivet Magazine, Action Issue
- Action Is as Theatre Does, an essay about action and the cure for boring theatre
Rivet Magazine, Center Issue
- The Masses, a personal essay about my brother’s suicide and the solace of the Compline Mass
Original Solo Performance
“The Mysterious Others” – First they came to the office, snickering and spreading vicious lies. Then they started driving through his neighborhood at night, slowing down in sinister fashion and speeding off before he could catch a good look. Finally, they climbed inside the walls of his house and under the surface of his mind, scratching on the other side of sense. This multi-media performance combines text, video and terrible jokes to conjure and then cast out the demons of my brother’s mental illness, while parsing through ghosts, grief and the way memory will haunt the half-lit corners of a house. After the performance, audience members were invited to stay for a shared hour of quiet. Premiered at the Frye Art Museum as part of the GENIUS Exhibit. Developed as a commission by the Frye Art Museum.
“Woman at the Well” – A site-specific short play featuring a character on the autistic spectrum as she grapples to make sense of love and grief, developed in collaboration with playwright Martyna Majok. Premiering at the HERE Arts Center in New York, NY. Developed as a commission by the One Coast Collaboration Festival.
“Riddled” – An immersive rock musical exploring love, firearms and the legend of Bonnie and Clyde. Richard Hugo House, Seattle WA. Commissioned by Hugo House, funded by Seattle Office of Art and Cultural Affairs.
“Laws of Attraction” – A comedic rumination on sex and courtship using spoken word and creative non-fiction. Richard Hugo House Literary Series, Seattle WA. Commissioned by Hugo House.
“America Did This” – A spoken word performance celebrating the tiny revolutions surrounding the 2008 US Presidential election. Richard Hugo House, Seattle WA.
“How I Became Such a Quitter (Part Two of the Doom Series)” – A solo show about addiction and the need to please, integrating mash-ups, voiceover and tap dance. ACT Theatre and Bumbershoot Music Festival, Seattle WA. Risk/Reward Performance Festival, Portland, OR.
“In DisDress Now: Redux” – A solo sequel to the original In DisDress, combining live video feed, karaoke and heartache, directed by Jennifer Zeyl. Washington Ensemble Theatre, Seattle WA.
“In DisDress” – A solo show featuring an enormous hoop dress hiding a menagerie of hand props, a console television playing soft porn, and other dirty little secrets about one girl’s terror about turning thirty, directed by Jennifer Zeyl. On the Boards, Seattle WA. Myrna Loy Center, Helena MT.
“Brimming” – A solo rumination on war, set in a bathtub, featuring Jimmy Carter’s Nobel speech as delivered by an action figure puppet of Patrick Stewart. Theatre Communications Group National Conference, Seattle WA.
“Notions of Motion” – A performance to seek meaning and relief after a young man’s suicide through physics, cubism and visits to Gertrude Stein’s salon in Paris. University of Washington, Seattle WA.
“Dear Saul Williams” – A spoken word performance about suicide and hiphop. Zeitgeist Gallery, Seattle WA.
“Sugarplum MacKenzie and The Typhoon Saloon” – Fresh Goods Gallery, Seattle WA.
“Luv Song” – Rainbow Bar, Seattle WA.
“The Times” – Rainbow Bar, Seattle WA.
“More Money Less Work” – Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Scotland. Busked in Union Square Park and on subway platforms across New York City.
“White Girl’s Blues Nos. 1 & 23” – Performance Space 122, New York NY. Busked on subway platforms across New York City.
“Pop” – University of Pennsylvania, PA.
“Idaho ‘73” – Commissioned by Diane Kurys (“A Man in Love,” 1983 Oscar nomination for “Entre Nous”), 2013.
“It’s Our Anniversary” & “Nothing Better” – Playwright. ACT’s One-Minute Play Festival, Seattle WA 2014.
“Snapdragons on Ice” – Co-Playwright / Performer. City Arts Genre Bender Festival, Seattle WA. 2014.
“Riddled” – Playwright / Performer. Richard Hugo House, Seattle WA, 2012.
“Condo Millennium” – Playwright / Director. Northwest Film Forum, Seattle WA, 2010.
“To Speak of a Dream” – Co-Playwright / Director. Intiman Theatre, Seattle WA. 2009.
“The Red Seal of Fwadinearth” – Co-Playwright / Director. Cornish College of the Arts, Seattle WA, 2009.
“The Last in the Doom Series” – Playwright / Director. Richard Hugo House, Seattle WA, 2008.
“Luck” – Co-Playwright / Director. Richard Hugo House, Seattle WA, 2005.
Acting (Live Theater and Film)
“Little Potato” – Mother (lead). VR short film produced by Mechanical Dreams LLC. Dir. Wes Hurley.
“Tess and Jess” (upcoming) – Seattle Rep Writers Group Showcase. Trista Baldwin, playwright.
“Unseen” – Mia (lead). Workshop at Seattle Repertory Theatre. Seattle, WA. Dir. Braden Abraham. Mona Mona Mansour, playwright.
“Not Medea” – The Woman (lead). Workshop at Seattle Repertory Theatre, Seattle WA. Dir. Michael Place. Allison Gregory, playwright.
“Angels in America: Parts One and Two” – The Angel. Intiman Theatre Festival, Seattle WA. Dir. Andrew Russell.
“Woman at the Well” – Not Noah (lead). Solo show premiering at HERE Arts Center, NYC. Martyna Majok, playwright.
“Snapdragons on Ice” – Sweetheart (lead). An original collaboration with artist Mark Mitchell as part of the City Arts Genre Bender Festival. Cornish Playhouse, Seattle WA. Creative Dir. Jennifer Zeyl.
“Other Desert Cities” – Brooke Wyeth (lead). ACT, Seattle WA. Dir. Victor Pappas.
“Pacific Aggression” – Doctor Caligari. Feature Film. Dir. Shawn Scott.
“The Letters of Willa Cather” – Ensemble. Town Hall, Seattle WA. Dir. John Langs.
“All the Way” – Ensemble. Seattle Rep New Play Festival, Seattle WA. Dir. Christopher Liam Moore.
“Hedda Gabler” – Hedda Gabler (lead). Intiman Theatre, Seattle WA. Dir. Andrew Russell.
“Clybourne Park” – Betsey/Lindsey (lead). Seattle Repertory Theatre, Seattle WA. Dir. Braden Abraham.
“Miracle!” – Janet. Intiman Theatre, Seattle WA. Dir. Dan Savage.
“Romeo and Juliet” – The Nurse. Intiman Theatre, Seattle WA. Dir. Allison Narver.
“Waxie Moon in The Fallen Jewel” – Marya (principal). Feature film by I Ate My Eye Productions. Dir. Wes Hurley.
“Bo-Nita” – Bo-Nita (lead). Hollins Playwrights’ Lab, Roanoke VA. Playwright: Elizabeth Heffron.
“Radiance” – Marguerite. Workshop at Seattle Repertory Theater. Dir. Dan Sullivan, Playwright: Alan Alda.
“Electra” – Electra (lead). Seattle Shakespeare Company. Dir. Sheila Daniels.
“Hell Leaves Odessa” – Mame (lead). ACT Theatre, Seattle WA. Dir. A. Montgomery, Playwright: Julie Marie Myatt.
“The Erotic Arts Festival” – Voiceover. Various locations, Seattle WA. Dir. Roger Benington.
“Dichotomy” – Rebecca (principal). Feature film by Funkbuddha Productions. Dir. Jay Purcell.
“Urania Returns” – Urania (lead). Performance installation at the Moore Theater, Seattle WA. Dir. Korby Sears.
“The Road to Mecca” – Elsa (lead), Seattle Repertory Theatre. Dir. Leigh Silverman.
“Earth & Sky” – Sara (principal). Short film by The Rogue Agency. Dir. Ben Medina.
“The Ten Thousand Things” – Swastika (lead). Washington Ensemble Theatre, Seattle WA. Dir. Braden Abraham.
“Mr. Marmalade” – Lucy (lead). Washington Ensemble Theatre, Seattle WA. Dir. Katjana Vadeboncoeur.
“My Name is Rachel Corrie” – Rachel Corrie (lead). Seattle Repertory Theatre. Dir. Braden Abraham.
“Cymbeline” – Imogen (lead). Freehold Engaged Theatre in prisons, Dir. Robin Lynn Smith
“BlahblahblahBANG!” – Hedda Gabler (lead). WET at On the Boards, Seattle WA. Dir. Jennifer Zeyl.
“Strangers” – Waitress (principal). Short film by Dir. Brendan Toner.
“Moonlight & Magnolias” – Miss Poppenghul. Intiman Theatre, Seattle WA. Dir. Timothy Near.
“Crave” – M (lead). Washington Ensemble Theatre, Seattle WA. Dir. Roger Benington.
“Next Tuesday” – Ensemble. Washington Ensemble Theatre. Dir. Steve Pearson.
“The Time of Your Life” – Muralist/Ensemble. Seattle Repertory Theatre. Dir. Tina Landau.
“Laura’s Bush” – Laura Bush (lead). Washington Ensemble Theatre. Dir. Matthew Arbour.
“Bold Girls” – Cassie (lead). University of Washington, Seattle WA. Dir. Cathy Madden.
“Stop Kiss” – Callie (lead). University of Washington. Dir. Lydia Fort.
“Dutchman” – Lula (lead). University of Washington. Dir. Justin Emeka.
“Stage Blood” – Jenkins. University of Washington. Dir. Amy Boyce Holtcamp.
“Simone Alone” – Ensemble. La Mama ETC, New York, NY. Dir. Eponine Cuervo-Moll.
“If You Go In Here, You Must Come Back” – Ensemble. PS 122, New York, NY. Dir. Nick Jones.
“Accidental Death of an Anarchist” – The Maniac (lead). Philadelphia PA. Dir. Anthony DeJoseph.
“The Cherry Orchard” – Ranevskaya (lead). University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia PA. Dir. Jim Schlatter.
“Three Sisters” – Masha (lead). University of Pennsylvania. Dir. Scott Schwartz.
“Cabaret” – Fraulein Schneider. University of Pennsylvania. Dir. David Fox.
“Death and the Maiden” – Paulina (lead),.University of Pennsylvania. Dir. Karen Finnefrock.
“Our Town” – Stage Manager (lead). University of Pennsylvania. Dir. Eric Conner.
The Playwrights Center (Minneapolis, MN), panelist for Core Writer Fellowships, 2016.
Mary’s Place, volunteer, 2015 – present.
El Centro de la Raza, volunteer, 2015 – 2016.
Wild Round the Dinner Table (A reading to benefit Seattle Children’s Hospital Autism Center), 2012.
Winifred Ward Board for the Advancement of Children’s Theatre Professionals, 2009 – present.
University of Washington School of Drama Advisory Board, 2008 – 2009.
The CAIR Project, volunteer emcee, 2003 – 2005.
The Shunpike Arts Collective, volunteer, 2001 – 2006.
Select Press Quotes
“In her new rock musical Riddled, Kaminski walks the line between fact and fiction, weaving painful childhood memories with the tale of Bonnie and Clyde. Her stage persona—the lead singer for rock band Bonnie Clyde (played here by Seattle band Landlord’s Daughter)—is Debbie Harry with a gun fetish and a dark past, and Kaminski is absolutely electrifying in the role. She growls into the mic, swivels her hips, whispers stories about shooting dogs; you can’t take your eyes off her. No offense to the band—it’s just hard to compete with one of the most enthralling stage actresses in Seattle. Kaminski sparked my interest as a chest-clawing Electra for Seattle Shakespeare Company, and recently showed off her comedy skills as the deaf pregnant woman in Seattle Rep’s Clybourne Park. But Riddled, which she wrote and previewed last year at Bumbershoot, is Kaminski at her finest—personal, yet polished.” (Laura Dannen, Seattle Metropolitan Magazine, June 2012)
“It wasn’t a traditional theater, and it was far from a traditional show (whiskey shots and PBR were served, and every audience member handled an unloaded M1 carbine before entering). But as the writer and star of the rock musical—which wove memoir with stories of Bonnie and Clyde—Kaminski was electrifying: a Debbie Harry with a gun fetish and a dark past. This play… didn’t glorify guns so much as make us think about the power of the deadly machine.” (Seattle Metropolitan Magazine, Best of 2012 Issue, December 2012)
“Kaminski’s performance is otherworldly… More casual Electras are simply angry, but Kaminski’s Electra is a full, primal philosophical problem. Her performance is painful and nauseating because she is telling us who we are—neither an actor nor an audience could hope for anything more.” (Brendan Kiley on Kaminski in Seattle Shakespeare’s ELECTRA, The Stranger, 2010)
“Electric and mercurial, Marya Sea Kaminski galvanizes audiences whether she’s playing an innocent little girl with disturbing fantasies (Mr. Marmalade)… or Hedda-fucking-Gabler (blahblahblahBANG). She’s also one of the smartest directors in the city (Finer Noble Gases, Museum Play) and a heart-wrenching writer.” (Brendan Kiley, The Stranger’s Genius Awards Issue, 2008)
“She possesses an impressive acting range… and the instincts and experience of an all-around theater hand who also writes and directs plays, plus producing cred as a member of Washington Ensemble Theatre. In Seattle Repertory Theatre’s potent 2007 production of the biographical play My Name is Rachel Corrie, Kaminski radiated a perfectly balanced melding of youthful idealism, bravado and vulnerability…” (Misha Berson, The Seattle Times 2009)
“Kaminski is that rare, dangerous bird: a gifted actor who can really write.” (Christopher Frizzelle, The Stranger’s Genius Awards Issue, 2007)
“…one of the city’s most dynamic performers… Kaminski manages to both stand out and make those around her shine.” (Seattle Magazine, Artists-of-the-Year Issue, 2007)