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Maria Porter

Maria Porter

Director of TheatreProfessor of Theatre

B.A., M.F.A., University of California, San Diego


Maria Porter has been a theatre educator for over 30 years. As an actor, she has performed in New York and regionally at such theaters as Clubbed Thumb, Salt Theater, Target Margin, Milwaukee Playhouse, The Hangar Theatre, Hartford Stage, Virginia Stage Company, and The Kennedy Center.  Maria is a master teacher of the Suzuki method of actor training, and has integrated it with other acting techniques to create an original pedagogy:  a hybrid including elements from Suzuki, Viewpoints,  and the Stanislavsky tradition. Her first solo, Ennobling Nonna,  which integrated this technique into a devised performance,  was performed at M.I.T, Brown University, the Perishable Theatre, and as part of the Transit Festival at the Odin Teatret in Denmark. Her last solo work, The Space Inside, debuted in Phoenix, Arizona, and has been performed at conferences and festivals throughout the United States.  Her work demonstrations and master classes in this pedagogy have been featured in festivals and conferences in Wales, Denmark, England, Cuba, Peru, Greece, Spain and Switzerland.  She has directed and co-created several ensemble-based performances that have been featured in festivals in Italy, Canada, Prague, New York and Scotland.  Re-Membering Antigone, an adaption of Sophocles’ Antigone, won several honors at the 2012 Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival, including Best Director, and Best Devised Work.  Her collaborative creation, Conditions of Love, an original piece based on the texts of Shakespeare and the music of Stephen Sondheim, was featured at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Internationally she has directed in Spain, and performed with Teatro delle Radici in Lugano, Swtizerland. Maria received her M.F.A. in Acting from the University of California, and is a member of the Magdalena Project, an international network of women in theater. She is has been on the faculty of Long Island University for 26 years,  where she is Professor and Director of Undergraduate Theatre Studies, and was recently honored with the David Newton Award for Excellence in Teaching. Her book on her original pedagogy, Re-Purposing Suzuki: A Hybrid Approach to Actor Training, published by Routledge Press, will be out in the Spring of 2021.


Acting, Voice, Speech, Suzuki Method of Acting, Devised Theater, Physical Theater


  • Author, “Ennobling Nonna/Enabling Maria,” published in The Open Page
  • Author, “Letters from an American in Cuba,” published in The Open Page

Lectures and Presentations

  • Presenter, “Writing with the Body,” lecture, demonstration and master class presented at Magdalena Sin Fronteras, Santa Clara, Cuba
  • Presenter, “Semillas de la Magadalena,” lecture, demonstration and master class, presented in Lima, Urabamba and Comas, Peru
  • Presenter, “Making Space,” lecture and demonstration presented at the Art, Body, Medicine conference at Duke University; the MOVE Festival; the Long Island Fringe Festival; and Body IN SITU
  • Presenter, “Encounters with an Empty Room,” lecture and demonstration presented at Grupo Yuyachkani, Lima, Peru, and Teatro delle Radici-Lugano, Switzerland
  • Presenter, “Necessary Interventions -Creating Performance Pedagogy with University Actors,” lecture and demonstration presented at IUTA World Congress
  • Presenter, “I is the We of Us – Creating a Character via Suzuki and Stanislavsky,” lecture and demonstration presented at the International Theater Colloquium, Lugano, Switzerland, and the Honors Conference, C.W. Post Campus of Long Island University


  • Actor, “Shakespeariana,” Teatro delle Radici, Lugano, Switzerland
  • Actor and Author, “Space Inside,” MOVE Festival, Pheonix, Ariz.; Long Island Fringe Festival, Brookville, N.Y.; and Producer’s Club, New York City
  • Author and Director, “Third Child,” Prague Fringe Festival, Czech Republic; New York Fringe Festival, New York City; and Urbino, Italy
  • Actor and Author, “Ennobling Nonna,” Odin Teatret; Holstebro, Denmark; Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Mass; Magdalena USA Festival, Providence, R.I.; Perishable Theater, Providence, R.I.; Performance Studies International Conference, Providence, R.I.
  • Actor, “Madame Killer”, Ohio Theater, New York City
  • Actor, “Trojan Women”, Modern Theater of Myth, Long Island
  • Actor, “The Cherry Orchard,” Salt Theatre, New York City
  • Actor, “The Train Play”, Clubbed Thumb, New York City
  • Author and Director, “The Iphigenia Defense,” Long Island University; American College Theater Festival at Carnegie Mellon University; and IUTA Festival, Montreal, Canada
  • Actor, “Skriker,” Long Island University, The Kennedy Center
  • Actor, “Inky,” Salt Theatre, New York City, and Altered Stages, New York City
  • Actor, “A Christmas Carol,” Virginia Stage Company, Norfolk, Va.
  • Actor, “The Women,” Hartford Stage Company, Hartford, Conn.
  • Actor, “Uncle Vanya,” Cornell Resident Professional Theater, Ithaca, N.Y.
  • Actor, “The Bacchae,” Modern Theater of Myth, Paphos, Cyprus
  • Actor, “Love’s Labor’s Lost,” Cornell Resident Professional Theater, Ithaca, N.Y.
  • Actor, “Bye Bye Birdie,” Cortland Repertory Theater, Cortland, N.Y.
  • Actor, “Pajama Game,” Hangar Theater, Ithaca, N.Y.
  • Actor, “South,” Target Margin at HERE, New York City


  • Actor, “Henry Fool” Mary Grim directed by Hal Hartley, SONY Classics


  • Member, American Theater in Higher Education (ATHE)
  • Member, American College Theater Festival (ACTF)
  • Member, Actor’s Equity Association (AEA)
  • Member, The Magdalena Project
  • Associate Artist, Teatro delle Radici
  • Member, International University Theater Association (IUTA)