Wesleyan portrait of Maria-Christina  Oliveras

Maria-Christina Oliveras

Assistant Professor of Theater


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BA Yale University
MFA National Theatre Conservatory

Maria-Christina Oliveras



Maria-Christina Oliveras has performed extensively on and off Broadway, regionally, internationally, and in film and television, and has served as a singer for such esteemed artists as Taylor Mac and Toshi Reagon. Her Broadway credits include Church Lady in the Tony nominated, Pulitzer-Prize winning play, Between Riverside and Crazy by Stephen Adly Guirgis, directed by Austin Pendleton, and Persephone in the Broadway National Tour of Hadestown, directed by Rachel Chavkin.  Dedicated to new works and underrepresented stories, her career is distinguished by a number of world premieres, including Kiss My Aztec, a new musical by John Leguizamo and Tony Taccone, music and lyrics by David Kamp and Benjamin Velez, Amelie by Craig Lucas, Nathan Tysen and Daniel Messe, directed by Pam MacKinnon, Soft Power, a play with music by David Henry Hwang and Jeanine Tesori, directed by Leigh Silverman, El Huracan by Charise Castro Smith, directed by Laurie Woolery, Pretty Filthy by Bess Wohl and Michael Friedman, directed by Steve Cosson and Here Lies Love, a musical by David Byrne and Fat Boy Slim, directed by Alex Timbers. On television, Maria-Christina was Deputy Mayor, Esme Reyes in Season 7 of NCIS:NOLA, in addition to guest starring on Blue Bloods,The Blacklist, Madame Secretary, among others.Her film credits include St. Vincent, starring Bill Murray and Naomi Watts, and The Humbling, starring Al Pacino, directed by Barry Levinson.   Maria-Christina made her solo cabaret debut at Feinstein's/54 Below in a show she created, The Glory of Love," as profiled here.  She will be debuting her next original show, On Saints and Sinners, at 54 Below, November 3, 2024.  

Broadway: Between Riverside and Crazy, Amelie (original cast album); Machinal; Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson. Off-Broadway: Here Lies Love (Public; cast album); Pretty Filthy (Civilians; cast album); Taylor Mac’s 24 Decade…(St. Ann’s Warehouse); And Miles to Go (PCP); Reading Under the Influence (DR2); Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson (Public); Romeo and Juliet (Public); Zorba! (Encores!); Night Sky (BPAC). Regional: CTG, Yale Rep, Berkeley Rep, Williamstown, Long Wharf, Huntington, Baltimore Centerstage, Sundance, O’Neill, among numerous others. Selected Film/TV: Manhattan Night, St. Vincent, "Blue Bloods," "Nurse Jackie", "Law & Order: SVU", The Blacklist”; “Madame Secretary.” Education: B.A. with honors—Yale University; M.F.A.—National Theatre Conservatory.

Maria-Christina has served on faculty at Fordham University Lincoln-Center, Broadway Workshop, Primary Stages, Stella Adler Conservatory, among numerous others, and frequently serves as a guest speaker at universities throughout the country.  She is also a Visiting Professor at her alma mater, Yale University, where she teaches Musical Theater Performance.  

Maria-Christina is a founding member of Partial Comfort Productions, is an Associate Artist of The Civilians, is a member of National Alliance of Acting Teachers and The Actors’ Center Workshop Company, and is an alumna of The Lark Playground and New Dramatists’ Composer-Librettist Studio, both dedicated to new works’ development and collaboration. She has served as a panelist and reader for various fellowships and programs including Sundance Institute, the Lark Play Development Center, New Dramatists, and Back to the Future/History Matters. She is the recipient of New Dramatists’ Charles Bowden Acting Award and the St. Ursula Award for Distinguished Career Achievement.

At Wesleyan, she has started a number of initiatives dedicated to decentering whiteness within the curricula and campus culture, and amplifying and cultivating BIPOC voices, most notably "Re-Evaluating the Ground on Which We(s) Stand(s)" and was recently selected as the Faculty Fellow for the Embodying Antiracism Initiative think tank. 


Wesleyan Connection: “Building Muscles of Empathy:” Oliveras on Teaching Acting, a Pre-Broadway Run at Hartford Stage, and Embodying Antiracism

For professional updates, please follow IG @mcoliveras

LINKS to Other Interviews/Features:

RE-EVAULATING THE GROUND ON WHICH WE(S) STAND(S): http://newsletter.blogs.wesleyan.edu/2020/10/01/bipoc-artists-and-theatermakers-discuss-the-challenges-of-working-in-white-spaces/

Academic Affiliations

Office Hours

Please e-mail Professor Oliveras directly for Office Hours.


Spring 2024
THEA 245 - 01
Acting I

THEA 329 - 09
Technical Practice A

THEA 385 - 01
The Working Actor

THEA 427 - 01
Performance Practice A

THEA 428 - 02
PP Senior Project A

THEA 430 - 03
PP Senior Project B

THEA 432 - 03
Theater Projects PP

Fall 2024
THEA 245 - 01
Acting I

THEA 386 - 01
Musical Theater Performance