Maria-Christina Oliveras, Faculty Fellow

"This fellowship [will] support my deep desire to affect change in whatever rooms I am in—whether it be on stage, in the classroom, rehearsal, among my fellow colleagues, among other 'woke' folks, in rooms where I am the only BIPOC [Black, Indigenous, People of Color] woman—I crave the skills to better communicate, to facilitate empathy, and to navigate holding my ground, while genuinely listening and being open. I am particularly eager to explore code shifting, micro-aggressions in pre-dominantly white worlds, and the conversation between classical forms of theater and pedagogy and the contemporary world."

Originally from the Bronx, New York, Assistant Professor of Theater Maria-Christina Oliveras (she/her) is a first-generation Filipina Puerto Rican actor, singer, writer, educator, and producer. She has performed extensively on and off Broadway, regionally, internationally, and in film and television. Dedicated to new works and underrepresented stories, her career is distinguished by a number of world premieres, including the upcoming musical Kiss My Aztec by John Leguizamo, Tony Taccone, David Kamp, and Benjamin Velez. Her Broadway credits include Amelie (cast album), Machinal, and Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson. Off-Broadway credits include Here Lies Love (The Public; cast album); Pretty Filthy (The Civilians; cast album); Taylor Mac’s A 24-Decade History of Popular Music (St. Ann’s Warehouse); Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson (The Public); Romeo and Juliet (The Public); and Zorba! (Encores). Regional theater credits include Kiss My Aztec! (Hartford Stage/Berkeley/La Jolla), Soft Power (Center Theatre Group), and El Huracán (Yale Repertory Theatre), as well as productions at the Williamstown Theatre Festival, the Long Wharf Theatre, The Huntington, Baltimore Center Stage, Sundance Theatre, The Eugene O'Neill Theater Center, and Powerhouse Theater. Oliveras' film and television appearances include Matthew, Manhattan Night, St. Vincent, “The Blacklist,” “Madame Secretary,” and “NCIS: NOLA.” She recently made her solo cabaret debut to sold out audiences at Feinstein’s/54 Below in an original work, The Glory of Love. An esteemed educator, she has taught at Yale University, New York University, Princeton University, Fordham University, Harvard University, Primary Stages, Stella Adler Studio of Acting, Broadway Workshop, and Kenyon College, among others.

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)." 

She holds her B.A. with honors from Yale University, and an M.F.A. from the National Theatre Conservatory.

Image by Lia Chang.