New teacher feature: Meet Ms. Souza


Photo submitted

Theater teacher Ms. Maria Souza

Megaphone Staff

The Megaphone asked all the new educators joining the Irish family this year to tell us a little about themselves. Meet theater director and theater teacher Ms. Maria Souza.

Ms. Maria Souza, theater director and theater teacher

BA, Purdue University; MFA, The Actors Studio Drama School at Pace University

Clubs or organizations for which you serve as faculty moderator: Thespian Troupe #2074, SpinProv (student improv group), CaTheatre, director of fall play and spring musical, supervisor of student-directed production and Rookie Showcase,

Why did you choose to apply to Cathedral? I worked for Cathedral for a short period in 2011, and when someone for whom I have great admiration brought the opportunity to my attention, I had to jump at the chance.

Describe your professional experience prior to Cathedral: I am an actor, writer and educator with over 12 years of professional experience on stage, on film and in the classroom. I have performed professionally on off Broadway and at regional and educational theater stages across the United States. I developed programming for students (pre-K to college) in approaching classical text, physical presence and awareness, on camera acting, vocal technique (Linklater), devised performance, acting technique (Strasberg) and theatrical practice integration in the classroom.

I have been fortunate enough to work on stage all over the country, work to develop new work across the globe and dabble in independent film, most recently “METHOD,” which has received international acclaim. Nothing makes more sense to me that the theatrical arts. Theater combines so many disciplines and brings so many different kinds of people together. I feel fortunate to have found my passion in something so diverse and ever-changing.

This year’s Cathedral theme is Excellence. How will you carry out this goal in your classroom? I will bring all of my professional experience and expectations to Cathedral. I come from a discipline that demands excellence and precision. I am unimaginably grateful for the knowledge and tradition I have received from my mentors and fellow artists. It is my honor and passion to share that with the next generation of artists.

What are your professional and personal goals at Cathedral this year? To establish CaTheatre as a place where all are welcome to come as they are to explore the theatrical arts to their liking.  Theater is for everyone and needs everyone.  My goal is to make it a place where people come to express themselves whether that is onstage, behind the scenes, or otherwise –there is a place for you here.

What is an interesting fact about you that students would be surprised to know?  I was not involved with the theater until my junior year of college. I continue to struggle with tremendous stage fright. I prefer the company of dogs.