Maria Schaedler-Luera – Actor, Improviser, Community activist

Maria Schaedler-Luera Join me and the delightful Maria Schaedler-Luera as we discuss her life as an actor and improviser. She studied with the legendary Augusto Boal and continues to teach his work today. We discuss her move to the states and how that impacted her continuing work with diverse and immigrant folks. For many years Maria, a Brazilian-born educator, and artist studied to be an actor. When she was 15, instead of having a traditional quinceanera, the celebration of a girl’s 15th birthday, she asked for a trip to New York City. After college, she returned to NY to study at The American Musical and Dramatic Academy. We talk about the challenges she faced as an actor, who would audition for Latin roles, but due to looking “too white” was cast as European needing German, French and other accents.

Maria has extensive experience in cross-cultural engagementMaria studied with theater director Augusto Boal and taught classes and workshops that focus on Theatre of the Oppressed techniques for the American Repertory Theater, Harvard Extension School, Lesley University, and several other non-profits in Boston, MA, and Sarasota, FL. She worked at the Harvard Art Museums developing, coordinating, and teaching gallery classes to immigrants in English, Portuguese and Spanish and at the Community Art Center in Cambridge, MA leading the Community Programs and Public Art Initiatives. Maria has served as the Manager for Arts Integration for Any Given Child Sarasota at Sarasota County Schools. She is a Chopra Center Certified Primordial Sound Meditation Teacher, a Reiki Master, and an Ayurvedic Health Counselor. She has trained and teaches many schools of improv. One of her teachers was Will Luera at Florida Studio Theatre who also is her husband. Maria has extensive experience in cross-cultural engagement and brings all of her many talents to her classes, working with community projects and schools. The mission of her company, Atomica Arts, is “ To explore the building blocks of extraordinary” Be sure and watch for the second podcast with this genuinely beautiful soul! Atomica Arts – Pure Potential Articles:  Chapter Title: Transformation is the Way: A Study about Forum Theatre and Critical Literacy with Brazilian Immigrants in an ESOL class in New England Title: Empowering Women through Literacy: Views from Experience Book Series: Adult Education Special Topics: Theory, Research, and Practice in Lifelong Learning, Information Age Publishing Inc. newbook.html Co-Editors: Mev Miller, Ed.D. and Kathleen King, Ed.D. Publication date: February 15, 2009   Article Title: Boal’s Theater of the Oppressed and how to derail real-life tragedies with imagination Title: New Directions for Youth Development: Cultural Agents And Creative Arts Journal Series: New Directions for Youth Development: Theory, Research, and Practice, Jossey-Bass Publishing. Co-Editors: Doris Sommer and Andrés Sanín Publication Date: Spring 2010

You might want to listen to my fascinating discussions with other improv teachers and innovators including Koray Tarhan and  Siddharth Venkatesh.
*Improv Interviews podcast‘ is introduced by Susan L. Parker of, Audio Engineer Landon Kirksey

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