Nadja Masura
Background / Personal Statement:

I am a creative, focused individual with a Masters of Arts degree in Theatre, two Associate in Science degrees in Multimedia, and a vast background in the arts, including film, photography, writing, painting, and digital collage. I am seeking a Theatre Ph.D. with a MA, double major, or minor in Interdisciplinary studies in an institution with mass communication/media resources and research assets, to explore a synthesis between the immediacy of theater and the reach of developing communications technology.

My youth on an organic farm was filled with artistic, literary, performance and cultural exploration from professors in the family, alternative education, and local performance groups. In my early teens I began my involvement with citizen diplomacy groups focused on ending the cold war between the USA and USSR, by introducing citizens on both sides of the Berlin wall to each other. I traveled to the Soviet Union 4 times, hosted students, and participated in meetings, conferences, cross-cultural performances, public speaking engagements, and space-bridges (at the United Nations) with groups such as Earth Stewards, Ambassadors for Peace, Peace Child International, and Athenian International Institute.

In my undergraduate work at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma Washington, I enjoyed a wide variety of liberal arts courses and interactions. As a theatre arts major I enjoyed participating in many productions - acting in chorus (Grapes of Wrath, Amedus) and intense ensembles A Shayna Maidel, directing (Echoes), participating in Alpha Psi Omega theatre fraternity events, and working on properties for productions. Scholarship was very important to me and though I was in productions, university choral, and an active member of Kappa Kappa Gamma, I was often on the dean's list or receiving departmental scholarships. In addition to acting and theatre history courses, I also enjoyed creative writing (my minor), geology, and classics among other things. Through work-study I also got first hand experience working in the arts at Tacoma Art Museum.

In my graduate studies in theater at University of Michigan in I studied history, theory, and criticism. My thesis, "The Nude Moment," was an original piece of theory stemming from research on major western theorists (Stanislavski, Myerhold, Artaud, Grotowski, and Brook). I enjoyed being a teaching assistant to Martin Walsh because I was allowed to teach the lesson plan to 1/3 of his 90 students, participate in grading, creating tests, and pedagogy. I was also a research assistant to Prof. John Brown, took classes with the noted conceptual artist, Joe Grigley. In playwrighting with Oyamo, I wrote my second play, Paint.

The greatest part of my experience at U of M was my thesis. I really enjoyed the hours in the graduate library pouring over the theories of western theater. My thesis, "The Nude Moment," centered on the importance of the nude protagonist's ability to be both mental and physical aspects of the human experience as shown in the landmark productions of The Constant Prince (Grotowski), Marat Sade (Brook), Equis (Schaffer), and additional thoughts on female performance artist Karen Finley. A few years after my graduation I continued exploring the possibility of a nude female protagonist's potential to be both spiritual and physical in the medium of digital collage. I have done a series of prints, visual-plays (with setting, characters, props, and story - all from original photographic elements) centering on women in nature and allegories of woman's spirit in nature. (Please see disk or online at www.nadjart.com)

Following my departure from Michigan I entered a period of personal growth. After getting married in my hometown, I returned from my honeymoon to find my uncle (who helped raise me) very ill. After his passing, I assisted with care of my disabled cousin, my aunt and the family's organic farm. There followed a series of family losses. It took time to recover my feet and concept of the world.

Through the assistance of the Private Industry Council, I enrolled in multimedia classes at San Francisco State University, Santa Rosa Junior College, Sonoma State University, and eventually settled on the program at College of Marin where I gained two Associates Degrees in Authoring & Integration, and in Graphic Design. Through the colleges I have had internships with Science Interchange, Lee Weisman Graphic Artist, and PBHS Web Design I used these skills to build websites for clients and groups, create my digital art which I display in galleries, and enjoy the synthesis of bringing together various elements to create projects. I am a member of the North Bay Multimedia Association and enjoy learning new programs.

While going to school in multimedia, I worked at the Sebastopol Center for the Arts, a bustling regional art center. For two and a half years I worked as an Administrative Assistant, neck deep in meeting artists, doing mailings, scheduling, reception, event coordination, fundraising, membership, newsletter, class enrollment. My favorite part of the position was acting as their docent coordinator, which meant working with volunteers and leading the docent program -- creating artist's lectures, tours to other galleries, volunteer community building, and training events. I also created and still maintain their website www.sebarts.org.

My involvement in the Art Center led me to be very active in the artistic and literary community. As a member of the Literary Arts Council, I was an editor of the WestWord chapbook, coordinated and participated (winning some) writing contests, worked on the performance sub-committee producing Listening In and Real Men Write Poems, and providing illustrations for the Dark Hollow literary magazine. As an artist (digital, photography, acrylic), I enjoy some gallery, collector, press, and exhibit success (Sensual Surroundings - digital nudes). This will be my fourth year participating in the local open-studio tour, Art at The Source. Art projects include Orange Cat: A Book of 'Pinholes and Prose', illustrating a children's book, and a new series of prints.

Recently I was asked to take part in the production of an independent film entitled Traveling Faster than the Speed of Light. I was a digital film produced by Verdandi Productions with low production, an excellent script, and narrative material by Stephen Hawking. I was brought on board as Cinematographer, after the director saw my photography, then worked as a co-producer, participating in fundraising, and acquiring materials and actors. Filming was often long and involved, but it was a wonderful experience. You can view clips at www.travelingfaster.com.

Other fun theatrical adventures include my two plus year involvement with the New Drama Works Festival produced by the Sonoma County Repertory Theater. As a volunteer reader, and a member of the selection committee, I have read and reviewed 55 original plays from all over the United States and abroad. Some of the pieces are gems, which I intend to see staged, others are trying at best, but I love keeping my dramaturgical skills sharp. Recently I had the pleasure of meeting one of the outstanding playwrights, Mary Lupin, in Seattle. In addition to the performance committee, repertory, and Studio B activities, my husband and I have taken it upon ourselves to keep theater alive in our hearts and in our garage. I am the Co-Creator and Artistic Director of the Ugly Duckling Theater, a 30-seat black-box theater, with a 3/4 thrust raked stage, hand-grommeted & hand-sewn curtains, lighting, rigging, sets, costumes, etc. - for the purpose of new theatrical production and artistic freedom. We feature short productions including: Gorey Stories, The Shell, and an original play, To Bring The New Year, followed by an artists' open mike featuring works by: sculptor Gordon Punt, artist Lew Carson, poet Timothy Williams, storyteller Georgia Churchill, and others.

I would very much like to resume my studies in theatre theory and it's production and bring to it the skills and information which I have accumulated as an artist, a digital/new media practitioner, and a person.

Thank you.

 


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