Cyra K. Polizzi

The first in a series of photos of Cyra K. Polizzi, a white woman with dark brown eyes and long hair


I specialize in acting while also engaging in various "behind the scenes" aspects of theatre, including directing, writing, facilitation, and practice-based transdisciplinary research.


Performing since age five, I've been lucky to experience a variety of genres, play a wide range of characters in established pieces, and originate roles in many new works. I've explored possibilities in realism as well as other stylized approaches, from silent movement-based work to campy drag musicals. My background includes growing up acting in the driftless area of rural WI, training as an Acting Specialist at UW-Madison, and working in Chicago for 15 years in storefront theatre and independent film, before happily relocating back to WI.

Behind the Scenes

Much of my theatre work incorporates humor, queer possibilities, and multi-issue activism. Indigenous, Disability Justice, Environmental Justice, Queer, and Women of Color Feminist activists have helped me to explore and ask questions about accessibility and sustainability in theatre practices, and to identify the following concepts that can serve as a guide for my work:

  • The intrinsic value of each unique bodymind.
  • Webs of relationships built with generosity and interdependence.
  • Living in the present in ways that allow us to imagine and build more just futures.

My work is integrally connected to Rotate Theatre, a nonprofit dedicated to creating and celebrating performing arts featuring underrepresented perspectives.

Teaching & Learning

I'm an enthusiastic educator and lifelong learner, inspired by a wide range of educational experiences, from group classes to one-on-one skill-sharing, from academic conferences to DIY community workshops.


My teaching and facilitation experiences include various aspects of theatre, LGBTQIA+ studies, social partner dance, and feminist health. I've taught adults, teens, and children in classrooms, community rooms, and camps, and I've also taught remotely. I value accessibility in educational environments and use a holistic approach to continually improve my practices.

Undergraduate Education

My undergraduate education at UW-Madison includes a BA in Theatre & Drama as an Acting Specialist and certificates in Environmental Studies and Gender & Women's Studies. During my undergrad, I also took advantage of film classes and coursework in the Dance Dept and the Music Dept.

Graduate Education

Currently, I'm continuing my formal education as a grad student studying theatre practice in UW-Madison's Gender & Women's Studies Dept. I'm also an associate with the Center for Culture, History, and Environment, an affiliate with the Division of the Arts, and hold leadership positions with the Theatre & Drama Graduate Student Organization and the Ballroom Association of UW-Madison.


Hi! I'm Cyra K. Polizzi, you can call me "Cyra" or "C" and my everyday pronouns are they/she. Please feel free to message me at cyrakpolizzi@gmail or facebook

I'm based in Teejop / Madison, where the Ho-Chunk Nation has a long cultural and governmental history that goes back thousands of years and continues today, despite genocidal invasion by the US. I am indebted to many Indigenous and Native activists, communities, and nations across the Great Lakes Region, not only for building cultures that make survival here possible, but also for helping me better understand my work as a storyteller whose family histories in Turtle Island / North America are short and tied up in the ongoing colonization taking place here.

I'm supported by relationships with people, arts, and the more-than-human world. I spent my childhood learning from family, friends, teachers, and storytellers, playing in studios, libraries, theatres, and classrooms, and exploring outdoors throughout the changing seasons. In many ways, very little has changed. As time goes on, I hope I'm able to offer more to the communities that have given me so much.