I'm a collaborative time-based artist with an extensive background in theatre acting and other performing arts. Much of my work incorporates humor, queer possibilities, and multi-issue activism. I'm also an ensemble member with Rotate Theatre.
As a theatre actor, 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. In addition to theatre acting, I've engaged in dance and music performance throughout my life and have experimented with other mediums including film, video, performance art, social practice art, and live lit. I grew up performing in the driftless area of rural WI, trained as an Acting Specialist at UW-Madison, and worked in Chicago for 15 years in storefront theatre and independent film before happily returning to Teejop / Madison.
Behind the Scenes
I also engage in various "behind the scenes" aspects of theatre, including directing, writing, facilitation, and practice-based transdisciplinary research.
Indigenous, Disability Justice, Environmental Justice, Queer, and Women of Color Feminist activists have helped me to explore and ask questions about accessibility, sustainability, and wellness in theatre practices while using the following concepts:
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 experiences from group classes to one-on-one skill-sharing, from academic conferences to DIY community workshops.
My facilitation experiences include teaching acting, playwriting, and other aspects of theatre, LGBTQIA2S+ studies, consent, social partner dancing, representation in arts and media, 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, which includes taking hundreds of classes in a wide range of disciplines.
While completing an MA in Gender & Women's Studies at UW-Madison, I engaged in practice-based research and asked questions about accessibility, sustainability, and wellness in theatre. I used a transdisciplinary approach and was affiliated with the Center for Culture, History, and Environment, the Division of the Arts, the Theatre & Drama Graduate Student Organization, and the Ballroom Association of UW-Madison.
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. I also took advantage of film classes and coursework in the Dance Dept and the Music Dept.
Hi! I'm Cyra K. Polizzi, you can call me "Cyra" or "C" and my everyday pronouns are they and she. Please feel free to message me at cyrakpolizzi@gmail or facebook regarding upcoming performances, workshops, classes, etc. If you're looking for a virtual "tip jar," I'm on Venmo: @Cyra-Polizzi
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 grew up playing and learning in woods, studios, libraries, theatres, and classrooms with family, friends, storytellers, teachers, and more-than-human neighbors -- I feel lucky to continue doing these things today. As time goes on, I hope I'm able to offer more to the communities that have given me so much.
Indie Boots Theatre Festival cast & crew photo, courtesy of Rotate Theatre.