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Artistic Faculty and Staff
Nancy Kawalek, Director and Founder
Studio Professor, Department of Film and Media Studies and Media Arts and Technology Program
Photo by Laura Luongo
Nancy Kawalek is a professional New York theatre-trained actor with 25 years' experience, including work on and off Broadway and in regional theatre, in which she has been privileged to work with directors such as Frank Galati, JoAnne Akalaitis and Dennis Zacek. Nancy has also acted in film, television, and numerous commercials, as well as on National Public Radio's acclaimed Selected Shorts series. A graduate of Northwestern University in Theatre and Performance Studies, Nancy honed her improvisational skills with Chicago's distinguished Second City. Santa Barbara audiences may recognize Nancy from her role as Doris in The Loman Family Picnic at the Ensemble Theatre Company and from her frequent performances with Speaking of Stories at the historic Lobero Theatre. Among Nancy's credits as a director is the documentary film, Lost and Found.

As a Studio Professor at UCSB, she teaches acting, directing and the adaptation of literature for the stage. Nancy is also the founder/director of STAGE, a collaboration between the Professional Artists Lab and the California NanoSystems Institute (CNSI). STAGE (Scientists, Technologists and Artists Generating Exploration) is comprised of both an international script competition that awards a $10,000 prize to the best new play about science and technology, and the STAGE Collaboratory, a developmental lab where professional artists create multi-media theatre pieces in which science and technology play prominent roles in content and/or form.

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