Mariae Smiarowska is a Polish-American actor, performer, theatre-maker, singer, writer, adventurer, and healer. She came to Europe to train in theatre as she was inspired by the great avant-garde and laboratory theatre traditions of such artists as Tadeusz Kantor, Jacques Lecoq, and Jerzy Grotowski.
Her training led her to meet and collaborate with theatre artists and companies in Paris, London, Northeast England, Edinburgh, Montreal, Krakow, and Wroclaw.
Along her path, she worked with traditional text-based acting techniques, musical theatre, mask work, physical theatre, corporal mime, and circus arts. She became very inspired by polyphonic traditional singing and shamanic practices.
In particular, her training with Song of the Goat Theatre galvanized her curiosity of shamanic and energy principles, as well as working with the dream realms, and led her to start a journey of weaving together theatre arts with healing arts.
Mariae is an Usui Reiki Master and is always learning new skills to be able to incorporate into both her healing and theatrical work. She regularly works with shamanic and energy healers to remove obstacles, delve deeper into her own soul, maintain her spiritual and artistic integrity and to keep aligning with the principles of nature as she continues on her spiritual and artistic path. For a long time, she thought the two paths were separate, but over the last few years, she has grown to accept they are one and this has brought her a greater sense of fulfilment and wholeness.
In 2020, she began the journey on her one-woman show LANDING. Finding herself completely isolated in rural Scotland, she went inwards and began to work through traumas from this life, as well as past lives. In facing the shadows found within her being, she began excavating and alchemizing them via her body, mind, soul, and voice. She began weaving these parts together to create LANDING.
“Let the land land you.
Let the land guide you.
Let yourself be landed.”
LANDING is her first fully original piece of work. The show questions the concepts of home, belonging and identity, asking how to find one’s place on earth. It is an intimate piece of theatre, incorporating storytelling, song, movement, poetry, elements of ritual and interactive moments with the audience. It was streamed live from St. Martin’s in the Isles of Scilly via the Pleasance as part of Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2021. In LANDING, Mariae went into her personal story and used shamanic journey as well as ritual and shamanic work with the land to create the piece.
The next step is to take LANDING from the screen into the physical realms and make it into a full-scale theatrical production.
Some feedback from audience members about LANDING:
“This is such a touching performance! Personal, funny, melancholy, heart achingly beautiful. I loved how you invited your audience to interact with you, I felt very connected. Thank you so much.” -A.O. Finland
“Hats off to exposing your intimate dark truths. It takes guts to do that! There was a truth and authenticity to the piece. Very intimate and vulnerable, showing your painful parts, went into the basements. Very naked. … I felt safe as an audience member. Could see a lifetime’s worth of craft and skill in what was going on. An expert at work.” – A. P-R. Edinburgh
“Wonderful use of film and live performance, it felt like a piece that was conceived for this medium, one of the best I’ve seen to fuse all the elements.” – S. N. -London
“Haunting and powerful… loved the way your words led into your music” J.H.- England
This year, Mariae acquired a bit of magical land in the middle of a forest in Poland and is now working to build her own Shamanic Theatre. The principles of her work are based on working in symbiosis with the land and the spirits of the land, to create theatrical pieces which have the power to transmute darkness into light, to take the audience on experiential journeys of transformation and to open to the multi-dimensional aspects of our life on this planet by communing with the land, with our ancestors, spirit guides, and with each other in magical synergy.
Mariae also facilitates workshops in embodied voice which help open the throat chakra and connect the participants more deeply to their body and voice, which helps bring a greater sense of wholeness and joy in being, moving, expressing, speaking, and singing. She will be running a workshop on the land in Spring 2023. The Shamanic Theatre is a space for creativity, healing, and also a community where people can come to theatre performances and workshops, a space for the body and soul to dance, sing, and participate in ceremony and ritual. The vision is of a new theatre that is based on a sacred respect for the land and humanity, and which fosters a deep sense of connection to both, as well as bridging the gap between this world and other dimensions.