Artistic Director, Mara Neimanis
Mara Neimanis is the founder and principal performer of In-Flight Theater in Baltimore. Her work comprises original solo and ensemble aerial plays as well as on-site installation/performances in collaboration with sculptor Tim Scofield and director Bryce Butler. Mara creates theatre in the air using invented aerial apparatus that include static and suspended steel sculptures. Drawing on traditions of Mask Performance, Clown, and Commedia dell’Arte, her work integrates circus arts with physical acting to create stories, text, and characters which explore the rich interplay of imagination between air and ground. Mara is interested in using acting and aerialism in nontraditional ways in order to cross personal boundaries and limitations
Mara trained at The San Francisco School of Circus Arts, Trapeze Arts, Oakland, NECCA and The Toronto Circus School. She is a protégé of aerial pioneer, Terry Sendgraff, and a graduate of The Dell'Arte International School Of Physical Theatre where she served as an instructor and company member for seven years. In Baltimore, Mara was a Creative Alliance Resident Artist from 2004-2007, where she created her hit solo aerial show, Air Heart and is a resident artist in The Station North Arts and Entertainment District where she creates her work, rehearses, teaches aerial classes and produces The Baltimore Alley Aerial Festival.
Mara has toured aerial performances and taught residencies internationally in Israel, Latvia, Canada and Costa Rica. Solo aerial theater performances include, Air Heart, Naomi’s Flight and Out Of The Blue. Aerial collaborations include Vacio with Teatro Abya Yala in Costa Rica, Paraffin with Naoko Mashieba, The Snow Queen, At Galludet University, and Gravity Stories at Stevenson University, and For That Which Returns with Arachne Aerial Arts, as well as a variety of wild work with Scofield on his aerial sculptures in alleyways, rooftops and abandoned buildings. One of her proudest collaborations was the 2003 production, Borders and Borderless, written and performed with elders and youth of the Yurok Nation. She has served as a guest artist at the UNA University in Hereria Costa Rica, The University of Costa Rica in San Jose, Rhodes College in Memphis, University of Missouri at Kansas City, University of Missouri at Springfield, University of Toronto, Cal Arts, MICA. Neimanis is a guild certified Feldenkrais practitioner and teaches Awareness Through Movement® as a part of Aerial Studies.
BFA, English and Theatre, Niagara University
MFA, Theatre, Towson University, Certificate, Dell’Arte International
Grants, Awards And Honors
2012 Free Fall Performance Grant
2010 Baltimore B Grant Award
2009 Recipient of Baltimore City Community Arts Grant
2008 Recipient of The Ellis Rabb Fund for Visiting Artists, Rhodes College
2008 Maryland State Arts Council Individual Artist Award
2007 Quest Fest For The Deaf commission for new works
2003 Recipient of The Native Cultures Grant of California, created/ produced Borders & Borderless with the Yurok and Hoopa tribes of Northern California