Maeli Goren is a multidisciplinary theater artist and a Chicagoland native. She is a company member at Barrel of Monkeys, professional artists collaborating with student writers and storytellers throughout Chicagoland, and a former Core Ensemble Member and Facilitator at Imagination Theater, a touring company that uses participatory theater to address social issues with young people. Currently, she is pursuing her MFA in directing at Yale School of Drama (anticipated graduation in 2021).
Maeli earned her AB in Comparative Literature from Princeton University (magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa) with certificates in Theater and Brazilian Studies. Her senior theater thesis production of José Cruz González’s The Magic Rainforest: An Amazon Journey was the first production of theater for young audiences at Princeton’s Lewis Center for the Arts and received the 2015 Outstanding Senior Creative Thesis in Theater award. Maeli also received the 2015 Francis Lemoyne Page Book Prize for Distinctive Achievement in Theater, the highest award offered by the Princeton Program in Theater. Her translation and adaptation of José de Alencar’s Iracema into an original work of theater for young audiences, The Story of Mamãe, received the 2015 Robert and Lynne Fagles Senior Thesis Prize for Best Senior Thesis in Translation or Creative Writing from the Department of Comparative Literature and was workshopped under the direction of Tim Vasen at The Lewis Center for the Arts in 2015.
Directing credits include How Thumbelina Found her Wings, Metamorphoses, The Children’s Hour, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Princeton Summer Theater, The Whale in the Hudson at Yale Cabaret, the workshop of Curves and Edges (director/playwright) at Interrobang Theatre Project, Batbrains with (HER)story at the Greenhouse Theater Center, the tour of A Little Bit Not Normal and the workshop of The Mirror and the Moon at 16th Street Theater, and readings of Aiming for Sainthood at 16th Street Theater, Hot Mess Sundae at 20% Theatre Company, and Kidnapped at Chicago Dramatists. As an actor, Maeli appeared as Juliet in Trinity Repertory Company/RILA’s 2016 mobile, bilingual production of Romeo and Juliet in Rhode Island and has enjoyed collaborations with AstonRep, The Prop, Redtwist, and 16th Street in Chicago. Her original play The Legendary True Story of Sparrow Jones and the Jersey Devil, co-written with Brad McKnight Wilson, premiered at Princeton Summer Theater in 2015. Her short play Looks Like Rain premiered at the Something Marvelous theatre festival of magical realism in 2018.
Maeli is a certified secondary English teacher and formerly taught 7th and 8th grade English as a Second Language. She has worked as a teaching artist with Windy City Players and Citadel Theatre in Chicago and the Manton Avenue Project in Providence, RI. She served for two years as Managing Director of 16th Street Theater in Berwyn, IL, where she oversaw all educational programming including residencies in three Berwyn/Cicero high schools and a summer program commissioning professional playwrights to create original works for young actors. Maeli was also the recipient of a 2018 StARTS grant to lead teach a devising residency in a Berwyn elementary school for students in grades 1-3, creating a theatrical adaptation of the children’s book I Am Brave and Unafraid. Most recently, she directed and served on the leadership team for the Dwight/Edgewood Project at Yale Repertory Theatre and the Yale School of Drama, bringing new plays by middle school-aged playwrights to life with a team of professional actors, designers, teaching artists, and technicians.
When she’s not theater making, Maeli enjoys dog training/dog appreciating, nature communing, lyric writing, flute playing, restaurant hopping, and learning, because she is a big ole’ nerd.