Marie Ramirez Downing is an Assistant Professor of Theatre Arts Performance and Director of The Acting Program at Sonoma State University in the North Bay of California. She has an MFA in Acting from The Theatre School at DePaul University, and a B.A. in Theatre Arts, Acting from California State University, Fresno. She is a Designated Linklater Voice Teacher (Shakespeare & Company 2012). Marie is also a Bronze Founding Member of the Linklater Centre in Orkney, Scotland where she has continued her training as a voice teacher and actor with Kristin Linklater, Louis Colaianni, Paula Langton and Ken Cheeseman. Marie also led Linklater Teachers in a Collaborative Continuing Professional Development workshop for the Centre on Identity and the Voice in the Fall of 2021. Most recently, she received a grant through the Koret Scholars Program at SSU that provided scholarships to BIPOC Theatre arts students to participate in professional voice workshops and write and present about their experiences with each technique. 2022 creative projects include leading a workshop titled, “Voice and Presence: Behind the Mask, On Zoom, and In the Classroom” at the Western Academy of Management in Hawaii performing Shakespeare’s Sonnets with world renowned voice and acting teacher Patsy Rodenburg at the National Opera House in New York City. Marie is also making her Bay Area directing debut at the 6th Street Playhouse with Josefina Lopez’s play Real Women Have Curves. She is an elected Board Member for the Voice and Speech Trainers Association (VASTA) term 2019-2022.