Senior Spotlight: Mayra Gurrola-Calderon

Posted on May 13th, 2020 by

The “Senior Spotlight” series honors graduating fine arts majors for their contributions to the Gustavus community.

Mayra Gurrola-Calderon is a theatre major from Saint Paul, Minn. After graduation, she wants to use her theatre skills to advocate for equitable access to the arts, especially for minority groups. Visiting Theatre Director Matt Trucano worked with Mayra during the January interim and spring semester of 2019. “Witnessing Mayra’s growth in my time at Gustavus remains among my happiest memories as a teacher,” he says. “Mayra’s deeply personal investigations as an actor match her curious, connective, analytical mind.”

We asked Mayra to give us a little insight into her time at Gustavus and how she’s continuing theatre while living at home.

What do you look forward to most about life after Gustavus?
MGC: I look forward to being able to continue learning and adapting to who I want to be in the world and discovering what stories I want to add to it.

What will you miss most about theatre at Gustavus?
MGC: My time in the department has been a rollercoaster of emotions, but I do know that I will miss being able to work with Kristi in the theatre and dance office and the conversations with professors who would come by during my shifts.

What’s a favorite memory you have from your time in theatre at Gustavus?
MGC: Favorite memories of mine would be the times I got to be a part of students’ work and collaborating with them. Bouncing off each other’s experience and ideas allowed us to create really amazing things.

How are you continuing your theatre education in your new surroundings?
MGC: Before school was moved online I was working on my capstone project, which is a play inspired by my mother and our relationship with trans-generational trauma. I wanted to put it on production at school, but because this is not possible I have been working on different mediums to accomplish it. I’ve been writing short stories and filming performances that demonstrate my relationship with my mom and either keeping them for the future or posting them on my personal social media.

What has it been like to perform and act at home?
MGC: It’s been challenging to do art during this time because I have been trying to process so many emotions. I’m trying to create work that means something, but that’s the hardest to do when you are hurting. However, because I am still working on my capstone, it has made me appreciate other forms of art.


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