My dad took me to my first play when I was 2 years old. Theatre has been a major part of my life ever since, and Dad is still my most important role model, favorite collaborator, and biggest supporter. Like him, I am an actor, educator, and collaborator.
My mission is to work with people at all levels of experience to spark creativity, inspire confidence, cultivate empathy, build community, and engage in the greater conversations of life.
I currently live in Atkins, IA with my husband Bill, our son Jack, and our dog Sam.
“Growth as an actor and as a human being are synonymous.” – Stella Adler
I have trained and worked across Iowa and the U.S. as a theatre instructor, accent/dialect coach, director, and actor for stage, screen, and voice over projects. I earned my BA in Theatre: Performance from the University of Northern Iowa in 2010 and my MFA in Acting from Florida Atlantic University in 2015. In addition to freelance work, I currently teach theatre courses at the University of Northern Iowa, Coe College, Iowa Conservatory (ICon), and Nolte Academy. My specialties are voice, speech, and movement for the actor, with additional expertise in accent and dialect study, Shakespeare, musical theatre, new play development, and theatre for social change. I seek to serve and empower people of all ages and backgrounds, particularly diverse learners and underrepresented groups.
Directed by Caroline Price
Filmed by Rob Merritt
featuring Katy Hahn
A fighter pilot becomes pregnant and is forced to give up her wings. When she is reassigned to piloting a drone for a seemingly endless war, her sense of self — and reality — comes into question. A play about duty, identity, and motherhood.
For more information about Grounded and other titles in Riverside Theatre’s Virtual Stories Series, visit https://www.riversidetheatre.org/virtual
In April 2020, Riverside Theatre in Iowa City asked actors to perform Shakespeare monologues in celebration of his 456th birthday, reuniting the theatre community and building anticipation for the return of Free Shakespeare on the Festival Stage in Lower City Park.
I chose to do this famous comedic piece as an homage to one of my bucket-list roles. The John Deere hat and the Hawkeye t-shirt belong to my husband Bill, and I enjoyed integrating them into my interpretation!
Check out all 30 monologues at riversidetheatre.org/30daysofshakespeare
Here is my “Viola” from Twelfth Night >>>
In July 2020, the University of Northern Iowa recruited alumni, faculty, and current students to perform Shakespeare monologues as we geared up for our Fall 2020 production of Romeo and Juliet, originally scheduled for the spring but rescheduled to fall due to COVID-19.
Riverside Theatre’s production of The Winter’s Tale was also postponed due to COVID-19, so I chose to use UNI’s online festival as an opportunity to explore one of the speeches I was originally going to perform on the festival stage this summer.
It was fun to work with this speech in a quiet, intimate setting, and I gave myself permission to really take my time with the thoughts. I love playing with Shakespeare’s text and letting it live where it wants to live in the moment.
In August 2020, I performed in a Zoom reading of the full play with the rest of the Riverside Theatre cast, and the words landed very differently. I am sure when we perform the play outdoors in June 2021 it will yet again take on an entirely different energy. Ah, theatre.
Check out my take on “Hermione” from The Winter’s Tale >>>
September is a time for pumpkin spice and everything nice. Naturally, this made me want to feature the warm and spicy Mia Fryvecind Gimenez this month! Her whole family is wonderful and massively talented, but this month is all about Mia!
Here is her bio from the Nolte Academy website:
Mia is a theatrical director, private voice teacher, and faculty at Nolte Academy now ICon. When she arrived in Iowa in 2015, Leslie asked Mia to music direct School of Rock. Since then she has directed Nolte’s productions of James and the Giant Peach and Side Show. Mia brings with her a lot of background in the performing arts. She has performed with conductors and directors from all over the globe including Juilliard, Paris National Opera, New York City Opera and the Metropolitan Opera. Mia has appeared on the stages of great American companies including the Lyric Opera of Chicago, TheatreWorks, Broadway by the Bay, Aspen Opera Theater Center, Pine Mountain Music Theatre, San Francisco Lyric Opera, Ray of Light Theatre-San Francisco, Altarena Playhouse-Oakland, Redwood Symphony and Lamplighters. Favorite roles range from Don Giovanni (Zerlina) to Tartuffe (Dorine) and SideShow (Violet) to Sweeney Todd (Beggar Woman), Les Miserables (Fantine), and The Secret Garden (Lily). Locally, Mia performs with Riverside Theatre (Rotten Eggnog (Rebecca)), City Circle (Sweeney Todd (Mrs. Lovett)), ICCT (Anything Goes (Reno Sweeney)), Old Creamery (Elephant & Piggie (Piggie)), Nolte Productions (Rock of Ages (Justice)) and the University of Iowa (Fun Home (Helen)) and Sunday in the Park with George (Dot)). Mia is honored to work with the CRANDIC’s talented youth to continue to develop their skills in the performing arts. Follow your bliss! www.miasings.com
I met Mia a few years ago when we taught musical theatre classes at Nolte Academy together, and the first thing I noticed about her (other than her amazing curly red hair) was her passion.
Mia is one of the most talented musical theatre teachers and performers in the whole state of Iowa. In fact, the only thing bigger than Mia’s talent is her heart. She overflows with a love for what she does and the people she works with. Her skill, versatility, and dedication quickly made our students and faculty at Nolte fall completely in love with her.
Though she is best known for her work in musical theater, the first time I got to perform onstage with Mia was actually in a new nonmusical play called Rotten Eggnog. We went on a wild ride from the first draft to the final production, and I got to experience firsthand what a fun and open collaborator Mia can be. I adore Mia for her playfulness as an actor and her warmth as a scene partner, and I hope we get to act together again soon. In the meantime, we get to work together to grow the artists of the future!
Much love to you, Mia! Keep following your bliss.
August 2020: Jo Jordan
July 2020: S. Benjamin Farrar
June 2020: Crystal Stewart
May 2020: Megan Gogerty
April 2020: Adam Knight
March 2020: Genevieve Trainor
February 2020: Chris Okiishi
January 2020: Cavan Hallman
December 2019: Angie Toomsen
November 2019: Janeve West
October 2019: Jim Bray
September 2019: Caroline Price
August 2019: Jenn Sheshko Wood
July 2019: Sarah Schreiner
June 2019: Kristy Hartsgrove Mooers
May 2019: Rob Merritt
April 2019: Jennifer Fawcett
March 2019: Patrick DuLaney
February 2019: Saffron Henke
January 2019: Amy Osatinski
December 2018: Cara Viner
November 2018: Deanna Downes
October 2018: Alisabeth Von Presley
I created a private Facebook group for individuals in the arts who do not identify as cis men to share ideas, raise questions, support each other, and get shit done.