Kyra Oser

Kyra Oser
Program: PhD Theatre History

BA Sonoma State University (Magna Cum Laude), MA San Francisco State University (Summa Cum Laude)

Kyra’s primary research interest is consciousness studies in theatre, with a specific focus on altered states of consciousness, hypnosis in performance, avant-garde theatre, shamanism, and Artaudian theory. Her MA Thesis, Textual Automatism in Surrealist Plays (1998), explored automatic writing under altered states in the scripts of French pre-Surrealist playwrights Breton, Cocteau, Soupault, and Apollinaire. Kyra presented her paper, “Altered States of Consciousness in Theatre: Ericksonian Hypnosis and Neurolinguistic Programming in Antonin Artaud’s Theatre and its Double”, at the 2019 Tri-University Colloquium in Vancouver. She has been hired as a research assistant at the University of Toronto and University of Victoria and is a recipient of the 2020-2021 Robert W. Ford Graduate Scholarship and the 2020-2021 University of Victoria President’s Fellowship in Research-Enriched Teaching.

Her research activities also extend to ecocriticism, and she started a subsidiary movement to Fridays for Future under the name of “Fasting Fridays for Future”, in which she has been fasting and striking every Friday since September 2019 to help raise awareness about the climate crisis. By August 2021, hundreds joined the movement in at least twenty-five countries by fasting and hunger striking to demand climate action from their governments. In other community services, Kyra taught juvenile delinquent high school students who were involved with gangs in South Central and East Los Angeles through the Los Angeles Unified School District (2001-2003), voluntarily introduced and coordinated Al-Anon meetings for the Los Angeles County Men’s Central Jail (2012-2013), serves as a judge for the Drama Teachers Association of Southern California Shakespeare Festival (2008-present), and leads visualization meditations at the University of Victoria Multifaith Centre.

Kyra was an instructor of Theatre History, Beginning Acting, and Children’s Theatre at Moorpark College, as well as Acting for Film and Television, Rehearsal and Performance, and Intro to Oral Communications at Oxnard College. As a Learning Tree University instructor in Thousand Oaks, CA, she taught Acting for Film and Television and Painting from the Masters. Kyra was trained in drawing and painting by Bay Area artists Chester Arnold and Mark Perlman and her paintings have been sold and displayed at various Los Angeles art shows since 2001, including recurring showings at Universal CityWalk of Universal Studios Hollywood. In 2002, she received the Moorpark College Instructors Service Learning Award for writing and directing an interactive verse comedy about attaining dream states by creating and appreciating paintings, Daydream Museum, which was performed by her students and toured to elementary schools throughout Southern California. A professional visual artist, playwright, director, and actor, her work has garnered critical acclaim in The Scotsman, LA Weekly, and LA Times.

Inspired by Jerzy Grotowski’s Towards a Poor Theatre and Peter Brook’s concept of Holy Theatre, she launched a Los Angeles Budget Theatre column on in 2009, reviewing for Hollywood Fringe Festival and other festivals and venues that promoted low-budget, original productions.

Kyra joined SAG in 2000 and AGVA in 1999. Trained in comedy improv at The Groundlings as a student of actor Drew Droege, she’s headlined at Uncabaret, guest-starred on Tailgating with Kato, performed regularly in improv shows at Westside Comedy Theater, and is an alumnus of La Pocha Nostra. She played lead roles at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and in classical plays as an actor, singer, choreographer, and company member of Culver City Public Theatre. Kyra was educated in directing by stage director Roberto Gutièrrez Varea. From 2001 to 2006, Kyra studied every week with director Sal Romeo as a member of Friends and Artists Theatre Ensemble in Hollywood, where she wrote and directed plays, taught comedy improv, and learned techniques for applying the Stanislavsky system to theatre, film, and television acting. As a certified clinical hypnotherapist, Kyra guest lectured at Pacific States University as part of an Intro to Psychology course, and her call-in radio show featuring hypnosis techniques and celebrity interviews has aired live since 2011 in partnership with producers that include KKNW Seattle, Goddess Media UK, and CBS Radio.

Supervisor: Dr. Allana Lindgren