Alumni Spotlight: Ursula Hellberg Kaid

Ursula Hellberg Kaid

Ursula Hellberg Kaid graduated with an MA in Educational Theatre in January 2019, specializing in applied theatre

Tell us about yourself.

I am a Chilean actress and educator. I have a BA in Theatre from Universidad de Chile and I graduated from the MA in Educational Theatre for Colleges and Communities in 2019. I am passionate about movement and Contemporary Dance disciplines, as well as literature, films, visual art, and traveling. My Educational Theatre practice happens as a dialogue –a dance– of Theatre and Education. My theatre work nourishes my educational experience vastly and, being in the classroom makes me grow and understand new perspectives.

Can you recall a memorable in-class or general NYU experience that struck you as particularly meaningful?

My participation in the 2018 NYU Educational Theatre Forum “Performance as Activism”. I presented a narrative called “Scaffolding the Streets” and shared the experience of doing Street Theatre with the Chilean ensemble “Teatro Errante”. Conceived as a retrospective of the work, I told that story that involved theatre, social justice, community organization, and politics.

I also have to mention the beautiful community that emerged from my years at NYU. Almost a year after graduating, I performed in a devised play called “Somos Más” directed by Zafi Dimitropoulou from People’s Theatre Project. I felt more than grateful and happy to see the NYU community of friends, professors, and staff coming to see the show. Even though the majority of my classes were from the Ed Theatre program; I was able to take a class from the International Education program, which provided meaningful insight to my learning process. In both programs everyone collaborated in creating a space for us to become the community we are today, while enriching my academic and professional practice in the process.

What is something about your identity that has impacted the way you approach Educational Theatre work?

I believe everything related to my identity impacts my work; I can’t detach from it. Personally, it is present from the moment I do lesson planning, when I am in the classroom, or when I am about to perform on stage. This makes me think of how the fact of being away from Chile in such an historical moment for my country, having the possibility to study at NYU, and living abroad has had such an important impact on my life, and how it has led me to comprehend and rethink my identity.