Maria Manuela Goyanes, class of 2001


In these interviews, Maria Manuela Goyanes, Brown University class of 2001, describes why she decided to attend Brown, her experience in the Theatre Department, and her career in theatre after Brown.

Goyanes begins Part 1 by describing her childhood in Queens, New York, her parents’ immigration stories, and her early education at Bronx High School of Science. She remembers applying early decision to Brown and not really knowing which concentration she wanted to pursue. She recalls discovering the Production Workshop and joining the board in her first year on campus. Goyanes also details experimentalism in the theatre department and learning from both her professors and her classmates. She closes Part 1 by describing her fourth-year thesis production of Venus and explaining how that experience helped to shape her career choices after graduation.

Goyanes begins Part 2 by talking about her job at Trinity Repertory Theatre in Providence, Rhode Island, following graduation, and her involvement with Brown’s playwriting graduate program. She goes on to discuss her next position as Director of Producing and Artistic Planning at The Public Theater and later transitioning to the Artistic Director of Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company. She describes Brown’s connection to Woolly Mammoth as well as the Trump presidential administration as one reason why she wanted to work at a progressive theatre company. Goyanes closes Part 2 by talking about the work the theatre has done throughout the COVID-19 global pandemic and with a focus on racial justice and equity.

Part 1

Part 2


Recorded on April 8, 2021 via Zoom
Interviewed by Amanda Knox, Pembroke Center Assistant Archivist

Suggested Chicago style citation: Goyanes, Maria Manuela. Interview. By Amanda Knox. Pembroke Center Oral History Project, Brown University. April 8, 2021.


Maria Manuela Goyanes (she/her/hers) is the Artistic Director of Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company (Woolly). Prior to joining Woolly, she served as the Director of Producing and Artistic Planning at The Public Theater. During her tenure there, Goyanes oversaw the day-to-day execution of a full slate of plays and musicals at the Public’s five-theater venue at Astor Place and the Delacorte Theater for Shakespeare in the Park. Earlier in her career at The Public, she managed some of the theater’s most celebrated productions, including Hamilton by Lin-Manuel Miranda, Josephine & I by Cush Jumbo, Straight White Men by Young Jean Lee, Barbecue by Robert O’Hara, and Here Lies Love by David Byrne and Fatboy Slim.

While at The Public, Maria also held a position on the adjunct faculty of Juilliard and curated the junior year curriculum of the Playwrights Horizons Theater School at NYU. She has guest lectured at Bard College, Barnard College, Brown University, Columbia University, Juilliard, the National Theater Institute at The Eugene O’Neill Theater Center, UCSD, the University of Texas-Austin, and Yale University, among others. Since 2015, Maria has also served as a member of the board of the National Alliance for Musical Theatre. From 2006 to 2008, she co-chaired the Soho Rep Writer/Director Lab with Jason Grote, and from 2004 to 2012, Maria was the Executive Producer of 13P, one of her proudest achievements.

Maria is a first-generation Latinx-American, born to parents who emigrated from the Dominican Republic and Spain. She was raised in Jamaica, Queens, and as she notes, has a collection of hoop earrings to prove it. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in 2001 from Brown University.