wotwmariashaplinMaria is a Philadelphia-based theater designer who received her MFA in lighting design from Temple University. She has a BA in Anthropology and Sociology from Hampshire College. In addition to lighting, Maria practices scenography, graphic, and web design. Although she works on many forms of performance including plays, dance, music and photography, Maria is especially versed in devised, immersive and experimental performance art. Maria is also the co-founder and lead designer of Applied Mechanics, a company who devises immersive, multi-narrative plays. Maria started her theatrical career as the resident lighting designer for The Riot Group, with whom she has toured all over the world, with month-long engagements in London and New York, and other notable engagements at the Stuttgart Festival in Germany, The Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, and an extensive UK tour. Maria is the recipient of the 2015 Independence Fellowship in the arts, for which she traveled to The Prague Quadrennial and The Time-Based Art Festival in Portland, OR.  Maria is a frequent collaborator with many companies in Philadelphia including The Riot Group, Swim Pony Performing Arts, InterAct, The Arden, Juniata College, Orbiter 3, Team Sunshine Performance Corporation, People’s Light, Theater Horizon, New Paradise Laboratories, The Berserker Residents, Nichole Canuso Dance Company, IRC, Lucidity Suitcase Intercontinental, PlayPenn, and Headlong Performance Institute.