“I am honored to have been chosen as the new executive director of the Milwaukee Public Theater,” Ms. Soza said. “I share the MPT’s core values and the vision that art can transform individuals, communities and society. I look forward to building a community that shares a safe environment where solutions to social problems can be proposed, creating social change, and where the voice of the voiceless can be heard,” she added.
Ms. Soza comes to MPT with nearly three decades of experience as an artist, director and actor as well as a leader in the fight for social and economic justice in our community. Her commitment to the arts dates to her adolescence in Chile when she joined the Rebel Theater Brigades during the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet and went on to become a professional actress and director. Her work focused on offering children, youth and other community members similar experiences she had as a young person working in the arts. Ms. Soza also has a rich background in the health field, including time at Meta House in Milwaukee.
Most recently, Ms. Soza facilitated the Spanish Solo-Stories workshops for Ex-Fabula in collaboration with Core El Centro, Centro Hispano, Planned Parenthood and UW-Milwaukee. This was Ex-Fabula’s first “Bilingual Story Slam.”
In addition, Ms. Soza also wrote, directed and acted in SABER PARA LA GENTE – THEATRE OF THE OPPRESSED in collaboration with the Medical College of Wisconsin, a production that presented stories and solutions for specific medical issues. She has also worked extensively with undocumented parents of children with disabilities and is considered an expert in facilitating workshops in the style of theater known as Theatre of the Oppressed. Previously, Carolina served as the Executive Director of The Southside Community Justice Center.
MPT was co-founded by Dr. Barbara Leigh in 1974. Originally named Friends Mime Theatre, the organization has gone through numerous transitions over the last 42 years in an effort to stay current with community needs. Dr. Leigh has been the backbone of MPT since the group’s launch and, through her vision, has brought the joys of art and theatre to several generations of Milwaukee citizens. Dr. Leigh is particularly excited about the addition of Ms. Soza and recognizes the opportunity her talents will provide to strengthen and build the organization and shift the course of MPT’s relationships with collaborating organizations.
“Carolina Soza is a dear friend and colleague who has worked with MPT as a theater artist for many years. [In her new role] she will be building on a strong set of administrative and artistic skills,” Dr. Leigh said. “We look forward to her leadership as we evolve into the next 42 years!”
Also, MPT Board of Directors President Dr. Theresa Anne Kenney noted the importance of financial assistance in the transition to a new Executive Director from longtime community supporters: the Brico Fund, Bader Philanthropies, Greater Milwaukee Foundation Nonprofit Management, Proteus Fund and the United Performing Arts Fund (UPAF). “Our financial supporters have been instrumental in assisting MPT in this important generational transition,” Dr. Kenney said. “We could not have done it without their help.”
The board of directors, staff and the many artists of MPT are confident that the addition of Ms. Soza will provide the community with a supportive collaborator, strong bilingual and multidisciplinary skills, an understanding of diversity at different levels, and interpersonal skills that will be a great resource to the city of Milwaukee.