Standard Bearer: Teya Juarez

Teya Juarez

Undergraduate, B.A. in Theatre Arts-Acting, Minor in Philosophy

Since kindergarten, Teya Juarez has been involved in the arts attending the art magnet programs at Bullard Talent elementary school and Roosevelt School of the Arts in high school. At Fresno State, she has maintained a perfect GPA while majoring in acting and minoring in philosophy.

“Theatre has always captivated me in the way it holds up a mirror to society and tells the stories of the people within it,” Juarez said.

In the classroom, Juarez stood out among her peers.

“She brought her own viewpoint to the works we encountered, frequently surprising me with observations, often from a feminist perspective, that I had never considered before—what a delight to have such a student,” said Melissa Gibson, Ph.D. “A philosophy minor, she has an active mind and she synthesizes concepts learned from other areas to inform her analysis of dramatic literature.”

During her time at Fresno State, she acted in two community productions and nine University Theatre productions, one of which was canceled due to COVID-19 just days before the opening night. She was also the director, playwright and video editor of her original play “Z,” performed by the Experimental Theatre Company at Fresno State.

“Teya not only wrote that play, she also directed and edited it as well, a skill set acquired in crash-course fashion this fall as we moved from live to virtual theatre,” Gibson.

Rounding out her theatre production experience, she worked the light board for two University Theatre productions and with the wardrobe crew for a Contemporary Dance Ensemble production.

“She was often the go-to person I trusted to make sure things were running smoothly,” Professor of Theatre and Dance Elizabeth Payne said. “Teya was like a calm in the storm when it came to orchestrating the backstage dressing choreography. She listened to directions, kept documented notes, and most importantly, kept everyone around her calm as they made it through a very complicated piece.”

As a member of the Art and Humanities Honors program, Juarez is currently writing a full-length original play “Blue” for her thesis, which deals with mental illness. She attended the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival twice, once as an Irene Ryan Acting Nominee and was the Sunny Brown Memorial Scholarship recipient. She has worked off off-campus at Casa de Tamales during her time at Fresno State.

Having recently changed her life goals from being a professional actress to the academic side of theatre, Juarez plans to get her master’s degree, concentrating her research on “possible inherent biases of the main acting methodologies of the West, with a focus on women.” She also plans to continue and get her Ph.D. in Theatre Arts and hopes to one day become a professor.

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The College of Arts and Humanities Students of Distinction represents the best of their department and will be honored at the Arts in Motion event at 2 p.m. Saturday, April 10 – the culminating event of the Arts in Motion Showcase week. From these students, one undergraduate and one graduate Dean’s Medalist will be selected. The Dean’s Medalists are then eligible to receive the President’s Medal, the university’s highest student honor.

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The College of Arts and Humanities provides a diverse student population with the communication skills, humanistic values and cultural awareness that form the foundation of scholarship. The college offers intellectual and artistic programs that engage students and faculty and the community in collaboration, dialog and discovery. These programs help preserve, illuminate and nourish the arts and humanities for the campus and for the wider community.

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