Department of Theatre

Dana Wieluns Legawiec

Lecturer in Theatre

Office Location

Russell Hall, USM Gorham Campus


(207) 780-5480

Academic Degrees

  • Ed.M. Arts in Education, Harvard Graduate School of Education
  • Physical Theatre Training Program, Dell'Arte International School of Physical Theatre
  • BA English Literature, Princeton University
  • Certificate in Theatre and Dance, Princeton University


Dana Wieluns Legawiec (pronounced “Luh-GAHV-yetz”) is an active professional Theatre Artist, Teaching Artist and Arts Educator who specializes in Physical Theatre and Ensemble-Devised works. 

Dana’s career is shaped by decades-long collaborations with playwrights, directors and choreographers in Los Angeles’ avant-garde theatre scene. As an actress, Dana has developed original plays with Padua Playwrights Productions, including the world premieres of Murray Mednick’s Joe and BettyGary’s Walk and Clown Show for Bruno. She was a member of the dance-theatre ensemble Rosanna Gamson/World Wide for over a decade, performing, touring and teaching at festivals in the US and Canada. An original founding member and Co-Artistic Director of Ziggurat Theatre Ensemble, Dana has contributed to nearly every project as an actor, movement coach, choreographer, mask performance coach or director since 1996. She is an Artistic Associate for the Bath and Camden Shakespeare Festivals.  Dana leads physical theatre training and movement direction for Ziggurat and the Shakespeare Festivals.  

Since moving to Maine with her family in 2010, she has performed with her own companies, as well as with Celebration Barn Theater, Heartwood Theater Company, Figures of Speech Theater, the Holocaust and Human Rights Center, Mad Horse Theater Company, the Theater Project and Portland Stage’s Play Me A Story Program. She is a Lecturer in the Department of Theatre at the University of Southern Maine, and House Manager and Visiting Artist with the Department of Theater and Dance at Colby College.

Her company Ziggurat Theatre Ensemble continues to garner critical acclaim for its highly stylized, visually stunning works of physical theatre, most recently reviving its commedia dell’arte - inspired original masked comedy Fafalo! for outdoor performances to safely present live theatre during COVID.

As a community-based Teaching Artist, Dana uses physical theatre to empower and elevate the voices of the very young in rural Maine.  She draws upon three decades’ experience working in ensemble theater to develop programs for children that celebrate individuality within collaboration while fostering deep connections to place. She was named a Creative Community Fellow by National Arts Strategies in recognition of her work making theatre with children in rural Maine. After witnessing the transformational potential of the elementary school play, Dana is founding The School Play Project to design and implement extracurricular creative drama programs for elementary schools in the state and region, and to research and advocate for free, high-quality participatory creative theatre-making for children.

Dana leads workshops in Physical Theatre, Movement, Mask and Ensemble for students of all ages, and has worked as an Artist in Residence through the Building Community through the Arts program with the Maine Alliance for Arts Education.  In 2017 she was selected as a Teaching Artist Leader for the Maine Arts Leadership Institute (MALI) and is a member of MALI's Vision Team for 2019-2020. 

Dana received her BA in English Literature and a Certificate in Theatre & Dance from Princeton University; is a graduate of the Physical Theatre Training Program at Dell’Arte International; and completed her Master's in Education, Arts in Education, at Harvard.  Additional training includes Suzuki/Viewpoints/Composition with Anne Bogart and the SITI Company; Gender Bending with Anna Deavere Smith; Laban/Bartenieff Fundamentals with Peggy Hackney; Acrobatics and Polyharmonies with Teatr Chorea of Lodz, Poland; Essential Movements of Lecoq with Yuval Boim. She is also a yoga instructor. Dana is currently working toward professional certification in creative facilitation in Liz Lerman's Critical Response Process.