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New Arts Faculty Passionate About Contemporary Art, International Theatre

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Two new faculty members with wide-ranging interests in theatre and art have been welcomed at the College of the Arts this fall. 

Heather Denyer

Heather Jeanne Denyer
Assistant professor of theatre and dance
Ph.D. in theatre and performance, City University of New York; M.F.A. in dramaturgy, Columbia University; B.A. in dramatic literature, Northwestern University

Research Interests: African theater; women and gender; French, German and U.S. theater; puppetry, dramaturgy, translation.
Something you’d like others to know: I lived in California once before. I used to work as a stage manager and lived in San Diego for a season at the opera. Also, one of the reasons why I began research in African theater is because I was a Peace Corps volunteer for two years in Cameroon.
Favorite film: “Les enfants du paradis” with Jean-Louis Barrault and directed by Marcel Carné, filmed during the German occupation of France in 1946.

Mary Pomonis

Mary Anna Pomonis
Assistant professor of art 
M.F.A. Washington University in St. Louis; B.F.A. University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

Research Interests: I am passionate about art education and its link to contemporary art. I believe art education is a path to community and meaningful employment for young artists seeking sustainability and meaning in their practices. 
In 2020, I have two solo shows of my artwork at The Lancaster Museum of Art and History and The Ladies Room Los Angeles. Both solo shows focus on contemporary theoretical math and sacred imagery associated with ancient matriarchal culture. My work creates links between the past and the future through a feminist lens. 
In addition, I am co-editor of, which explores the connections between teaching and social practice, and I am the founder of the Association of Hysteric Curators, a group that seeks to advance the lives of feminist artists.
Most impactful academic experience: In graduate school I worked at the Contemporary Art Museum as an education intern and had the honor to work in the classroom with MacArthur Genius Award-winner Kara Walker
Something you’d like others to know: I grew up at the University of Illinois. My parents were former students who opened bars and restaurants on and near campus in the 60s and 70s, including the Brown Jug, the Illini Inn and Merry-Ann’s Diner. The UIUC colors, like CSUF, are orange and blue. I feel very at home in Fullerton and welcomed by the orange and blue everywhere. Fun fact: I love swimming in a heated indoor pool; I swim laps four days a week at my local YMCA.
Favorite book: My favorite book is “The Left Hand of Darkness” by Ursula K. Le Guin. Le Guin’s parents were anthropologists and from them she learned that all stories emerge from civilization, change the civilization and you change the story. Her books are complete immersions into a brilliant and creative mind.