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OpenArtistNYC             Marie Poncé instructor: at SAG Conservatory

Marie Poncé leads Character & Atmosphere at SAG-Aftra NY Conservatory  9/22/2017 & 10/27/17 10 am – 1 pm

Marie Poncé (Lucayan-Taino/ Cherokee) NYFA Fellow 2016, Lifetime member of The Thunderbird American Indian Dancers, recipient of the first LMCC Creative Learning Award to teach in Harlem; is an award winning actor of stage, film and television, published writer, singer, American Indian hoop dancer (Lucayo/Cherokee), costume designer, administrator, acting and arts instructor and program developer, who lived in 8 countries and 7 states. 

Full Body 50 s subway set Spielberg
Marie Ponce on Set

A Solo performance in the Almost Summer Celebration Wagner Park in collaboration with NMAI and The Jewish Museum and starring role in SummerStage’s Harlem Caravan, dir. George Faison kept her busy, 2014.  She also partnered a Healing/Structured Improvisation program with Restoration and Healing Inc. in Monrovia, Liberia. She is an adjunct professor at  NYU Tisch School of the Arts and Stella Adler Studio of Acting, and program director / instructor at The Negro Ensemble Company founded by Doug las Turner Ward and Robert Hooks in 1967. She is founder of Open Artist NYC, and the upcoming OANYC and NEC Monthly Meet at Riverside providing professional artists and arts organizations with free information, resources and mentoring.

Alvin Alexis Marie McKinney Tony Jackson in Laurence Holder's Monk 'n' Bud  directed by Jasper McGruder and Tom Ross
Alvin Alexis Marie McKinney Tony Jackson in Laurence Holder’s Monk ‘n’ Bud directed by Jasper McGruder and Tom Ross


Marie McKinney Program Dir of NEC Rep meets with CBS VP Casting, Fern Orenstein and CBS SVP Diversity, Josie Thomas,
Marie Ponce Program Dir of NEC Rep meets with CBS VP Casting, Fern Orenstein and CBS SVP Diversity, Josie Thomas,


 O.L Duke, Robert Whalen and she founded NEC’s Arts-in-Education Program sharing workshops and shows with NYC school children. Marie Poncé has further impacted the lives of thousands of NYC students by developing arts education programs for:  Tony Randall’s National Actor’s Theatre, Brooklyn and Bronx Community Councils, The Thunderbird American Indian Dancers, Inc, Lotus Music and Dance,, Learning Through Expanded Arts Program, Phyllis Rose Dance Company, Theatre in Motion  Interborough Repertory Theater and World Strides.  As “Nellie Monk”in Laurence Holder’s, she premiered at Theater for the New City and traveled to The Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Scotland and The International Festival for Experimental Theatre, Cairo, Egypt. Marie is writer, costume designer and traditional arts and accent coach for her play The Roots of Rap, now in its 18th successful year at Interborough Repertory Theatre.

Marie Poncé is a lifetime member, Thunderbird Grand Mid-Summer annual pow wow vendors committee head and American Indian Hoop dancer and singer for The Thunderbird American Indian Dancers and Heyna Second Sons annual show at Crystal Fields’ Theater for the New City, 2009-2012. (featured on s Article 6/7/13: Six Hoop Dance Videos You Need to See ) The TAID organization preserves Native American culture through pow wows, education and shows at schools and museums, like the National Museum of the American Indian, Queens County Farm Museum and American Indian Community House. Her singing and Native bead work and Native American Hoop Dancing are featured in the Documentary: “Native New Yorkers”. Marie hoop 2013 Queens Farm Museum

Theatre in Motion wins Mayors Very Special Arts Award  Marie McKinney Leslie Fanelli Leigh AnneShe won the Pick of the Fringe Award for Acting in Edinburgh, Scotland and was nominated for the Audelco Award, and included in The International Festival for Experimental Theatre, Cairo, Egypt for Lawrence Holder’s, Monk ‘n’ Bud with Alvin Alexis and Tony Jackson, director Jasper McGruder, She played Carmen, the waitress, on ABC’s One Life to Live, Her Performing Artist Credits Include:  Martin Scorsese’s Boardwalk Empire, Guest Star on America’s Most Wanted, Waitress on Law and Order and NY Undercover, Featured on. Film Credits Include: Science Teacher in Matthew Broderick’s: Stranger’s with Candy, Player’s Wife in For Love of the Game , Robin in Rye Psychiatric Hospital’s The Gathering and ‘Fed Ex Woman’ for Fed Ex Las Vegas, Salt ‘n’ Peppa’s Express Yourself Video, Sesame Street, Blue Steel, White Girl, Arthur! A Celebration of Life (2005), several Spike Lee Joints, like Jungle Fever, Malcolm X, and Juice. Theatre Credits Include: Rose Lee (lead) in August Wilson’s Fences at Providence Black Rep, She partnered with O.L. Duke in 2001 to produce Negro Ensemble Company’s Tea, Taxes andShakespeare (she played Multiple Roles while managing Quick Changes in Lou Meyer’s Just A Little Bit of Somethin‘ She played “Her” in Through Her Eyes by Veronica Galos, “Africa” in Cornbury: The Queen’s Governor, and“Griot” in Lola Louis’s Performing Arts Center’s in The Children’s Legacy.


Marie Poncé was a Lead Singer with Funk Guru (Band) Tour, and sang with the Marvelettes, Adiva and Bethel Gospel Assembly Choir for The Apollo’s 61st Celebration of Israeli Independence. Marie McKinney is a Martial Arts Coach in Chinese Tai Chi and Long Tassle Sword (Master Lu Dian Wah of Beijing, China). Marie McKinney sword

She spent 15 years developing programs in Arts-in Education for NY Public School K-12 students and pioneered teaching academics through the Arts at Theatre in Motion(for those with physical challenges) and Phyllis Rose Dance Company (with over 70 multi-cultural dances), where she was in-house costume designer. Also, National Actor’s Theatre (Classics on Broadway) and LEAP.Gothan City at Fed Ex Southern Hemisphere Convention Industrial Las Vegas  Carl Marie..

Marie McKinney-Poncé was one of the last actors to train with Philip Meister. Meister, co-founder of The Cubiculo and National Shakespeare Company Conservatory, who introduced her to NEC founder, Douglas Turner Ward. At NSC she trained with Mario Silletti of NSC and Stella Adler studio; Robert Perillo, Joan Evans and James Tripp current Head of Acting and Master Teachers at the Stella Adler Studio of Acting, Peter Lobdell, professor at Amherst and originator of the lead role in Elephant Man and Equus on Broadway.

She pioneered electronic music and studied North Indian (Hindi) and Balinese music with ethnomusicologist, composer and founder of Neuma Records, Shirish Korde. Marie Poncé developed the first theatre major at the College of the Holy Cross with instructor, Robyn Hunt, and spent years studying West African dance with Nafisa Shariff and Ester of Chuck Davis’ Forces of Nature, jazz and modern dance at Alvin Ailey Dance School at The Minskoff, Charles “Honi” Coles, Frank Hatchett and Savion Glover Broadway Dance and Daniel Tinazzi, Suzie Taylor and Cecelia Marta at Steps 74. 

Marie McKinney wardrobe supervisor Theatre 4 Negro Ensemble Company 1983 Marie McKinney-Poncé’s  first NY job was in-house Wardrobe Supervisor at NEC’s Theatre 4 from Puppet Play through Split Second, working with Douglas Turner Ward, designers Judy Dearing and Myrna Collie Lee, also, Samuel L. Jackson, Angela Bassett, Adolf Caesar) Marie was a Miss Black USA finalist(Delaware) and grew up in 7 States,and Rangoon, Burma, Paris, Cairo, Israel,Master Liu Dian Wah Marie McKinney Train near Riverside Church Sakura Park 2 Hong Kong… the daughter of Dr. Theophilus E. McKinney, VP of Howard University, pioneer of International Student Programs, UNCF and Education and World Affairs executive in NY and author of many works on Education and International. She grew up amidst celebrities and luminaries : Sidney Poitier, Earl Graves, Vernon Jordan, H. Rap Brown, Harry Belafonte, Mrs. W,E.B Dubois, Ruby Dee and Ozzie Davis, Betty Shabazz, The Manhattans, Cab Calloway’s family at her aunt Juanita’s house in Pleasantville, NY.

4 thoughts on “Bio

  1. Pingback: Artist Activist Acting Coach Martial Arts Native Events « Marie McKinney

  2. Enjoy your web site. Great meeting you at Sag Conservatory too. James Dickson

    • Thanks James, for supporting my Character and Atmosphere Workshop at SAG Conservatory, hope you’ll join us again in January 2015. There may be another presentation of Artists Business Grants Resources & Opportunities at SAG-Aftra in Spring-SUmmer 2015.