Biography

Maria Costa is a groundbreaking and dynamic actress, comedian, and writer whose unique brand of “funny, brilliant, and sexy” humor is making her an influential voice of social relevance on tours, on television, and in film. Maria's roster of hilarious and original characters has critics calling her "the women of a thousand faces." MUNDOFLIX, the new SVOD (Subscription – Video on Demand) video streaming service signed onto distribute Viva America, a variety special written by and starring Costa. Viva America, captures the best of this multi-talented comedic dramatist.

 

Her award-winning one-woman stand up performance, Macho Men and the Women Who Love Them , has sold out prestigious venues like the Kodak Theater, toured throughout 16 cities and 6 countries, and is now setting college campuses on fire, having toured over 80 campuses nationwide. The DVD of ‘Macho Men’ comedy concert, filmed live at the Kodak Theater, is distributed worldwide by Image Entertainment and is available on Amazon, BestBuy.com, and other vendors. Maria's has won an Imagen Award for Film: Best Theatrical Production for the 'Macho' Concert Film and a Maverick Award from the Los Angeles Women in Theater.

Maria is currently developing her new show Shades of Macho's which takes a homogenous look at machismo and women's roles within various ethnic groups. 

 

Maria is set to receive a star on the Motown Walk to Fame alongside other honorees, including singer Aretha Franklin and producer Jerry Bruckheimer. Maria co-hosted the Urban Wheel Awards alongside fellow actor, Morris Chestnut and her new comedy pilot, Viva America, is an Imagen Award nominee for Excellence in Latino Film and TV - along with ABC’s Dancing with the Stars and NBC’s The Voice. The Kresge Foundation awarded Costa with a prestigious performing artist fellowship to improve Detroit through content that speaks to the Latino community.

 

Costa’s Cuban fire has also spread to television. Maria has a long list of primetime television shows under her belt. Milestone achievements include her popular role as Valerie on ABC’s Ugly Betty, her role in Universal Remote on Showtime, guest roles on Lifetime’s Strong Medicine and CBS’s Joan of Arcadia, and series regular roles in BRAVO’S The It Factor LA and ABC’s Dangerous Minds. Maria is an Alma Award-nominated actress in the category of Best Actress in a Dramatic Series and is the winner of a Nosotros Golden Eagle Award, a Screen Actors Guild Hispanic Heritage Honor for her work in media. Maria has also worked as a writer, producer, and on-air talent for national programming on the PBS network.

 

Maria began her career as a classically trained actress who starred in productions written by renowned playwright, Ron Milner. She has  also starred in a number of theatrical productions, including Anthony and Cleopatra and For Colored Girls Who Have Committed Suicide at the Hillberry Theater and Latinologes at the South Coast Repertory Theatre.  Maria’s early works also included creating, producing, writing, and performing in her original sketch comedy troupe, No-Spic Inglish, which she regularly performed at the Ice House and the Improv in Los Angeles. Her previous one-person show, AfroSpic, is one of many of her  original plays. 

 

Maria received her formal training at Wayne State University through the College of Fine Performing and Communications Arts and studied with theater legend Uta Hagan as well as with international mime master Marcel Marceau.

 

Maria is a strong advocate for empowering minority children through the arts as as a teen she received her early training from a community program. Maria contributes to high risk youth through her arts program, La Bella.


Awards and Nominations 

 

  • Motown Walk of Fame Star Recipient – Category: Arts and Entertainment   Read More

  • Imagen Award Nominee – Honoring Excellence in TV/Film, Category: Best Film Short for “Viva America”, Maria Starring, Written, and Co-Produced by Maria Costa  Read More

  • Kresge Foundation Artist Fellowship – Category: Performing Arts Read More

  • Viva America Pilot Kresge Foundation 2nd Grant Matching Funds Second Grant Awardee  Read More

  • Michigan Development Development Corporation – Category: Business Grant Award  Read More

  • Imagen Award Winner – Category: Film – Best Theatrical Production Read More

  • Made History as the First Latina to Star at the Kodak Theater in a Theatrical Capacity, Performed Macho Men and the Women Who Love Them Read More

  • Tech Town Entrepreneur Award – Category: Best Entrepreneur 

  • Screen Actors Guild Hispanic Heritage Award – Category: Contributions to Positive Images of Latinos in TV/Film  

  • Alma Award Nominee – Category: Best Actress in a Dramatic Series for her Series Regular Role as Blanca in the ABC Drama “Dangerous Minds” 

  • Los Angeles Women in Theater Maverick Award – Category: Maverick Award, an Honor given to actress Lilly Tomlin the Year prior 

  • Armed Forces Top 10 Performances of the Year – European Armed Forces Tour Headliner 16 City Tour.  Other nominees this year included Sinbad and D.L. Hughley

  • LA Weekly Theater Awards Nominee, Category: Best Solo Performance 

 

 

TV/Film Credits

 

  • Comedy Concert DVD Live from the Kodak Theater, Distributed Worldwide by Image Entertainment Read More

  • Viva America Pilot, Oro Entertainment - in Development with PBS as Series Read More

  • Lead Rumba Dancer Starring with Andy Garcial in International Bacardi Commercial See More

  • Ugly Betty ABC – Guest Starring as Valerie, owner of the Beauty School in “Secretary Day” Episode/ABC 

  • Portrayed Joe Montanya’s Assistant in CBS series Joan of Arcadia in Guest Starring role 

  • Guest Starred on the Lifetime Series “Strong Medicine” 

  • The It Factor – Series Regular as herself, series followed 7 Actors including Maria, Jeremy Riener (Born Legacy) and LisaRaye McCoy (All of Us, The Players Club) and others BRAVO TV

  • Chris Gains/M.O.V Starring as Garth Brooks Love Interest/VH1 See More

  • Soul Train – Guest Starring, Maria interwiewed Ferggi and Eric Bene/Host WB

  • Brimstone – Recurring Regular /FOX

  • Oh Baby Guest Starring /Lifetime

  • Union Square Guest Starring /NBC

  • In the House Guest Starring as LL Cool J’s stalker /UPN

  • Nick Freno Guest Starring /WB

  • Keenen Ivory Wayans Show – Guest Starring /FOX

  • Family Matters – Guest Starring ABC

  • Club Connect – Series Regular Host, Show & Segment Producer & Writer/PBS

  • AT&T – Lead Actress & Dancer Staring with David Arquett
     

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© Maria Costa 2016