Maria Fontanals

Maria Fontanales Headshot


“I regard the theatre as the greatest of all art forms, the most immediate way in which a human being can share with another the sense of what it is to be a human being”
Oscar Wilde

“The best way to teach anything is to make it fun and involve as many of the five senses as possible. The class is guided by the joy we all experience when acting and living in discovery. I believe in being patient with the process, having joy in the experience and celebrating being a human being and awakening to each moment of our existence. I am passionate about teaching and the performing arts. I believe in the power of integrative approaches for personal and professional growth. I enjoy working with people, and helping them grow through acting. As a fluent speaker of Spanish, Catalan, French and English, I have come to understand the value of a multilingual and multicultural worldview.”


Maria Fontanals is a Spanish actress and faculty member at HB Studio where she teaches Uta Hagen’s technique. She is also the cofounder of Corezon, a successful and independent theatre and audiovisual company based in NYC.

Maria was born and grew up in the beautiful city of Barcelona. Theater has been in her blood since early childhood. Her earliest memories began as a child doing in-home dramatic presentations with her three brothers for their parents. Maria understood instinctively what Oscar Wilde said best.

Maria began her career working in corporate finance followINg her graduation with a Bachelors in Science in Economics from the world renowned Pompeu Fabra University in Barcelona. However, her interest in theater never waned. While working, she nurtured her acting avocation by earning a Bachelors in Fine Arts from Barcelona’s Eòlia Conservatory of Dramatic Arts and performing in several theater productions in Barcelona.  Ultimately, her inner voice nagged relentlessly prodding her to leave the security of her corporate post and pursue her passion for acting in earnest. She set out for New York’s prestigious HB Studio, to pursue the Core Training program in acting (awarded for a scholarship). Once immersed in the HB Studio’s intensive study of acting, and exhilarated by the inspirational professionals teaching the experiential curriculum, she finally found her groove! She was part of the HB Ensemble and is proudly part of the Hagen Institute alumni.

As an actress, Maria has worked with renowned theaters such as The Brick, Dixon Place, Theater for the New City, Teatro Círculo, Russian Arts Theater, IATI, HB Playwrights Foundation, Teatro SEA, to name a few. She has an extensive experience on stage in the United States and Europe. Select theater credits include: TIERRA DEL FUEGO, EL ESPACIO ENTRE MEDIAS, CITY GIRLS AND DESPERADOES (co-starring with Austin Pendleton and Julie Atlas Muz), EL DIVÁN (winner of a Latin ACE Award for Best Drama Actress), SEIS (winner of five FUERZAFest Awards including Best Play and Best Actress and three HOLA Awards 2017 including Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor), OLEANA, BRILLIANT TRACES (one of the first HB Rehearsal Space Residency projects), BALM IN GILEAD (at HB Playwrights Theatre), KING LEAR, DANCING AT LUGHNASA, and MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM.

Recent TV/film includes: SIX DEGREES OF MURDER (ID Discovery Channel) – DISTANT INTERIORS – THE MIDDLE OF SOMEWHERE (winner of the Royal Film Award 2018) – LATINER (2015 Selected Official for the Latino Short Film Festival) – SUPER WINGS: BARCELONA BIRDHOUSE (voice over).

Within the past year, she has been awarded the national Latin ACE Award 2019 for Best Drama Actress – HOLA Award 2018 and 2017 for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor – ATI Award 2018 for Best Actress – FUERZAFest Award 2017 for Best Actress – Latin ACE Award 2017 for Best Comedic Actress.

Maria Fontanals es una actriz a caballo entre dos ciudades: Barcelona, donde nació, y Nueva York, donde creció como actriz. Aunque su infancia está marcada por la danza y el piano, ya desde muy pequeña se siente atraída por el teatro. Esta pasión no la abandona nunca, ni cuando inicia sus estudios de Economía en la Universidad Pompeu Fabra de Barcelona, carrera que compagina con las clases nocturnas de arte dramático en Eòlia, Escuela Superior de Arte Dramático de Barcelona. Por exigencias del guión, al finalizar su carrera de Economía se incorpora a una gran empresa, trasladando esta dualidad estudiantil a la vida laboral: economista de día, actriz de noche. Al cabo de unos años, dice adiós a su carrera en el ámbito corporativo para centrar todos sus esfuerzo y energía en el teatro.

Su personalidad – curiosa, entusiasta, optimista y algo aventurera – la lleva a poner rumbo a Nueva York. Becada por la prestigiosa escuela HB Studio, inicia dos años de formación que suponen un reconocimiento a su talento. Actualmente forma parte del profesorado de HB Studio donde enseña la técnica Uta Hagen en español, junto a Pablo Andrade.

Maria tiene una larga trayectoria profesional en los Estados Unidos estando involucrada en importantes compañías como Dixon Place, Theater for the New City, Teatro Círculo, Russian Arts Theater, IATI, HB Ensemble Theater, Teatro SEA, entre otras. Sus principales trabajos en teatro incluyen: City Girls and Desperadoes (co-protagonista con Austin Pendleton y Julie Atlas Muz), El diván, Acuérdate de mí, Seis (obra ganadora del Festival Fuerza Fest 2017 y actualmente en tour), Oleanna (estrenada en Puerto Vallarta, Mexico), Brilliant Traces, Balm in Gilead, El rey Lear y Sueño de una noche de verano entre otros.

En film destaca su participación en la película The Middle of Somewhere, actualmente en distribución, su papel en el corto Latiner ganador al Mejor Corto en The Official Latino Short Film Festival (OLSFF) y, recientemente, terminó de grabar el corto Distant Interiors en Syracuse.

En TV, Maria obtuvo el papel protagonista de la serie de crímenes Six Degrees of Murder del canal Investigation Discovery Channel.

Maria ha sido recientemente galardonada con el prestigioso premio de la Asociación de Criticos del Espectáculo de New York (ACE Award) 2019 como Mejor Actriz de Drama, también ha recibido el Premio HOLA 2018 como Actriz Destacada, Premio ATI 2018 como Mejor Actriz de Microteatro, Premio Fuerza 2017 como Mejor Actriz, Premio HOLA 2017 como Actriz Destacada, Premio ACE 2017 como Mejor Actriz de Comedia.

Current and Upcoming