40 Under 40: Taysha Marie Canales ’11

by Andrea Walls on February 2, 2018


Since receiving her B.F.A. in Acting, Canales has graced the stages of renowned theaters throughout the Philadelphia region. She has been seen in leading roles at the Arden Theater, Wilma Theater (as a member of the Wilma’s resident acting company, the Hothouse), People’s Light and Theatre Company, Azuka Theater, and Flashpoint Theatre Company.

Age 28

Bachelor of Fine Arts in Acting
Professional actress with numerous credits; a fellowship last year allowed her to travel with a group of American theater artists to Romania as cultural ambassadors

Most Valuable Lesson I Learned at Arcadia

The Theater program gave me all the tools I needed to work in a professional environment. We were constantly working with professional artists from the Philadelphia theater community who had years of experience creating theater across the country and around the world. Being the youngest artist in a room with so many seasoned professionals, after having just graduated, was not as intimidating as I thought it would be. Arcadia prepared me for that. I will always be grateful for the training I received at Arcadia.

Greatest Achievement

I have been a proud member of the Wilma Theater’s Hothouse since its inception in 2015. The Hothouse, created by artistic director Blanka Zizka, is the first of its kind in Philadelphia. Every Monday, the company of professional artists meets to train in physical explorations of movement and vocal work, as well as examine all types of texts. Guest directors and international artists are invited to experiment with the ensemble and share their unique performance and training techniques with the company. My artistry has certainly matured over the past three years working with these incredibly bold and daring artists, whom I now consider family.

Best Advice Received

The best piece of advice I received was to stay in Philadelphia. I figured that I would go back home to the Bronx after graduating, but my professors advised that Philly was a great community for young artists to grow. Over the past six years, Philadelphia has proven that to me. There is so much inspiring art in this city, and it’s truly a blessing to be a part of it.

The Theater program gave me all the tools I needed to work in a professional environment.