Studied at the Acting Faculty at PWSTiF [The Leon Schiller National Higher School of Film, Television and Theatre] in Łódź, passed an external acting examination in 1976. Cooperated with Henryk Tomaszewski (Norwid Theatre in Jelenia Góra), Krystian Lupa and Mikołaj Grabowski (Kochanowski Theatre in Opole). Between 1981 and 1988 she worked for theatres in Poznań where she played several important roles in plays directed by Janusz Nyczak: among others Dianna in Fantazy by Słowacki, Masha in Three Sisters (Trzy siostry) by Chekhov, Marysia in The Wedding(Wesele) by Wyspiański. She performed in the plays staged by the ensemble of Janusz Wiśniewski: Revelation (Olśnienie, 1989) and Life is a Miracle (Życie jest cudem, 1992). Since 1995 she has cooperated with the Rozmaitości Theatre.
Maria Maj participates in many independent projects of the new Polish drama, she performed, among others, in plays created in Laboratorium Dramatu: Absinth(Absynt) by Magda Fertacz (directed by Aldona Figura, 2005), Agata is looking for a job (Agata szuka pracy) by Dana Łukasińska (directed by Krzysztof Rekowski, 2005) and Verklärte Nacht by Michał Bajer at the Drama Study of the National Theatre in Warsaw (directed by Natalia Korczakowska, 2006).
The cinema audience knows her from such films as: Edi by Piotr Trzaskalski (2002),My Roasted Chicken (Moje pieczone kurczaki) by Iwona Siekierzyńska (2002), Forecast for tomorrow (Pogoda na jutro) by Jerzy Stuhr (2003), films by Łukasz Barczyk: I am watching you, Marysia (Patrzę na ciebie, Marysiu, 1999) and Changes (Przemiany, 2003).
She received, among others, the award for the best supporting actress in the film My Roasted Chicken by Iwona Siekierzyńska at the 17th Polish Film Festival in Gdańsk (2002), and in 2007 she was awarded for the part of mother in the play by Magda Fertacz Absinth at the Kalisz Theatre Meetings.
Performances in TR Warszawa:
- Tropical Craze, 1997, directed by Grzegorz Horst (Grzegorz Jarzyna)
- A Dog’s Will, 1997, directed by Piotr Cieplak
- Snake Skin, 1998, directed by Piotr Cieplak
- Divine Words, 1998, directed by Piotr Tomaszuk
- Hamlet, 1999, directed by Krzysztof Warlikowski
- Prince Myshkin, 2000, directed by Mikołaj Warianow (Grzegorz Jarzyna)
- Howie the Rookie, 2001, directed by Artur Urbański
- Bacchae, 2001, directed by Krzysztof Warlikowski
- Clara’s Relations, 2003, directed by Krystian Lupa
- Oxygen, 2004, directed by Aleksandra Konieczna
- Rosaline and Benvolio, 2005, directed by Redbad Klijnstra
- Cut it out, 2006, reż Jan Klata
- The War Zone, 2006, directed by Natalia Korczakowska
- Two Poor Polish Speaking Romanians, 2006, directed by Przemysław Wojcieszek
- Shoemakers at the Gates, 2007, directed by Jan Klata
- No matter how hard we tried, 2009, directed by Grzegorz Jarzyna
- Unfaithful, 2010, directed by Artur Urbański
- Metaphysics of a Two-headed Calf, 2010, directed by Michał Borczuch
- City of Dream, 2012, directed by Krystian Lupa
- The Second Woman, 2014, directed by Grzegorz Jarzyna
- Ewelina's Crying, 2015, directed by Anna Karasińska
- Fantasia, 2017, directed by Anna Karasińska
- My Struggle, 2017, directed by Michał Borczuch