Tara Brooke Watkins

Bio

Tara Brooke Watkins is a theatre director, instructor, playwright and activist. She holds a PhD in Theatre and Performance Studies from Tufts University and an MA in Theatre Education from Emerson College. Much of her research focuses on the effect of theatre in communities experiencing cultural trauma. In 2019-2020, she worked with students at Eastern Nazarene College and guests and administration at Father Bill's Place, a homeless shelter in Quincy, Massachusetts to hear stories and use applied theatre, story circles, and drama therapy techniques to respond to needs. From 2016-2018, she worked with the Black community of North Tulsa to run story circles and used theatre to create a play showing how the history of the Tulsa Race Massacre still lives in Tulsans' lives today. She is a member of Bethel AME Church where she co-facilitates the Shatter the Silence ministry which uses story circles and drama therapy to address sexual victimization. She is the creator of several plays which originated in this type of community engagement work using story circles. Such plays include The Bible Women’s Project, Tulsa ’21: Black Wall Street, and The Father Bill’s Play.  She is an award-winning director for Sleeping Weazel Theatre company in Boston where she directed The Audacity: Women Speak and is currently working on Charlotte Meehan's new play, Everyday Life and Other Odds and Ends, an original play about Parkinson's. She founded the Theatre for Social Justice Program at Eastern Nazarene College and is the founder and executive director of South Shore School of Theatre in Quincy, MA, a children's theatre school.

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Education

PhD, Theatre and Performance Studies

            Tufts University, May 2021

            Dissertation: Performing History in North Tulsa: Black Wall                Street and the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre

            Professor Kalman A. Burnim Prize for Scholarly Excellence in                Drama and Dance

            Finalist Rob Hollister Award for Community Service and           

            Citizenship

 

MA, Theatre Education

            Emerson College, 2013

            Graduate Thesis Award: Revealing Her Voice Through Her                    Body: The Performance Art of Robbie McCauley

 

BA, Theatre Arts

           Eastern Nazarene College, Magna Cum Laude, 2002

           Department Award: Betty Rice Award for Excellence in                           Directing