From 2016-18, as part of Tara's dissertation work, she returned to her hometown of Tulsa, Oklahoma where she grew up never hearing about the Tulsa Race Massacre and Black Wall Street. Using story circles to engage with community members in North Tulsa who have long been affected by this buried history, she partnered with the Greenwood Cultural Center to hear stories and teach creative drama to children. She then created an original play, Tulsa '21: Black Wall Street which she directed with community members and produced for its 2018 premiere. It will be produced with World Stage Theatre Company for the 2021 centennial in Tulsa.
Tara Brooke Watkins co-leads the ministry Shatter the Silence with Pastor Gloria White-Hammond at Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Boston, MA. Shatter the Silence seeks to provide healing for victims of sexual violence through healing story circles and drama therapy techniques. It also offers training for those wanting to help survivors of sexual violence.
In 2014-15 Tara ran weekly story circles with young Protestant women to hear about their experiences growing up in the church. Creating scenes and monologues out of the personal stories of sexual harassment, grief and loss, sexuality, incest, and more, Tara juxtaposed the theatre exercises employed with the women alongside their stories and the stories of oft-unheard women in the Bible. The Bible Women's Project became an instant hit among churches, was an official selection of the New York International Fringe Festival, and is currently on tour internationally.
on Quincy Access Television
In 2018-19, Tara worked with the students in the Theatre for Social Justice program at Eastern Nazarene College to run story circles and applied theatre techniques at Father Bill's Place, a homeless shelter in Quincy, MA. They heard from guests and staff at Father Bill's all about the experience of homelessness in Massachusetts. Through the Devising class in the TFSJ curriculum, Tara led students in creating the original play, The Father Bill's Play, which premiered in 2020.