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Tara Brooke Watkins

Director, Playwright, Instructor, Theatre for Social Justice Activist

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.

A woman holding a syringe and examining it.
Transcending Theatre: My Time with Robbie McCauley
Essay

Transcending Theatre: My Time with Robbie McCauley

20 July 2021

Tara Brooke Watkins reflects on the legacy of Robbie McCauley, who challenged the status quo of theatre systems, from the classroom to the rehearsal room to productions.

a group posing for a photo
A New Identity for Oklahoma
Essay

A New Identity for Oklahoma

7 August 2019

Tara Brooke Watkins discusses how Oklahoma! has shaped the state’s cultural identity, the Tulsa Race Massacre, and Spinning Plates’s production of the musical with an all-black cast.

The Bible Women’s Project
Essay

The Bible Women’s Project

Shouting to be Heard in a Religiously Conservative Environment

11 May 2017

Director and playwright Tara Brooke Watkins discusses the process of creating The Bible Women’s Project, which fuses women’s stories from the Bible and the stories of women from conservative, Christian backgrounds.