Director, Playwright, Instructor, Theatre for Social Justice Activist
Tara Brooke Watkins is a theatre director, instructor, playwright and activist currently an Assistant Professor of Theatre and the Theatre Program Coordinator at Salve Regina University. 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 in partnership with ArtsEmerson. 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.