What is your field of study? What drew you to this field?
My field of study includes Directing and Acting for the Stage, Applied Theater, Devised Theater, and Theater for Social Transformation. I’ve always been encouraged and supported as a performing artist by family and teachers. Theater, dance, music and visual art were all part of my growing up. I appreciate a life focused on beauty, self-expression, building community and cultivating a vision for an evolved, enlightened humanity.
When you were a child, what did you say you wanted to be when you grow up? How has that aspiration changed? What do you want to be now?
I wanted to be a ballerina and a veterinarian. I studied ballet along with several other forms of dance before finding my passion for theater. As for being a vet, as much as I love animals it became clear I don’t have what it takes to be a surgeon. As for right now, I’m thrilled to be as much of me as possible.
What do you see as the potential or value of your work/research?
My work/research uses creativity, specifically the craft of theater, to open spaces where people can connect to themselves and then to each other. Once honest communication is established it’s possible to navigate our way to a healthy society and a sustainable future…and to enjoy the journey.
Why did you accept the position at UMass Amherst?
I am a two time alumna of UMass, first as a BDIC undergrad, my self-designed degree was African American Performing Arts and then as a graduate student in theater with a concentration on directing. The University has become a scholarly and artistic home.
From your experiences so far, what do you find is unique about Commonwealth Honors College students?
Most of my students are coming from disciplines other than the performing arts. Their willingness to step outside of their comfort zone and experience another way of learning is inspiring.
What do you think you'll learn from this role?
I’ve been teaching for many years, both in the States and more recently in South Africa. At this point in my career I’m willing to learn how to sit still.