"My body of work is ultimately rooted in revealing the ways that performance can be utilized as a meaningful tool for critical thinking, social justice, and the development of empathy and compassion for the human experience."
Angela M. Farr Schiller, PhD is an Emmy® Award winning director, a multi-award winning dramaturg, and the first Black Female Associate Professor of Theater at the Boston Conservatory at the Berklee School of Music. Formerly serving as the first African American Director of Arts Education at the four-time Southeast Emmy® Award winning ArtsBridge Foundation for the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre, in Atlanta, GA--her leadership is featured in American Theatre Magazine. Additionally she worked as the first Black Assistant Professor, Resident Dramaturg, and Coordinator of Undergraduate Research for the Department of Theatre & Performance Studies at Kennesaw State University. She received her B.A. in Theatre from the University of California, Santa Cruz, where she completed her final year of study at the University of Cape Town in South Africa. She also studied at the University of Ghana in Accra, Ghana and the University degli Studi di Siena, Italy. She received her M.A. from the Department of Social and Cultural Analysis with an emphasis in Africana Studies from New York University, and completed her Ph.D. in Theater and Performance Studies at Stanford University in Palo Alto, CA.
Angela works professionally as a director and dramaturg. She has appeared onstage with the Emmy Award-winning Kaiser Permanente's Educational Theatre Programs, the National Dance Company of Ghana, the Tony Award-winning Old Globe Theatre and La Jolla Playhouse, and toured with Stanford Repertory Theatre's production of The Wanderings of Odysseus in Athens, Greece.
As a new works, production, and community engagement dramaturg, she has worked on numerous productions including The Color Purple, Hairspray, Cabaret, Father Comes Home from the Wars (Parts 1,2, & 3), Peter and the Starcatcher, Heathers: The Musical, Three Sisters, The Scarlet Letter, Feathers and Teeth, In the Blood, As You Like It, and Native Guard and Goodnight, Tyler with the Tony Award-winning Alliance Theatre in Atlanta. Most recently, Angela served as the production dramaturg at Oregon Shakespeare Festival's (OSF) West Coast premiere of Dominique Morisseau's Confederates directed by Nataki Garrett and presented an opening night talk for the Boston Symphony Orchestra, entitled (Rag)time & the Politics of Change. Additionally, she works as a Dramaturg-In-Residence with Atlanta-based Working Title Playwrights (WTP), the leading new play development organization in the Southeast, on new play development and teaches master classes in dramaturgy.
As a director, Angela has worked on several productions such as, The Bluest Eye, Every 28 Hours Plays, Dreamgirls, Branches Etched Across the Sky, In the Red and Brown Water, and Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992. Her production of Dreamgirls was nominated for six (San Francisco) Theatre Bay Area Awards including Outstanding Direction of a Musical and Outstanding Production of a Musical, and her production of In the Red and Brown Water won an Outstanding Director award from the Kennedy Center College Theatre Festival. Her television production of The Georgia High School Musical Theatre Awards won a 2021 Emmy® Award for Outstanding Special Coverage Event.
As a scholar, Angela has presented her research on the intersections of race and performance at various national and international conferences, including Performance Studies International (PSi), the American Society for Theatre Research (ASTR), Association of Theatre in Higher Education (ATHE), and the International Society for the Oral Literatures of Africa (ISOLA). She is a member of Performance Studies International (PSi), Literary Manager and Dramaturgs of the Americas (LMDA), The American Society for Theatre Research (ASTR), American Theatre in Higher Education (ATHE), and the National Academic Advising Association (NACADA). Her areas of research include Performance Studies, 20th century African American History and Performance, Critical Race Theory, Dramatic Literature, Sensorial Studies, and 20th and 21st Century American Drama.
Her most recent published book projects are The Methuen Drama Book of Trans Plays (Bloomsbury, 2021), nominated for a national Lambda Literary Award, and Troubling Traditions: Canonicity, Theatre, and Performance in the US (Routledge, 2022), with a forthcoming article featured in the international journal Modern Drama entitled “Touching Back While Black: Self-Defense and the Politics of Black US citizenship in Paul Green’s In Abraham’s Bosom” (2023) and subsequent book chapter entitled, "Finding Wholeness and Community in the Academy: Tales from a Sister Circle" from The Undivided Life Faculty of Color Bringing Our Whole Selves to the Academy (2024). Most recently, Dr. Schiller gave an opening talk for the Boston Symphony Orchestra's concert version of the musical Ragtime entitled, "Let Them Hear You." She will be co-chairing the 2024 conference for the American Society for Theatre Research in Seattle and is working on a forthcoming commission of the Methuen Drama Book of Trans Plays, vol. 2 (Bloomsbury, 2025),