Master of Fine Arts in Acting | University of Georgia
Bachelor of Fine Arts in Acting/Minor in Communications | Old Dominion University
AREAS OF EXPERTISE & INTERESTS
Background: Race and Performance, Devised Theatre, Performance as Activism, Community-Engaged Theatre, and Solo Performance
MEMBERSHIP & ORGANIZATIONAL AFFILIATIONS
Association for Theatre in Higher Education (ATHE)
Association for Theatre Movement Educators (ATME)
A.E.A Equity Member Candidate (EMC)
Alpha Psi Omega (Theatre Fraternity)
Black Theatre Network (BTN)
Women of Color in the Arts (WOCA)
Brittney S. Harris, M.F.A., a native of Norfolk, VA, is an internationally recognized Assistant Professor of Theatre Performance and Community Engagement in the Department of Communication and Theatre Arts at Old Dominion University. She holds a Master of Fine Arts in Acting from the University of Georgia and a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Acting and Theatre Performance with a minor in Communications from Old Dominion University. In 2023, she was selected as a National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Higher Education Faculty Fellow focusing on ‘Preserving and Transmitting American Ensemble-Based Devised Theatre’, and completed research abroad in Rwanda, Africa working with the youth population of Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village highlighting the importance of theatre for community-based healing and equity.
Brittney’s creative scholarship efforts are supported and documented by the practices of PaR (Performance as Research). Her areas of expertise are in Race and Performance, Performance as Activism, Solo Performance Development, and Community-Engaged Devised Theatre. Brittney's research surveys the adverse effects of vicarious trauma from social media on the personal psyche and how narrative-based storytelling is used as a vessel for social resilience and redemption. Specific topics explored, but not limited to, are Racial Injustice, Mental Health Awareness, Gender Equality, and Domestic Violence Awareness. She believes theatre and the performing arts teach society about themselves and point out the attitudes and mindsets of current society. It can be a tool used to educate people about their current conditions.
Over the past decade, internationally and throughout the US Southeast region, Brittney has created numerous community engagement-based projects and conducted workshops rooted in the methodology of Augusto Boal's Theatre of Oppressed (Image Theatre and Forum Theatre), Michael Rohd's Theatre for Community, Conflict, and Dialogue, and Viewpoints work. Her work has been featured at several national interdisciplinary conferences and fringe festivals, including Association for Theatre in Higher Education Conference (ATHE), American Society of Theatre Research (ASTR), BorderLight Festival International Theatre Fringe, National Women’s Theatre Festival, and Black Theatre Network. Brittney has created work and performed professionally at Virginia Stage Company, Chrysler Museum of Art, Attucks Theater, and Hampton University.
Most recent featured directed performances/programming include international-based project AHAZAZA: Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village Project in Rwanda, Africa (The InHEIRitance Project), Silhouettes: Cut to Black, The Kara Walker Project (ROUGE Productions and Virginia MOCA); Exodus: Homecoming VA (The InHEIRitance Project); The Hidden History of the Banjo (Zeiders American Dream Theater); Intimate Apparel ODURep Theatre) and created/devised TAG! You're It!, Symptomatic: IRL and Echoes: Transcending Through Story for the ODURep Theatre Mainstage season. Currently, she is workshopping and touring her three solo performance projects, Pedigree, The Intersection: The Sandra Bland Project and Being B.A.D.; each project assessing: can embodied storytelling be used as a tool for evolving how narratives of resilience are archived, shared, remembered, and incite a dialogue in promoting social reform and change? These projects are called Drama to Drama: From the Headlines to the Stage.
Beyond her extensive educational and performance credentials, she possesses over ten years' experience in cultural enrichment, youth development/involvement, and grant writing.
Membership affiliations: ATHE (Association for Theatre in Higher Education), AATE (American Alliance for Theatre and Education), ATME (Association for Theatre Movement Educators), BTN (Black Theatre Network), WOCA (Women of Color in the Arts), Alpha Psi Omega (Theatre Fraternity), AEA (Actors Equity).