2022 Leaders of Color Institute

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Opening Keynote Panel
Friday, December 2nd at 7:00pm (EDT)

Dr. Daphnie Sicre (she/ella) is an Assistant Professor in the Theatre Arts Program. Focusing on Afro-Latinx performance, she completed her Ph.D. at NYU in Educational Theatre in 2017.  

She shares a deep passion for Black and Latinx perspectives in theatre. Engaging in anti-racist and culturally competent theatre practices, she facilitates workshops to teach about DEIA theatre pedagogy.  

Her latest publication is a peer review article in Theatre Symposium; Race & Theatre, “Being Black and Latinx in Theatre Today”. She also co-published “Training theatre students of colour in the United States” with Kaja Dunn and Sharrell D. Luckett in the peer review journal, Theatre, Dance and Performance Training. Other publications include, a book chapter in entitled, “Afro-Latinx Themes in Theatre Today” in The Routledge Companion to African American Theatre and Performance and “#UnyieldingTruth: Employing the Culturally Responsive Pedagogy” from Black Acting Methods, “Romeo y Julieta; Staging Shakespeare in the Park in Miami” for Shakespeare and Latinidad. and “Bilingual Storytelling and Puppetry with Head Start Children” in The Arts and English Language Learners. Upcoming book chapters for 2023 are “A Time of Protest; Exploring Activism through Newspaper Theatre” in Dynamic Bodies, Emerging Voices- Racializing and Decolonizing Actor Pedagogy and “Reflecting on “The Work” of We Are the Canon: Antiracist Theatre Pedagogy Workshops” in Contemporary Black Theatre & Performance: Acts of Rebellion, Activism, & Solidarity. Currently she is working on two book chapters on AfroLatinidad for The Routledge Companion Latinx Theatre and Performance and Every Great Dream: Visioning African American Theatre for Young Audiences

When she is not teaching, writing, conducting workshops, or researching AfroLatinidad on stage, she can be found directing or serving as a dramaturg professionally. Lastly, she serves as a culture consultant for Nickelodeon. Having worked on Santiago of the SeasThe Face, and the upcoming film, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.  


José Casas is a playwright and Associate Professor who heads the Playwriting Minor in the Department of Theatre & Drama at the University of Michigan. He is a member of the Dramatists Guild as well as a Board Member of Children’s Theatre Foundation of America. He has a BA in Theatre Arts from the University of California, Santa Barbara, a MA in Theatre Arts from California State University, Los Angeles, and a MFA in Playwriting from Arizona State. His plays include la rosa grows beyond the wall, all brown all chingon, aDoBe, a million whispers all at once, the vine, la ofrenda and somebody’s children and Flint. His work has been included in a number of anthologies such as The Bully Plays, Ethnodrama: An Anthology of Reality Theatre, and Theatre for Youth II: More Plays With Mature Themes. His published work includes la ofrenda, 14somebody’s children, and Palabras del Cielo: An Exploration of Latina/o Theatre for Young Audiences which was awarded the American Alliance of Theatre and Education’s Distinguished Book Award. His plays, la ofrenda and somebody’s children were awarded both the Bonderman National Playwriting Award and the American Alliance of Theatre and Education’s Distinguished Play Award.



Closing Keynote Panel
Saturday, December 3rd at 4:00pm (EDT)

Dawn M. Simmons (She/Her/Hers) is a holder of multiple hats and spinner of many plates as a freelance director, playwright, administrator, cultural consultant, educator and Co-Producing Artistic Director of Front Porch Arts Collective.

As a director Dawn’s work has been seen regionally with, JAG Productions, Play On Shakespeare, The Hangar Theatre and WAM Theatre. In Boston her home base, she has worked with Company One, Central Square Theater, New Repertory Theatre, Gloucester Stage Company, Lyric Stage Company, Greater Boston Stage Company, Commonwealth Shakespeare Company, SpeakEasy Stage Company, Actors’ Shakespeare Project, Bad Habit Productions, New Exhibition Room, Boston Public Works, Fresh Ink Theatre, The Theater Offensive, Our Place Theatre Project, and Fort Point Theatre Channel and many others.

Over the last 5 years Dawn has used her own artistic practice to push the New England theatre community to examine and address the problems of systemic racism, sexism, sexual violence and homophobia that has been internalized in our work environments through programs like Line Drawn, The Gender Explosion Initiative and the Do Better Initiative (Currently Anti-Racism Resources) under StageSource where she served for 2.5 years as Executive Director. Her work has prompted the sector to hold itself accountable and work together to reduce harm caused in our workspaces the ripples of her work are still felt today.

Dawn is also the Co-Founder and Co-Artistic Director of the Front Porch Arts Collective, a Black theater company committed to advancing racial equity in Boston through theatre. In 2008 Dawn cofounded her first theatre company, New Exhibition Room whose mission was to produce provocative, political, and affordable theater events. Dawn has served as adjunct faculty at Northeastern University and has been a guest lecturer at Boston College and guest artist at Suffolk University, Brandeis University, and Harvard University.

She has authored/co-authored think pieces on anti-racist practice, accountability and reducing sexual harm in the workplace, has been interviewed by The Boston Globe, WBUR and other news outlets to speak on racial equity in the performing arts and has been a featured speaker for The Globe, Multicultural Bridge, The City of Boston, Boston College, Northeastern University, UMass Boston, Berkley Boston Conservatory, Philanthropy Massachusetts, Mass General Hospital and more. 


Idris Goodwin is an award-winning storyteller for multiple generations. An accomplished playwright, breakbeat poet, content creator and arts champion, Goodwin is recognized as a culture bearer who celebrates community values and cultivates histories with care. Idris is the author of over 60 original plays ranging from his Hip Hop inspired breakbeat series to historical dramas to works for young audiences. Titles such as And In This Corner Cassius Clay, How We Got On, Hype Man: A Break Beat Play, This is Modern Art and the ground breaking Free Play: open source scripts for an antiracist tomorrow, are widely produced across the country by a diverse mix of professional and academic venues.

Driven by a passion for cultural impact and civic engagement, Idris currently serves as Artistic Director of Seattle Children’s Theater. Prior to this he was Executive Director of The Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center at Colorado College, where he also taught as a professor in The Department of Theater and Dance. Previous to this Idris led StageOne Family Theatre in Louisville, Kentucky as Producing Artistic Director. Idris is Board President of Theater For Young Audiences/USA and also serves on the board at Children’s Theater Foundation Association.  In addition to Idris’s work in theater he’s created original content for and/or appeared on Nickelodeon, HBO Def Poetry, Sesame Street, NPR, BBC Radio, and the Discovery Channel. “Your House is Not Just A House,” his first picture book, will be published by Harper Collins in 2024. Find him at www.idrisgoodwin.com and on all the socials.



Tiered (Pay-What-You-Can)
(Member & Non-Member Rates)

Tier 1 - $100
Tier 2 - $125
Tier 3 - $150

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