Theater as power: New professor brings Caribbean performance practice to Berkeley

October 18, 2023

The campus's first social justice theater professor, Timmia Hearn DeRoy, talks about how Trinidad and Tobago’s Carnival practice, rooted in emancipation, drives her work today. Read a transcript of Berkeley Voices episode 114: 'Theater as power: New professor brings Caribbean performance practice to Berkeley.' 

Timmia Hearn DeRoy: Theater and performing arts often, perhaps most frequently, uphold existing regimes because that’s where the money is. That’s where the power is. It takes a lot to create art. And so when we look at the most prominent forms of theater practice, they are so often the ones that are upholding the status quo.

Narration: This is Berkeley Voices. I’m Anne Brice.

Today we hear from Timmia Hearn DeRoy. She is a new assistant professor of social justice theater and directing in UC Berkeley’s Department of Theater, Dance and Performance Studies. She’s the first faculty member at Berkeley hired specifically as a social justice theater practitioner and joins several professors in the department who incorporate social justice methodologies into their teaching. And she’s one of 10 recently hired professors in the Division of Arts and Humanities.

DeRoy’s research explores what goes into creating social justice theater, or what she calls narrative justice playmaking, and how it’s different from other forms of theater.

Berkeley Voices