I embrace connections between my students' lives and theater conditions distant in space and time, offering a workshop environment characterized by inventive modes of activity that encourage reflection on parity and ecology.
Alyssa Schmidt joined the Conservatory in 2012 and is an assistant professor of theater, teaching the courses Theater History, Dramatic Literature, and Eco-Performance. She is also an advisor and dramaturg for student-created productions, such as the M.F.A. in musical theater thesis projects. She has taught previously at Tufts University and Northeastern University.
Alongside teaching, Schmidt is a freelance dramaturg and a connectivity associate at Central Square Theater, focusing on grant-funded productions and new play development, and she serves as a dramaturgy advisor for Emerson Stage at Emerson College. Her interest in community-based theater originated in 2003 in her work as an artistic associate for the California Shakespeare Theater's New Works/New Communities pilot program (now Triangle Lab). Her work on her dissertation, "After History: Famine Plays of an Gorta Mór and the Holodomor," has informed her presentations at national conferences such as ASTR and EMOS as well as her advocacy for education and performance concerning issues of ecology and sustainability. Her primary areas of interest include eco-theater, science and theater, historiography, and performance as research.
Beginning in 2015, Schmidt has organized staged readings at Boston Conservatory in association with an initiative of NoPassport, the Arctic Cycle, and Theatre Without Borders called Climate Change Theatre Action, an artist-activist project intended to bring awareness to and foster discussion on climate change. These readings of plays contributed by playwrights from all six livable continents also include performances of student-generated dance, dialogue, and song. The first event occurred in tandem with the United Nations climate change conference in Paris (COP21), and reflects Schmidt's abiding interest in cultivating immersive, transdisciplinary learning and creative experiences for her students.
Schmidt graduated magna cum laude with a B.A. in theater and English from Willamette University and holds a Ph.D. in drama from Tufts University. She currently resides in Upton, Massachusetts, where she looks to her gardens and nearby forests for inspiration.