Associate Professor of Theatre and Africana Studies
PBK 226/Morton 104E
A child of military parents who settled in Hampton, VA in 1989, Artisia Green received her BA in Psychology from the College of William and Mary in 2000 and her MFA from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2003. She started in collegiate education in 2004 and since that time has taught students at Morgan State University, Chicago State University (tenured), and the Purdue University Black Cultural Center as an Artist-in Residence. Artisia returned to the College of William and Mary in 2010 and was recently appointed the Sharpe Associate Professor of Civic Renewal and Entrepreneurship of Theatre and Africana Studies and Director of the Program of Africana Studies. An award winning interdisciplinary educator (Arts & Sciences Faculty Award for Teaching Excellence and a College of William and Mary NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Faculty), in Theatre, Africana, and Community Studies, Artisia’s main goal is to develop responsible, empathic, intellectual leaders who value critical inquiry and diversity of thought.
A professional director, Artisia’s creative scholarship is about bringing stories to life through the power of live performance and providing a platform for the voices of the historically marginalized to make for a more inclusive American theatrical landscape. Stage direction also allows her to creatively counter conduits of pop-culture -- media, movies, and music -- and respond to the socio-political forces with which humanity is constantly being challenged. Her direction has been noted at eta Creative Arts Foundation with a Black Theatre Alliance Award Best Direction nomination for Katori Hall’s Hoodoo Love. Including eta, Artisia’s direction of productions and readings have been witnessed on a number of educational, community, and professional stages including Morgan State University, Chicago State University, Lehman College, Hampton University, Primary Stages – 45th Street Theatre, Firehouse Theatre, Theatre IV and Theatre Virginia for the New Voices for the Theatre Festival, and the African-American Repertory Theatre (formerly Living Word Stage Company). In 2013, Artisia collaborated with Project1Voice to produce a staged reading of Four Little Girls: Birmingham 1963 by Christina Ham. The reading was part of a national event to reflect on the 50th anniversary of the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing and featured students from Beauty for Ashes Contemporary School of Dance, Hampton University, Jamestown High School, York County School of the Arts, and the ACT-SO unit of the York-James City-Williamsburg NAACP.
Also a dramaturg, Artisia works primarily in the area of new play development. She has served as a literary reader for the Playwright’s Development Institute at eta Creative Arts Foundation, the School of the Performing Arts in the Richmond Communities, the Aldridge Repertory Theatre, and the Pierce Agency, LLC. She has contributed to the development of plays by award winning playwrights such as the award-winning Daniel Beaty, Cheryl Hall, and Ekundayo Bandele, Founder and CEO of Hattiloo Theatre. She believes that audience education and outreach through dramaturgy provides opportunities for dialogue between the producing institution and the public that allows for a shared investment in the art created. Thus, in addition to organizing her own educational outreach events to further engage communities through theatre with notables such as Lynn Nottage, Michael Cunningham, and ntozake shange, Artisia has been called upon to present audience education talks on production and artistic process for Cadence Theatre Company, Iron Street Productions, Virginia Stage Company, and the James River Writers Show.
Beyond her creative scholarship, Artisia’s current research is in decoding Yorùbá philosophy as a dramaturgical tool in creative expression. She was one of twenty-five applicants selected to attend the 2014 National Endowment for the Humanities Institute, “Black Aesthetics and African Centered Cultural Expressions: Sacred Systems in the Nexus between Cultural Studies, Religion and Philosophy, where she further developed her research on spiritual expression in black dramatic literature. Her resultant projects are “Resurrecting ‘Phantom Limb[s] of the Dismembered Slave and God’: Unveiling the Africanisms in Gem of the Ocean” published in August Wilson’s Pittsburg Cycle: Critical Perspectives on the Plays edited by Sandra G. Shannon (McFarland & Company, Inc. Publishers) and “Regina Taylors’ Crowns: the overflow of “memories cupped under the brim” (Continuum: the Journal of African/Diaspora Drama, Theatre and Performance). Her research has been accepted for presentation at conferences and symposia hosted by the Black Theatre Network, the Braxton Institute, the International Society for the Oral Literatures of Africa, and the Dillard University/Harvard Hutchins Center Black Arts Movement International Conference.
Leadership and service is part of Artisia’s civic responsibility as a member of the collegiate, professional and local communities. Her numerous governance positions in higher education and the community are rooted in matters of education, the arts, equity, and inclusion. She has served on a number of university level committees, including the Presidential Task Force on Race and Race Relations at the College. From 2010-2012, Artisia was the President of the Black Theatre Network, a national organization dedicated to the exploration and preservation of theatrical visions of the African diaspora. From 2014-2015, Artisia served as Chair of the ACT-SO Committee of the York, James City County, Williamsburg branch of the NAACP and in 2015, by mayoral appointment, she became a Commissioner with the Hampton 2019 Commemorative Commission. In this capacity, Artisia works with a team community leaders to promote the history of the first Africans to arrive in English North America and plan events to commemorate the 400th anniversary of their arrival.