PROGRAM DIRECTOR & DRAMATURG, ROADSIDE THEATER
Amy Brooks is the Program Director and Dramaturg for Roadside Theater, the theater wing of Appalachian grassroots arts and media center Appalshop. She coordinates the ensemble's core programmatic areas of New Play Creation, Community Cultural Development, Teaching in Colleges and Communities, and Advocacy; she also oversees special publishing, performance, and arts- and culture-based economic development projects and helps build, sharpen, and disseminate Roadside’s 40-year body of literature, keeping its “living library” at the fore of public discourse on arts and cultural equity. Her recent projects at Roadside and Appalshop include Performing Our Future, a collaboration with researchers from Imagining America: Artists and Scholars in Public Life and economists from the Economic Empowerment and Global Learning Project at Lafayette College, to discover how arts and culture can catalyze equitable development in communities with histories of economic exploitation; and co-editing Art in a Democracy: Selected Plays of Roadside Theater, a forthcoming two-volume anthology of nine original Roadside scripts framed by 11 critical essays which examine the plays in their dramaturgical, historical, and contemporary cultural contexts.
A 5th-generation West Virginian who returned to Appalachia just before the 2016 election cycle, Amy investigates the confluence of dramatic narrative (“What is the story we choose to tell onstage?”) and public narrative (“What is the story we are called upon to tell about ourselves, our community, and our future?”) in intercultural rural-urban performance. Amy holds a BFA in acting from West Virginia University and an MFA in dramaturgy from the University of Massachusetts Amherst.