Kevin Williams is an educator and playmaker striving to develop and strengthen a community of critical thinkers and empathetic individuals through theatrical experiences. Originally from Tennessee, he is a licensed theater teacher in the state of Massachusetts and holds a Master’s Degree in Theatre Education from Emerson College and Bachelor Degrees in both Musical Theatre and Psychology from North Central College. Since the Fall of 2018, Kevin has been a member of the MCA/WCT Education department as an offsite/onsite theater teacher and then also the Education Coordinator in the early months of 2020.
What’s your earliest memory of the arts?
Growing up in Music City Nashville, I have been singing for the greater portion of my life beginning with my elementary school choir. Nowadays, I am predominantly immersed in the theater side of performance which in my opinion is highly ironic since my earliest memory of the arts does not involve the stage or backstage experience but rather the lobby of a children’s theater during school field trips. Let’s just say my vivid imagination had the tendency to be a little too lost in the worlds of make believe and become emotionally overwhelmed, especially if giant puppets were involved.
Do you have a favorite memory or story about MCA?
Although I have only been with the MCA for a few years, there has been an abundance of positive experiences. One of my favorite moments actually involved the first tech rehearsal for Frozen Jr. earlier in 2020. Even though we would soon find out later that evening it would be our last rehearsal for the production, there was a strong sense of community and vivacious energy of play in that space.
How have you stayed connected to the arts these past nine months?
Early summer provided the opportunity to do a lot of reading of plays and other theater texts while also editing some of my own pieces and leading a class or two. With the start of Fall, I began teaching Acting and Improv at Endicott College as well as directing and video editing some virtual theater through Watertown Children’s Theatre. One of my current projects, Digital Dionysia: A Virtual Storytelling Series with Third Citizen Theatre Company, has allowed me to both engage in directing but also return to acting in a few pieces throughout the month of December and January.
Do you have a favorite musical or play?
While not necessarily my favorite, the style of George Brant’s Elephant Graveyard and Rick Elice’s Peter and the Starcatcher have been highly influential to me as I continue to develop my own craft. Both texts are highly enriched with the feel of ensemble throughout with gorgeous moments of community storytelling.
Do you have a favorite quote about the arts or one you’d like to share?
Thinking about the collaborative nature of the performing arts, two quotations come to mind. The first is the philosophy of “ubuntu” which I believe originated in South Africa having been loosely translated into “I am because we are” and the second is accredited to Robert Ingersoll saying, “We rise by lifting others.” I firmly believe that our own actions have the potential for a major impact on other individuals so personal effort must be put forth in order to produce a positive influence. Developing theater is how I choose to make my impact and continue exploring what it means to be a community.
Photo by Carin Silkaitis. To learn more about Kevin, visit his website.