Dr. Karin Waidley has been an artist, teacher and scholar for over two decades. She holds advanced degrees in Acting from Northwestern University and in Theory and History from the University of Washington. Before receiving her PhD focusing on the use of theatre to prevent youth violence, she founded a theatre program for adjudicated teens outside of Boulder, Colorado. Waidley then spent 12 years as a Professor and the Director of the Theatre program at Western Colorado University specializing in devising original work and theatre for social justice.
She has been awarded multiple grants and awards for developing new work in collaboration with students--some of those titles include The Ophelia Project, addressing issues of gender inequity and gender-based violence; We Live. Hear., a project about the effects of social media on the representation of marginalized identities; Lighten the Shadows, based on interviews with immigrants living in Western Colorado; and Tracking the Scent of my Mother, adapted from a novella by Muthoni Garland about cycles of gender-based violence in three generations of a Kenyan family. This performance was presented in Nairobi at the Kenya International Theatre Festival. She also directs regularly in both academic and professional settings. Some of her recent directing projects include Water by the Spoonful, Oslo, The Revolutionists and Gruesome Playground Injuries. Waidley has published in Theatre/Practice, Texas Theatre Journal, Multilingual Margins and presents annually at national and international conferences. Waidley spent the 2017-2018 academic year as a Fulbright Scholar to Kenya and is currently a Fulbright Specialist in Theatre.
She has recently worked as the Director of Education for the prevention of gender-based violence at the Community Safety Network in Jackson, Wyoming and as a Visiting Professor of Theatre at Bucknell University. Her current research links storytelling and embodied performance with the neurobiology and healing of trauma. She is currently working on a book about Kenyan Theatre and Performance.