University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee

Robin Mello

Robin MelloAssociate Professor, Theatre Education
BA Theatre Degree Area Head
Ph.D. Lesley University, Cambridge, MA
Special Student (Folklore), Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences
M.S. Educational Psychology, SUNY Albany
Montanaro Mime and Celebration Barn, South Paris, ME
B.F.A. Acting, SUNY Purchase College
American Academy of Dramatic Arts, New York City

Theatre 220

Robin Mello focuses her teaching and research on storytelling—how it builds communities and strengthens relationships. Mello employs her ‘company model’ of devising story performances with her students. Most recently creating a devised piece about the lived experience of people who survived the Orphan Train Movement, 1853-1929.

An interdisciplinary scholar and artist, Mello also works on science-theatre projects. Her current endeavor is a STEM project, supported by the Wisconsin Space Science Program, entitled Tale of Scale. Mello, along with her collaborating partner, Dr. Jean Creighton (director of the Manfred Olson Planetarium), combine theatre and physics in a series of interdisciplinary courses, public performances and ongoing research to teach audiences about the astronomy and the scale of the universe.

Robin’s interdisciplinary approach is best demonstrated through her work on The Penelope Project—when she participated as actress, teacher, dramaturg, and program evaluator. Her chapters describing these various roles (and the research outcomes) can be found in The Penelope Project, published in Spring 2016 by Iowa Press.

Her work in theatre education and creating original performances has been supported through grants and commissioned work by The Teachers for a New Era, CAMPAC, National Storytelling Network, Ezra J. Keats Foundation, Little Red Schoolhouse Project, Wisconsin Humanities Council, Very Special Arts, New England Touring Arts, US State Department, and National Women’s Hall of Fame.

Classes taught: Storytelling (exploration of personal story, myths, legends, and the diverse stories that help create our cultural experience); Theatre History (exploration of how theatre has/is been created and performed globally with a focus on the Western historical, dramaturgical, and experiential processes that underpin theatre in the Americas); Rehearsal & Performance (learn to create original story-based theatre through a company model of devising work); Theatre Experience in Milwaukee (develop aesthetic, critical, and creative perspectives while attending professional theatre in the Milwaukee area); Being a Theatre Artist (learn the basic skills of working with K-12 students in a variety of formal and informal educational venues); Study Abroad in Theatre.