For someone who regularly finds her wallet in the freezer, bakes challah at 3 am, sleep crafts, and occasionally eats a sandwich in the shower, you know, just for fun, Barbara Whitney is a model of sanity. A model of sanity who is really struggling with writing this bio. She’s ‘turged, directed, devised, performed, puppeteered, production managed, and taught at a variety of places around the world – from Carnegie Hall to Chicago’s South Side St. Patrick’s Day Parade to under a tree in Bangkok. She spent years touring internationally and causing a theatrical ruckus domestically and is proud to have made a living as a freelance artist for 13 years. For the past 4 years she’s been a high school theater teacher where she encourages students to think of themselves as vast beings who exercise curiosity in the out-of-the-ordinary. And who embrace looking like an idiot, and say please and thank you. She is much less of a hippy than this bio makes her sound and, for the skeptics, has a legitimate theatrical resume with credentials and stuff that she’s happy to share if they’re happy to turn their clothes inside out to confuse the fairies. Mainstream is often interesting and worthwhile but the edges are where things happen.
Nina is recent to Boston, but we sure are happy to have her. Here’s what she’s all about:
Nina Louise Morrison is a playwright, director, dramaturg, actor and teacher. She has had nine plays produced and developed, including her play Constitution about the last woman hanged in Massachusetts, starring Tony-nominated actress Xanthe Elbrick.
She holds an MFA in playwriting from Columbia University’s School of the Arts where she was a Shubert Grantee and a Richard Rogers Fellow. She also attended the National Theatre Institute, the New Actors Workshop and earned her BA from Oberlin College. This year she worked as a dramaturg with Examined Man Theatre, as a director with Obehi Janice on her solo show fufu & oreos, and developed a book project with her father about teaching acting.
Nina is an adjunct professor at American International College in Springfield, where she rode out the tornados in the basement with her in-laws, the emergency radio and a bottle of wine. As the former Senior Program Associate for the Philadelphia Theatre Initiative she spent two years administering major grants for innovative theatre projects funded by the Pew Charitable Trusts. Nina grew up in White Plains, New York, and, having spent the last decade in Ohio, San Francisco, Brooklyn, Ithaca and Philadelphia, is thrilled to finally call Boston home.