Mary C. Parker

Special Visiting Faculty

Mary C. Parker joins the School of Drama to teach Anti-Racist and Equitable Practices in Theater to all incoming first-year and graduate students. She joins CMU with experience as an international applied theater facilitator, consultant and coach.

Mary holds a master’s degree in applied theatre from the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, a bachelor’s degree in sociology from Emory University, and professional coaching credentials from the International Coach Federation (ICF) through Duquesne University’s Palumbo Donahue School of Business, Pittsburgh. She has researched and published in the areas of identity, comedy and structural racism.

Through more than 12 years of leadership development, virtual and in-person dialogue facilitation, and anti-oppression consulting, Mary has supported students, education administrators and communities in Potsdam, London, Kuala Lumpur, Pittsburgh, Zimbabwe, Atlanta and Seattle. As an experienced workshop leader, improvisational theater actress, stand-up comedian, and playback theater practitioner, she has performed in London; Edinburgh, Scotland; Pittsburgh; Boston; and Richmond, Va. She founded Pittsburgh’s only all-black improv team, The Collective, and has played on London-based improv teams, Do The Right Scene, Acaprov and The Aquarium. These days, you can find her performing with and serving as the director of talent management for the Black Improv Alliance, the world’s largest organization focused on Black improv.

In her applied theater work, Mary employs humor to deepen humility and disrupt fragility, one laugh at a time. Using a praxis of applied improvisation, dialogue facilitation, theater of the oppressed and playback theatre, Mary looks forward to helping students to deepen their self-awareness and directly address bias and oppression.