Jacob Watson designs meaningful learning experiences with schools, universities, and cultural organizations. Drawing on his background in theatre, he uses creative and embodied strategies to foster expansive thinking, dialogue, and growth in educational spaces. He is located in Boston, MA, and is available for travel.

Jacob most recently worked as Animateur with the Lyric Opera of Chicago on their Chicago Voices initiative, transforming the real stories of community groups into original works of musical performance. Prior to this, he spent four years at the Center for Community Arts Partnerships at Columbia College Chicago, where he managed a series of federally-funded research initiatives. Through this work, he explored the impact of integrating arts and media practice into the curriculum, instruction, and culture of K-12 schools across Chicago. He has designed and led professional development for classroom teachers nationwide and taught with renowned arts organizations including Albany Park Theatre Project, Redmoon, and Urban Gateways.

Jacob creates participatory, site-based, and devised performances centered on social and civic questions. He recently co-conceived and directed Gray Areaa new play about consent, for the FYI Performance Company at the Illinois Caucus for Adolescent Health, of which he is a founding member. He has staged performances in theaters across Chicago, as well as in homes, churches, and schools. He is committed to sharing stories that help people build healthier, stronger communities.

Currently, he is collaborating with Tellin’ Tales Theatre to develop Always Greener, a new musical that seeks to redefine disability. He is also conducting research on the relationship between artistic practice and civic participation through Project Zero at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

Jacob holds an Ed.M. in Arts in Education from Harvard University and a B.A. in Theatre from Northwestern University. He loves hiking, pizza-by-the-slice, petting dogs, and repainting furniture.

Photo credit: Jenni Kotting