Worcester, MA


CitySpeak, an original devised theatre performance based on interviews with more than 50 citizens of Worcester, MA, premiered at Worcester State University in April 2016. These interviews were developed with community and academic partners to identify and hear from those residents of Worcester who have the least access to power in the city and least able to have their voices heard. Built into the process of the performance was a dialogue with audiences. As a continuation of that process, we have developed an online version of the interview to help us continue our research in Worcester. If you are interested in sharing your voice as part of our ongoing research in Worcester, MA, you can complete our online questionnaire.

Community Partners

Our community partners in Worcester, MA include:

African Community Education

Girls Inc. of Worcester

Oak Hill CDC

Parent Professional Advocacy League

Worcester Common Ground

Worcester NAACP

Academic Partners

Prof. Lyn Branscomb, Department of Communication, Worcester State Univeristy

Dr. Charlotte Haller, Department of History, Worcester State University

Dr. Dan Hunt, Center for Community Media and Department of Communication, Worcester State University

Latino Education Institute, Worcester State University

Prof. Stacey Parker, Visual and Performing Arts Department, Worcester State University

CityLab, Worcester State University

Dr. Christina Santana, English Department, Worcester State University

Dr. Catherine Wilcox-Titus, Visual and Performing Arts Department, Worcester State University

Dr. Barbara Zang, Communication Department, Worcester State University


"CitySpeak Mixes Research and Art at WSU," by Danielle Grimaldi, Worcester Telegram & Gazette

"The City Speaks in new WSU Play," by Joshua Lyford, Worcester Mag

"College Town: Worcester State Performance Offers Insight Into City Life," by Bonnie Russell, Worcester Telegram & Gazette

"Research Meets the Stage in Worcester State Theatre's CitySpeak," by Lyn Branscomb and Bobby Costanzo, WSU News

Research Presentations and Publications

Tom Conroy and Sam O'Connell, “Community Involvement at an Urban Comprehensive University,” Coalition of Urban and Metropolitan Universities, Omaha, NE, October 2015

Tom Conroy, Sam O'Connell, and Adam Zahler, "Playing Oral Histories: Using Interviews for Monologue and Character Development in Devised Theatre," Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival, Region 1, Danbury, CT, January 2016

Tom Conroy and Sam O'Connell, “CitySpeak:  A Collaboration between Urban Studies & Visual & Performing Art to Engage WSU Students in the Broader Worcester Community,” WSU Faculty Winter Institute, Center for Teaching and Learning, Worcester State University, Worcester, MA, 2016