Lois Roach

Senior Lecturer in Theatre Studies

My goal is to give students skills that cross industries: the ability to listen with respect and empathy, to foster leadership and give constructive criticism. My work focuses on developing and presenting creative works for the stage and film, bringing performance opportunities to artists of all ages, and producing community-focused events.

I am a writer, award winning producer and stage director. My screenplay, "Waking Up," was a semifinalist for the 2021 New York Women in Film & Television Writers Lab. It's one of 3 screenplays I have written about Blacks in Boston.

I was one of the Resident Artistic Directors for the New Rep Theatre from 2022 until it's closing in 2023.

I recently produced a series of programs for the Museum of African American History, Boston and Nantucket. We looked at the role of women in the 2020 U.S. Election; the impact of racism on the health care response to Covid-19; and the importance of Juneteenth for Boston's Black community and its allies in the antislavery movement.

My play “Living On...” is under agreement with Concord Theatricals and has been performed around the country. Other plays, “Mothers of Gods, Mothers of War" and “The Emancipation of Mandy and Miz Ellie,” were premiered at the Boston Center for Arts.

As a stage director, I received the IRNE Best Director Award for the Lyric Stage production of “The Old Settler” which also received the IRNE Award for Best Production and the Elliot Norton Award for Best Production (Small Theater). In addition to the Lyric, I have worked with the Black Folks Theatre Company, the New Rep; and I directed the critically acclaimed “ARTiculation” for Company One Theatre, the Opera Providence, RI premiere of “Treemonisha,” by Scott Joplin and “Hey Sistah, Welcome Home,” with deaf poet Ayisha Knight-Shaw. I directed “Sonia Flew,” by Melinda Lopez for the Wellesley Rep Theater. My 2023 production of A Raisin in the Sun at New Rep was awarded a Critic's Pick from the Boston Theatre Critics Association.

Company One Theatre presented The Lois Roach Theatre Community Award to individuals in recognition of outstanding commitment to the Boston theatre community. Past awardees include Boston Arts Academy, playwright Lydia R. Diamond and ArtsEmerson founder Rob Orchard.

I have been commissioned to create socially relevant performances for large-scale community events. For the 25th anniversary of Casa Myrna Vazquez, a shelter for battered women, I wrote and directed a one-woman piece for Phylicia Rashad. “Borderlands,” took me to Northern Ireland to develop an original work about peace with women from the Catholic and Protestant communities. The Partnership’s 20th anniversary focused on the power of diversity and inclusion. For Northeastern University, I directed a showcase of “Ascendance: Movement One,” by Ed Bullins and Pat Patrick for then Mass. Governor Deval Patrick and First Lady Diane Patrick.

As the former Director of Public Affairs for WBZ-TV and Radio, I won an Emmy award for spots written and produced about AIDS. I was the coordinating producer for public service campaigns such as “Stop the Violence” and “Time to Care.” For 16 years, I was a live event producer with First Night Boston, producing large scale performances in historic Boston spaces.

"You serve no one by being small. “NO” is the gift that gets you to yes and there truly are no mistakes."

A Raisin in the Sun Media:
Boston Globe Review
Theater Mirror Review
WBUR Review

Museum of African American History - The Impact of Women on U.S. Elections: Past, Present & Future: https://www.wgbh.org/forum-network/lectures/the-impact-of-women-on-u-s-elections-past-present-future

Company One: https://companyone.org

Wellesley Magazine: https://magazine.wellesley.edu/winter-2022/speaking-and-hearing-out

New Rep Theatre Closing: https://www.wgbh.org/culture/2023-10-20/watertowns-new-repertory-theatre-closing-after-40-seasons


  • B.S., Emerson College
  • M.A., Lesley College

Current and upcoming courses

  • This course will introduce students to the art of developing personal narrative. From full speeches crafted for their presentations to the improv of saluting a wedding, birth or graduation, students gain the confidence to rise to the occasion as needed. Through guided writing exercises and exposure to the works of Nora Ephron, Billie Holiday, and others, students will listen, write and support each other weekly, all while attending select on campus sessions in the Ruth Nagel Jones Theater.  Finally, while preparing for a final afternoon of speeches to be offered to the public at the end of the semester, students learn to speak for others, placing their words in context with authenticity and research.
  • THST 321 is an opportunity for former students of THST 221 to build on skills developed during that course. Students will work in an intensive process with the goal of completing a two act play with related analysis material. Similar to THST 221, there will be opportunities to hear the material during table reads as part of class participation. Interested students should discuss their interest with the professor prior to registration. Students will have the opportunity to participate in the Theatre Studies Showcase at the end of the semester.