University of South Florida

College of The Arts

University of South Florida

The College of the Arts is pleased to announce the appointments of Fanni Green and Dr. Merry Lynn Morris at the School of Theatre & Dance

Fanni Green, the first African-American woman to lead the Theatre Department, has been appointed Interim Chair for 2021-22. Green joined the Performance faculty in 1997, where she taught all levels in its acting studios. Her areas of specialty are Voice/Speech/Dialects for Actors, Solo Performance and Storytelling. Among the School's productions she’s directed are: THE TROJAN WOMEN, IN THE NEXT ROOM, FOR COLORED GIRLS WHO HAVE CONSIDERED SUICIDE WHEN THE RAINBOW IS ENOUGH, CRUMBS FROM THE TABLE OF JOY, and GIDION’S KNOT.

Prior to joining the faculty Green maintained an illustrious acting career that included Broadway, Off-Broadway, repertory theatre, film and television. Her acting work in the Bay area has been seen onstage at Jobsite Theatre, American Stage, Studio @ 620, the Florida Holocaust Museum, Cayman National Cultural Foundation, and USF – St. Pete and Tampa campuses. As a vocal designer and dialect coach she’s worked on VOODOO MACBETH at the Studio @ 620, IMAGINING MEDOFF at Tampa Repertory Theatre, HEDDA GABLER for Stageworks Theatre, and numerous productions for USFTheatre.

Green’s play, Tillers, was commissioned by, developed and workshopped at NY Theatre Workshop. Essays she’s written can be read in the books, Hooked on the Art of Love and Building Womanist Coalitions.

Green describes herself as an ‘artist-activist’, who strives to lead by serving. As a guiding affirmative, she embraces the Happy Goodman song and a book title by Maya Angelou,“ Wouldn’t Take Nothing For My Journey Now.”

Dr. Merry Lynn Morris will serve as the Interim Chair for the Dance Program for the 2021-22 year. For the past five years, she has served as Assistant Director for Dance and this is her 23rd year teaching in the Dance program at USF. Dr. Morris coordinates the Dance Medicine and Science Certificate program and conducts creative and scholarly research in performing arts medicine and dance and disability.

In her new role, she will serve as the educational and administrative head of the dance department, and as the producing director of the department’s public performance program. She will also serve as the principal advocate for the Dance unit and will work with faculty, staff and CoTA/USF administrators in the development and implementation of curricula, policies, budgets, and program planning. She will work closely with the Interim Chair for Theatre, Fanni Green in programs, policies, processes and advocacy relevant to the School of Theatre and Dance. Dr. Morris will continue teaching and conducting research while serving as Chair.