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Robin Mello

Professor, Theatre

Teaching Fellow, Lubar Entrepreneurship Center


PhD, Lesley University, Cambridge, MA
Special Student (Folklore), Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences
MS, Educational Psychology, SUNY Albany
Montanaro Mime and Celebration Barn, South Paris, ME
BFA, Acting, SUNY Purchase College
American Academy of Dramatic Arts, New York City


Robin Mello (she/her) is a Professor of Theatre and Teaching Fellow at the Lubar Entrepreneurship Center. Her interdisciplinary research focuses on theatre devising and communicating science and history through storytelling.

Robin is a devised theatre maker and storyteller (as described in Storytelling Sociology, Berger & Quinney, 2005). She began her tenure at UWM by creating and directing of the K-12 Theatre Education Program. She currently teaches courses on storytelling, theatre history, aesthetics, and reflective practice. Recent creative arts projects include being an embedded artist for Welcome Table for Black Arts, MKE and the Story On! workshop at PlayLab at Exeter University, Exeter, UK.

Original theatre works include SPINNING TALES-WOMEN’S VOICES, CINDERELLA 30,000, and ORPHAN TRAIN (a devised piece about the lived experience of the Orphan Train Movement 1853-1929). Robin is currently working on a book about that experience (Devising Orphan Train: Staging the History and Stories of Orphan Train Riders).

Recent research projects include Elder Tales, Welcome Table, Sharing the Wisconsin Sky-Indigenous Voices (with Dr. Margaret Noodin and playwright Alanis King), Tale of Scale, and Star Stories (the later three are STEAM oriented projects with collaborator Dr. Jean Creighton, Director of the UWM Planetarium). Mello also played an essential role in The Penelope Project, where she contributed as actor/deviser, dramaturg, teacher, and program evaluator (as described in The Penelope Project: An Arts-based Odyssey, Basting, Towey, & Rose, 2016).

Her work has been supported by a wide range of grants and commissions including: ArtsEco, CAMPAC, Carnegie Foundation’s Teachers for a New Era, Ezra J. Keats Foundation, Little Red Schoolhouse Project, Maine Touring Artists Program, NASA’s Wisconsin Space-Science Consortium, National Storytelling Network, National Women’s Hall of Fame, New England Touring Arts, US State Department, UW System Teaching Fellows Program, UWM Office of Research and Sponsored Programs, Very Special Arts-Americans for the Arts, Wisconsin Arts, and the Wisconsin Humanities Council.