Dr. Colleen Rua (she/hers) is Assistant Professor of Theatre Studies in the School of Theatre and Dance at the University of Florida, and is Affiliate Faculty in the Center for Latin American Studies, the Center for Arts in Medicine, and the Center for Arts, Migration, and Entrepreneurship. Her research interests include Latinx Theatre/Contemporary Puerto Rican Theatre, Immersive Theatre, the American Musical, and Theatre for Youth. Her book project, Puerto Rico, You Lovely Island: Performance, Trauma, and Healing from Broadway to San Juan, positions four musicals (West Side Story, The Capeman, In The Heights, and Hamilton) and their associated artists as mobilizers of defiant joy in relation to trauma and healing. The book argues that through linguistic, ritual and geographic interventions, these musicals have reiterated, resisted, or transformed trauma enacted both on and off stage. Dr. Rua’s recent conference presentations have included, "And There Was No Light: First Response, Defiant Joy, and Belonging in Arts Activism," at the 2021 ATHE confernece and "Theatre, Trauma, and Healing in Response to (Un)natural Disaster in Puerto Rico" at the 2021 IFTR conference. Recent publications include "El Poder y Educaccion," in Delos Journal of World Literature and Translation, “Navigating Neverland and Wonderland: Audience as Spect-Character,” in Theatre History Studies Journal, “Pop Operas, or, Broadway sells T-shirts!" In American Literature in Translation 1980-1990 published by Cambridge University Press and a review of Y no habia luz's Cruzando el charco and Zefirante en quarentena in Teatro Magazine. Her recent directing credits include: Marisol, ...And Jesus Moonwalks the Mississippi, Conference of the Birds, Assassins, Pilgrims of the Night and the family-centered immersive experiences An Awfully Big Adventure, Alice in Wonderland and The Skin of Our Teeth, as well as staged readings of Nosotras que los queremos tanto by Hugo Salcedo, Lomas de poleo by Edeberto Galindo, and Red Bike and In the Time of the Butterflies by Caridad Svich. Dr. Rua was the Artistic Director of Arlington Children's Theatre, where she worked with youth and families, and Co-Founder and Co-Artistic Director of SouthCity Theatre, in residence at Boston's Factory Theatre. In 2014, Dr. Rua co-founded and directed Bridgewater State University's Acting for Justice theatre troupe which addressed issues of equity and inclusion on college campuses. She has taught courses at MIT, Northwestern University, Tufts University, and UMASS Lowell. She is the recipient of UF's College of the Arts Teacher of the Year Award (2021-2022), Bridgewater State University’s 2019 Presidential Award for Distinguished Teaching and was the 2015 recipient the New England Theatre Conference's Leonidas Nikole Award for Theatre Educator of the Year. Dr. Rua holds a PhD in Drama from Tufts University and an MA in Theatre Education from Emerson College.