Donta McGilvery

TEMPE Campus

Student Information

Graduate Student
Theatre (Theatre For Youth)
Herberger Institute


A scholar-activist and teaching artist, Dr. Dontá McGilvery earned a PhD in Theatre for Youth and Communities from Arizona State University, a Doctorate of Ministry in Urban Ministry from Aspen Christian College and Seminary, a MA of Liberal Studies degree in Humanities and Social Justice from Southern Methodist University, BA in Sociology from the University of North Texas.

Dontá’s research interests include developing equity coalitions that centers Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) at Predominantly White Institutions, decentering whiteness in theatre education, representation and liberation of BIPOC students in institutions of higher education, Black theatre, and theatre as a tool for activism. He is a contributing author of the iBook “Great Debates of American Civil Rights” (2018) and contributed an essay for "A Roundtable on Spike Lee’s BlacKkKlansman," in the Response Journal (2018). Dontá has participated in a working group with the American Society for Theatre and Research (ASTR), presented at the Mid-American Theatre Conference, and was a keynote speaker on a panel for the American Alliance for Theatre & Education (AATE) 2020 National Conference.

Dontá has 20 years of experience as a playwright/theatre educator and 13 years as an ordained minister. As such, he has developed and taught a unique set of theatre courses ranging from African American Theatre, Hip-Hop Theatre and Civil Rights Monologues to Devising Theatre for Marginalized Communities, Theatrical Performances in the Bible and Dramatization of Joy Embodied in Blackness. Dontá’s unique teaching experiences have afforded him opportunities to teach theatre courses, write and perform plays in diverse spaces such as universities, seminaries, churches, local performance theatres, the National Baptist Convention and K-12 schools. He is a co-founder and co-artistic director of Sleeveless Acts, a Phoenix-based theatre company that joins communities to co-create theatre with radical imagination.

The recipient of the 2019 ASU MLK Jr. Student Servant-Leadership Award, Dontá was also a 2018-2019 ASU Spirit of Service Scholar and has been recognized as an ASU "Changemaker.”



  • Ph.D Theatre For Youth & Communities: Arizona State University
  • Doctorate of Ministry--Urban Ministry: Aspen Christian College & Seminary
  • Masters of Arts in Liberal StudiesHumanities/Social Justice: Southern Methodist University 
  • Bachelors of Arts in Sociology: University of North Texas 










Spring 2020
Course Number Course Title
THF 220 Principles/Dramatic Analysis
THE 423 African American Theatre
Fall 2019
Course Number Course Title
THF 220 Principles/Dramatic Analysis
Spring 2019
Course Number Course Title
THF 220 Principles/Dramatic Analysis
THE 423 African American Theatre
Fall 2018
Course Number Course Title
THF 220 Principles/Dramatic Analysis