TIERRA ALLEN is a theatermaker, teaching artist, facilitator, educator, youth worker, and activist living in Occupied Huichin/Oakland, California. She has performed with the Black Choreographers Festival, Dance Brigade’s Dance Mission D.I.R.T. (Dance in Revolt(ing) Times) Festival, the Life is Living Festival, TheatreFIRST, Magic Theatre, New Conservatory Theatre Centre, Broadway by the Bay, Bay Area Children’s Theatre, Berkeley Playhouse, Bay Area Musicals, the One Minute Play Festival at Z Space, and more. She won an Isadora Duncan "Izzie" Dance Award for Outstanding Achievement in Company Performance for her role as Babygirl in An OPEN LOVE LETTER to Black Fathers: A Choreopoem and earned nominations from Theatre Bay Area and the San Francisco Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle for her role as Napoleon in The Farm at TheatreFIRST. She has directed or choreographed at PlayGround, Playwrights Foundation, and TheatreFIRST and is a 2018-2019 YBCA Creative Ecosystem Fellow in Collective Safety.
As Artistic Engagement Manager at Cal Shakes and Community Discussion Coordinator at TheatreFIRST, Tierra curates diverse programs that bridge theater and activism and leverage performance as a site for healing, critical consciousness-raising, and community-building. She is also an advisor for We Rise, a cultural production project dedicated to nourishing imaginations in service of collective liberation. She has worked as a teaching artist and facilitator for social justice at Alameda County Juvenile Hall, Allen Temple Arms, Oakland International High School, Mount Eden High School, Skyline High School, Oakland School of the Arts, Boston’s City on a Hill Public Charter School, and more. She’s tutored community members from ages 5 to 65.
She is now a core organizer with the newly-launched Transformative Justice Initiative to address sexual and identity-based violence in the Bay Area theater community. She is part of the 13-member Coalition of Black Women Professional Theatre Makers who organized against antiblackness and rape culture perpetuated by Marin Theatre Company’s production of Thomas and Sally. Her activism has also included consent education and sexual assault prevention; supporting survivors of domestic violence; counter-recruitment against the military’s targeting of Black and brown youth; education and empowerment of low-income girls of color; alternatives to displacement, homelessness, and the housing crisis; defunding police terrorism; and protecting the West Berkeley Shellmound.
Tierra’s development as an artist-activist has been supported by residencies with Lxs Hociconxs Lab and Paul Dresher Ensemble; organizing training with artEquity and Urban Bush Women Summer Leadership Institute; and many seasons of “pulling weeds and planting seeds” with the grassroots adult freedom school Liberation Spring. She holds a B.A. in Theater & Dance with concentrations in Black Studies and English from Amherst College, where she graduated magna cum laude and earned the David Kirp ‘65 Stonewall Prize, which recognized her thesis as a work of exceptional intellectual and artistic merit pertaining to the LGBTQI experience.