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Be Boyd Honored as Woman of Distinction

Theatre Associate Professor Be Boyd has been honored by the UCF Center for Success of Women Faculty as a 2016 UCF Women of Distinction. Three awards were granted to women faculty members this year for “Excellence in Innovation,” which the Center defines as the adaptation of one’s expertise to a new field. The other honorees are Drs. Marla Toyne and Shannon Carter, both from the College of Sciences.

Boyd’s application was centered on translating traditional theatre into a story-telling technique that can be applied by people in all industries.

“I believe theatre promotes social change and that the acting space is sacred with transformative power,” Boyd explains. “My approach strives to return them to a ‘spontaneous storytelling state.’ This means the actor builds a character from the courageous and uncomplicated exploration of their own impulses, emotions and experiences, not just from data.”

Boyd’s approach uses three steps to lead individuals towards more natural states in their bodies, voices and minds. Part of this process comes from her time working with Kristin Linklater, a highly respected vocal master.

“The first element is contact improv—a regiment designed to return the body to its natural place of receptivity. To learn to listen with the whole body and respond to the smallest moment of energy. Secondly…a vocal approach that returns the voice to its natural state by speaking from primal breath impulse and emotionality rather than intellect. Finally, a return to the primary purpose of storytelling: the creation of personal stories. This develops ownership of the material and teaches them to understand text through rhythm and musicality as well as words.”

Boyd is no stranger to accolades. In the past, she has been awarded the Kennedy Center Medallion for Artistic Excellence, UNCG Dean’s Merit Award, UCF Women’s Research Award, and several awards for Excellence in directing.

“I believe my work is requested by organizations outside of the classroom because I take my “organic approach” into the business world and because there seems to be a desire to return to a place of freedom and play. I am grateful to be in a place where I am able to practice what I believe and value in the human spirit,” said Boyd in her application for the award.

Be Boyd will direct Theatre UCF’s upcoming production of Romeo and Juliet, which will run from Thursday, February 16 to Sunday, February 26, 2017.

More information about the other honorees is available at