Meet Willa Taylor

Willa has done a little of everything –tracking aircraft for the Navy, rebuilding houses in New Orleans, running her own restaurant.  But she has found her true calling as Director of Education and Community Engagement at Goodman Theatre. It combines a love of theatre and her passion for social justice with the opportunity to teach.  Her mother was right after all.


What do you know for sure? 

I know lots …that the sun comes up in the east; that pork is tasty tasty murder; that optimism springs eternal in Cubs fans; and that I still don’t understand what twerking is …but that’s probably not what you meant. In all seriousness, there are six things I know for sure (besides the aforementioned): I know that I have been incredibly blessed and that because I have been given so much, much is required of me.  I know that my life got infinitely better when I met Mary. I know that sitting in meetings talking about changing the world will never change the world. I know that public education is under attack from “education reformers” who have a vested stake in maintaining the status quo for people who are black, brown and poor.  I know that the arts are transformational and that there is nothing better than making meaning with people I admire.  And I know that until this country comes to grips with the legacy of imperialism and racism, we will never heal societal ills.  Oh….and I know that whoever is the costumer for Scandal is a genius!

What scares you? 

Driving on bridges. Actually, the prospect of being driven off bridges would be more accurate. 

If we came over for dinner what would you prepare us? 

Well, I hope you are meat eaters because I would prepare a cassoulet and pair it with a great Malbec and a warm, crispy baguette.  It’s a French peasant bean casserole that takes about a day to prepare as white beans are slow-cooked and flavored by sausage, duck confit and lamb.  It is one of the most yummy things on the planet and my go-to dish when I want to impress guests.

What is a little known fact about you? 

I earned six medals from my time in the Navy.

Who is your favorite character? 

Pam Poovie from Archer.

Want more? Follow Willa on Twitter @ LitLife and follow her blog