Faculty Profile: Tammi Doyle

“What do you think of Tammi Doyle?”

If you ask the students around the Bellevue College campus that question, you’ll receive responses ranging from “She tells you what’s what” to “I adore her!” But all of the comments have one striking similarity: every one of them is very positive.

Doyle, the chair of the theatre arts department of drama and dance, started teaching at BC in 1990. She took over as the chair in 2005 and the student and faculty response has
been glowing. Maggie Harada, dean of arts and humanities, called her a “devoted and passionate champion of the performing arts.” Former student Zev HaLevi spoke about how “She does not give compliments easily, which is a very good sign in not only a professor, but someone in the theater industry.”

Doyle’s described her job at BC to be broken
into four parts: teaching acting, directing and musical theatre classes; acting as chair of the theatre arts department of drama and dance; producing
all of the shows performed at BC; advising the student drama group Stage Fright and directing shows with casts comprised of anywhere between 2-30 students.

Doyle isn’t only involved in the theatre at BC, she’s also on the nominating committee of the Seattle Gregory Awards for Outstanding Theatre, serves on the Artistic
Board of Seattle Musical Theatre, is the founder of Music Theatre Works and is active with the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival. She’s directed at the Seattle Musical Theatre, the Northwest Asian American Theatre and the Renton Civic Theatre.

With all that going on, what draws her to a career in teaching at a community college?

“The students,” she said without any hesitation. “I mean, the students are at an age and a level of both discovery and adulthood, so they can do challenging material and they have the ability to really engage in what’s going on now. That’s really it.”

Doyle has been involved with the theatre from a young age. Her mother, an active member of the opera scene in San Francisco, frequently took Doyle to see opera and theatre. However she decided to pursue theatre as a career  when she saw a school play performed at the K-12 school she attended when she was five years old. “One of the seniors directed a show that I saw. And I was like, “oh, I wanna be in charge of that”. I acted, stage managed, designed, but I always knew that I wanted to direct.”

It’s a love that, judging by the posters and screenplays crowding her warm office, extends to the entire realm of theatre. That love is what inspires her in her arts career, both in and outside of BC; and that love is what leads to the beaming smile that will adorn the face of anyone on campus when you go up to them and ask:

“What do you think of Tammi Doyle?”