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Ann Shanahan

Promoted to Professor
Rueff School of Design, Art, and Performance

Department of Theatre chair Ann Shanahan completed a BA at the Residential College at the University of Michigan and an MFA at Northwestern University. Her research interests and teaching specialties include directing, gender and theatrical space, and theatre and social change.

A scholar-artist, her recent publications include essays on directing practice written as the founding co-editor of the peer-reviewed section of the SDC Journal, the official publication of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society. She is the editor of “Landscapes of Consciousness: Meredith Monk, Robert Wilson and Richard Foreman,” the sixth volume in a new series, Great North American Theatre Directors (Bloomsbury, Methuen, 2020). Her scholarship is published in Theatre Journal, Text and Presentation, and Theatre Topics, and in anthologies, including “Making Room(s): Staging Plays about Women and Houses” in “Performing the Dream House: Space, Ritual and Images of Home,” edited by Emily Klein, Jen-Scott Mobley, and Jill Stevenson (Palgrave, 2019); “Pirated Pedagogy: Re-purposing Brecht’s Performance Techniques for Revolutions in Teaching” in “New Directions in Teaching Theatre Arts,” edited by Anne Fliotsos and Gail Humphries (Palgrave, 2018); and “Teaching Maria Irene Fornes’s ‘Fefu and Her Friends’” in “How to Teach a Play: Exercises for the University Classroom,” edited by Miriam Chirico and Kelly Younger (Bloomsbury Methuen, 2019).

Shanahan has presented numerous papers on acting and directing pedagogy at the Association for Theatre in Higher Education (ATHE) and Comparative Drama Conference (CDC), and on gender and performance at the National Women Studies Association (NWSA) Conference. She served as Focus Group Representative for the Directing Focus Group at ATHE 2014-16, and as the Vice President for Conference 2018, theme: “Theatres of Revolution: Performance, Pedagogy, and Protest.”

Her professional directing credits include: Sarah Ruhl’s adaptation of Virginia Woolf’s “Orlando,” staged readings of “The Marble Muse” and “The Wisdom of Serpents” (Room(s)), Leapfest: “Mine and Yours” (StageLeft Teatre), “Vagabond” and “The Turn of the Screw” (City Lit Theatre), “Lies and Legends,” “Wasp,” “Warrior,” “The Living,” and “On Golden Pond” (Buffalo Theatre Ensemble), and “Drums in the Night” (The Brecht Company). Shanahan has directed numerous productions at the university level, including “Machinal,” “Romeo and Juliet,” “A Doll’s House,” “Twelfth Night,” “The House of Bernarda Alba,” “The Trojan Women,” “Mansfield Park” (original adaptation), “Hedda Gabler,” “Our Country’s Good,” “Arcadia,” “Love’s Labour’s Lost,” “Mother Courage,” “The Crucible,” “Ghosts,” “Fefu and Her Friends,” and “Abingdon Square.” She served as dramaturg for the national touring production of “Angels in America, Parts I and II” (dir. Michael Meyer), “Third” (dir. Sarah Gabel), and “The Mistress Cycle” (dir. Kurt Johns) at Appletree Theatre, for Rivendell Theatre Ensemble’s productions of “Mary’s Wedding” (dir. Mark Ulrich), “Falling: A Wake” (dir. Victoria Delorio), and “The Electric Baby” (dir. Tara Mallen), and for Red Twist Theatre’s production of “A Delicate Balance” (dir. Steve Scott).

Along with members of the Gender Research Seminar at Loyola University Chicago, she is a founder of Room(s). Named for the central metaphor of Virginia Woolf’s “A Room of One’s Own,” Room(s) provides space for interdisciplinary, performance-based research related to women, gender, and sexuality.