Faculty Profile

Karen Kirkham

Professor of Theatre (1999)

Contact Information


Montgomery House


Karen Lordi-Kirkham has extensive experience directing in both regional and academic settings. She is currently the Executive Artistic Director of Pendragon Theatre in Saranac Lake, N.Y. She has directed for the Jean Cocteau Repertory, Handcart Ensemble and Phoenix Ensemble in NYC, the Attic Theater in Los Angeles (where she received the Drama Logue’s Award for Best Director and Production). She has directed productions ranging from musicals to new plays, including the world premiere of Andre Gregory’s Bone Songs, for which she also served as the dramaturg working extensively with Gregory pre-publication of the script. Highlights include directing Julie Harris in the world premiere of Peter Dee’s Amber Patches, touring shows to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and Berlin, assisting Marshall Mason for the Broadway production of Lanford Wilson’s Redwood Curtain and assisting Jiri Zizka and being dramaturg for the Wilma Theater’s production of Stoppard’s Every Good Boy Deserves Favor with the Philadelphia orchestra. She has additional experience in dance and movement-based theater. She graduated with a MFA and DFA from the Yale School of Drama, where she was the artistic director of the Yale Summer Cabaret.


  • B.A., Rutgers University, 1989
  • M.F.A., Yale University, 1992
  • D.F.A., 1997

2014-2015 Academic Year

Fall 2014

THDA 101 Introduction to Theatre
A course designed to encourage an understanding and appreciation of theatre as an art form. Aesthetic foundations of theatre are explored, as well as the role of various theatre practitioners in the creation of today's theatre. The course surveys the evolution of theatre through major time periods, exposing students in the process to various types of dramatic literature and theatrical practice.

THDA 203 Acting
An introduction to the principles and theories of acting combined with practical exercises and scene performance.

Spring 2015

THDA 300 Text and Movement
This course will explore the creative process through movement and language. The student will work individually and in groups to create performance pieces based upon principles of text and movement. The class aims to develop the expressive power of the voice and body while fostering interdisciplinary thinking and artistic experimentation and an appreciation for the historic intersection of dance and theater. Prerequisite: Acting and/or 200-level movement.

THDA 495 Senior Project
A culminating experience for students completing the Theatre major with emphasis in Dramatic Literature, Acting/Directing, or Dance. The specific nature of projects will be determined on an individual basis, but all senior projects will consist of at least two of the following: a) scholarship, b) technical/production work, and c) performance. Prerequisite: Senior major status.