Faculty Profile

Karen Kirkham

Professor of Theatre (1999)

Contact Information

kirkhamk@dickinson.edu

Montgomery House

Bio

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.

Education

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

2017-2018 Academic Year

Fall 2017

THDA 205 Directing
A study of the major techniques employed by stage directors. Visual theory, text analysis, collaborative techniques, and organizational strategies are examined and applied in class exercises including the direction of scenes. Prerequisite: 203.

THDA 305 Advanced Directing
An inquiry into the process of translating a play from the printed text to the live stage. Detailed analytical techniques and major directorial theories are examined through readings, class discussion, and written assignments. Each student directs a one-act production under advisement of the instructor. Prerequisite: 205 and 230.

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. Students will register for .5 course credit in the fall semester, during which planning and research will be conducted, and .5 in the spring, during which presentation of the project will occur. Prerequisite: four .25 course credits in THDA 190.

Spring 2018

THDA 303 Acting II:Adv Tech/Class Drama
An in-depth examination of the process of acting. Technical, interpretive, and psychological aspects are explored through reading, exercises, and scene performances. Major theories of acting are presented and discussed in the context of developing a workable, individualized approach to acting. Prerequisite: 203.

THDA 319 Dramaturgy
What is a dramaturg? This course will answer that question through theoretical and applied investigations of dramatic texts in historical, literary, and performative contexts. Always keeping in sight the idea of theater as a collaborative production-focused art, students will practice research, text analysis, genres of writing for/about the theater and dramaturgical roles on various kinds and aspects of production. A dramaturgical casebook for a proposed play or department production will be the culminating assignment. Prerequisite: 101 or 201 or permission of instructor.

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. Students will register for .5 course credit in the fall semester, during which planning and research will be conducted, and .5 in the spring, during which presentation of the project will occur. Prerequisite: four .25 course credits in THDA 190.