Faculty Profile

Karen Kirkham

Charles A. Dana Professor of Theatre; Director, Norwich Humanities Program in England, 2019-21 (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

2018-2019 Academic Year

Fall 2018

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.

THDA 500 Independent Study

Spring 2019

THDA 300 Acting II:Mvmt/Voice Technique
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: 203 and/or 200-level movement.

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.