Katherine Syer comes to us from the School of Music where her research and teaching have focused on opera and its production, the creative process, and European cultural history from the mid-eighteenth century to the present. A 2014 recipient of the Teaching Excellence Award from the College of Fine and Applied Arts, she served as artistic advisor for the play 33 Variations by Moisés Kaufman, which premiered at the Arena Stage in Washington, D.C., and played on Broadway in 2009.
Prof. Syer‘s current research focuses on opera staging and design in the 21st century, which dovetails well with the interests of design and production students at Illinois Theatre. Her portfolio in Theatre will grow our developing Interdisciplinary MA/PhD in Theatre Studies–in concert with affiliate doctoral faculty from several units across campus. Prof. Syer‘s teaching includes Dramaturgy, Opera Production History, Contemporary Music Theatre, and topics related to the social relevance and cultural impact of Opera in the United States and abroad. In addition to her work for Illinois Theatre, she will continue to offer one course per year in the School of Music.