Kathleen F. Conlin is Professor and Dean Emerita. Her professional directing included 22 seasons at the Utah Shakespeare Festival where she served as Stage Director, Associate Artistic Director, and Casting Director for the LORT B+ Theatre. Her productions ranged from classic American plays such as You Can’t Take It With You and Foxfire, to Shaw’s Candida, to major Shakespearean titles such as Richard III, The Tempest, King Lear, Taming of the Shrew, Richard II, Love’s Labor’s Lost, and others. Her recent work at the Festival included triumphant re-imaginings of A Midsummer Night’s Dream (whose design by Eric Stone was included in the Prague Quadrennial of Design), a Leonardo Da Vinci-inspired Tempest, and a technology-influenced adventure story for Pericles. Her directorial work has also been seen in theatres coast-to-coast from the Colony Theatre in Los Angeles to the Peterborough Players in New Hampshire and several cities in between. She has been recognized for directorial excellence by her nomination for the Zelda Fichandler Award by her professional union, the Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers.
As a teacher of acting, Dr. Conlin has received two teaching awards, one from the University of Texas College of the Arts and one from California State University—Long Beach. Her video, Performing Shakespeare, received an award for excellence. Concentrating on deep dramaturgical analysis, she has developed techniques applicable to both contemporary and classical texts with an emphasis on the integration of textual analysis, with physical embodiment and vocal expressiveness. At Illinois, she has extended her work to the staging of Mozart operas such as Cosi Fan Tutti and The Magic Flute. For the department of theatre, she most recently directed The Brothers Size which featured the work of three senior B.F.A. students; the successful production on campus resulted in the re-staging of the work in Chicago and the launching of the Definition Theatre Company.
Receiving her Ph.D. from the University of Michigan, Dr. Conlin has served as Dean of the College of Fine Arts at Illinois where she successfully raised funds for and hired Tony-Award winning faculty member Daniel Sullivan. She also served as Head and Director of Theatre at both Ohio State University and Ohio University. Dr. Conlin has been elected as President of the National Association of Schools of Theatre and the National Theatre Conference. She has served as a board member for the University/Resident Theatre Association, International Council of Fine Arts Deans, and the College of Fellows. In demand as a speaker and an outside consultant, Dr. Conlin continues to advise theatres and arts institutions internationally. She was inducted as a Fellow of the College of Fellows of the American Theatre in ceremonies at the Kennedy Center.
With wide-ranging interests, Dr. Conlin studies Pilates with Janice Dulak, participates in ballroom dancing and weight training regimens locally and served as Chair of the Athletic Board for the Division of Intercollegiate Athletics on campus. Named an Adjunct Professor in the College of Medicine, Dr. Conlin was one of a small cadre of professors who developed a pilot program in the art of medical communication.