The Theatre Department exposes students to as broad and sophisticated an understanding of contemporary theatre practice and scholarship as possible. In addition to a permanent faculty and staff who are working theatre professionals as well as academics, we also bring guest instructors and artists into the mix of study and production whenever possible.

In many ways this program has evolved from our unique relationship with Riverside Theatre, a professional regional theatre in nearby Iowa City. Ron Clark and Jody Hovland , the founders and artistic directors of that company, have long been associated with the department as distinguished artists-in-residence.

We have seen first-hand the benefits of students working closely with seasoned professionals. Our guest artists each bring unique, well-developed talents and experiences to enrich our students’ understanding of theatre practice.  The Guest Artist Program also helps students build networks that may lead to professional or further educational opportunities.

We seek to involve guest artists in each area of the department’s activities: in performance (acting and directing); in production (design, stage management, and technical direction); and in dramaturgy (playwriting and theatre scholarship).

Recent Guest Artists 

  • Naomi Wallace
    Playwright, London

  • Emily DeCola
    Guest Lecturer, Puppetter and Co-Founder of New York's Puppet Kitchen
  • Matthew Allar
    Guest professor and scenic designer, New York
  • Leda Hoffman
    Guest Director from Milwaukee Rep
  • David Apitchel
    Professional stage management consultant, New York

  • Maggie Baker-Atkins
    Costume designer, Chicago

  • Courtney Schmitz Watson
    Guest Lighting Designer, Minneapolis
  • The Sacred Heart Archive, Arizona
    Devised Theatre workshops and consultations 
  • Leslie Charipar
    Actor – Chicago

  • David Combs
    Featured Equity actor, Los Angeles

  • Stan Crocker
    Lighting designer, Los Angeles/Mount Vernon

  • Brent Hazelton
    Arts administrator, workshop leader, Milwaukee

  • Kristin Horton
    Director, workshop leader, New York

  • Keith Huff
    Playwright, playwriting professor, Chicago

  • Stephanie Braun Jacobson
    Puppeteer, Omaha

  • Galen Joseph-Hunter
    Arts administrator, workshop leader, New York

  • Graham Kindred
    Lighting designer, New York

  • Matt Lindstrom
    Choreographer, dance instructor, Iowa City

  • Benjamin Schmidt
    Scenic designer, Iowa City

  • Steven Smeltzer
    Choreographer, New York

  • Michael Sokoloff
    Director, fight choreographer, Iowa City

  • C. Denby Swanson
    Playwright, workshop instructor, Austin

  • Wendi Weber
    Featured equity actor, workshop leader, Chicago