Ann Shanahan, M.F.A.
Title/s: Associate Professor of Theatre
Office #: Mundelein 1316
Ms. Ann Shanahan teaches Acting, Directing and Text Analysis courses and mentors students in the Second Stage Program. She is a faculty associate with the Women’s Studies and Gender Studies Program, where she is a member of the Faculty Gender Research Seminar. Ms Shanahan currently serves as Faculty at Large representative to the College of Arts and Sciences Academic Council and as Humanities Representative to the University-wide Faculty Council.
Ms. Shanahan's areas of research interest and teaching specialties include director training, women and theatre, and theatre and social change. Her professional directing credits include: The Vagabond and The Turn of the Screw (City Lit Theatre) and Lies and Legends, Wasp, Warrior, The Living, and On Golden Pond (Buffalo Theatre Ensemble). Ms. Shanahan has directed numerous productions at the university level. Favorites include: Ibsen's Ghosts, A Doll's House, and Hedda Gabler; Brecht's Mother Courage; an original adaptation of Charlotte Perkins Gilman's The Yellow Wallpaper; Loves Labours Lost; The Laramie Project; and Maria Irene Fornes' Fefu and Her Friends and Abingdon Square. Ms. Shanahan served as dramaturge for Wendy Wasserstein’s Third at Appletree Theatre and for the remount of The Mistress Cycle at the Auditorium Theatre, as well as for Rivendell Theatre Ensemble’s productions of Mary’s Wedding and Falling: A Wake and Red Twist Theatre’s production of A Delicate Balance.
Ms. Shanahan is published in Theatre Journal, Text and Presentation and Theatre Topics and has presented numerous papers on acting and directing pedagogy at the Association for Theatre in Higher Education and Comparative Drama Conferences. These papers included research from Ms. Shanahan’s book-length research project on Chicago theatre directors entitled Chicago Directs: Stories, Styles and Working Methods of Chicago Theatre Directors. She is the focus group representative for the Directing Focus Group at ATHE 2013-2015.
She was awarded a Gannon Center for Women and Leadership Faculty Fellowship for 2009. Her research project entitled A Room of One's Own: Women, Creative Leadership and Home, explores the role of home and houses in women's art and creative lives. ROOM(S), Ms. Shanahan’s original adaptation of Virginia Woolf’s essays, was selected as part of Rivendell Theatre Ensemble’s Fresh Produce Festival 2009, in residence at University of Chicago. The piece was presented in salon format at Piper Hall in August 2009. In 2010 Shanahan was an artist in Rivendell’s The Trojan Women Project, for which she adapted letters from the Gannon Center Archives for staging in Edgewater’s historic firehouse. In Spring 2012 she and several faculty members in Women’s Studies and Gender Studies from CAS, the Gannon Center, and Schools of Nursing, Social Work and Communication performed Fornes’ Fefu and her Friends in Piper Hall with the support of a Special Projects Grant from the College.
Prior to joining the Theatre program full time, Ms. Shanahan worked as freelance actor and director and as a guest artist at several colleges and universities. She was an ensemble member of the Brecht Company in Ann Arbor, MI and performed internationally in Stockholm and Prague with the American Drama Group and British Festival Theatre Company.
M.F.A., Northwestern University, Directing
B.A., Residential College at the University of Michigan, Drama/Arts and Ideas
Ms. Shanahan's areas of research interest and teaching specialties include director training, women and theatre, and theatre and social change.
Professional & Community Affiliations
- Association for Theatre in Higher Education
- Focus Group Representative Directing Focus Group
- 2012 Special Projects Grant, CAS
- 2010 Engaged Scholars Development Grant
- 2009 Gannon Center for Women and Leadership Faculty Fellowship
- 2006/08 Loyola Summer Research Awards for Chicago Directs
- 1996 Drama League of New York Directing Fellowship
- 1995 Chicago Drama League Travel Grant to the Royal Court Theatre, London
- “Playing House: Staging Experiments About Women in Domestic Space” Theatre Topics Special Issue on Practice Based Research, September 2013
- “The Novel as Drama: Staging Theatrical Aspects of the Narrative in Jane Austen’s Mansfield Park” Text & Presentation 2012, The Comparative Drama Conference Series, McFarland Publishers
- “Performance Review: Clybourne Park,Steppenwolf Theatre,” Theatre Journal, Volume 64, Number 2, May 2012
- “Essay Book Review: David Edgar, How Plays Work, William Gaskill, Words into Action: Finding the Life of the Play, and Julian Curry, Shakespeare on Stage. Text & Presentation 2011, the Comparative Drama Conference Series, McFarland Publishers
- “Un-blocking Hedda and Medea through Feminist “Play” with Traditional Staging Forms” Theatre Topics, Volume 20, Number 1, March 2011
- “He Said: She Said: Reversing Gender in David Mamet’s Oleanna,” Text and Presentation 2010, Series 7, McFarland Publishers,
- “Performance Review: Endgame Steppenwolf Theatre,” Theatre Journal, Volume 62, Number 3, October 2010