Ann M. Shanahan, M.F.A.
Title/s: Associate Professor of Theatre
Office #: Mundelein 1316
Ann M. Shanahan teaches Acting, Directing, and Gender Theory courses, directs for the mainstage, and mentors students in the Second Stage Program. Professor Shanahan is on the Associate Faculty of the Graduate School and the Women’s Studies and Gender Studies Program (WSGS), where she recently served as Interim Director and Graduate Program Director, and is a member of the WSGS Steering Committee and the Gender Research Seminar (GRS). Professor Shanahan is Co-Chair of the Academic Council of the College of Arts and Sciences and serves as as Humanities Representative to the University-wide Faculty Council, where she was a member of the Executive Committee 2014-16.
Professor Shanahan's areas of research interest and teaching specialties include gender and theatrical space, feminist theory, director training, and theatre and social change. Her professional directing credits include: Sarah Ruhl’s adaptation of Virginia Woolf’s Orlando, staged readings of The Marble Muse and The Wisdom of Serpents (Room(s) Theatre), Leapfest: Mine and Yours (StageLeft Theatre), Vagabond and The Turn of the Screw (City Lit Theatre), Lies and Legends, Wasp, Warrior, The Living, and On Golden Pond (Buffalo Theatre Ensemble) and Drums in the Night (The Brecht Company). Shanahan has directed numerous productions at the university level. Productions at Loyola include: Romeo and Juliet, A Doll’s House, Twelfth Night, The House of Bernarda Alba, The Trojan Women, Mansfield Park (original adaptation),Hedda Gabler, Our Country’s Good, Arcadia, Katrina: The K Word, and Love’s Labour’s Lost. Other credits include: Mother Courage, The Crucible, Ghosts, Abingdon Square, and an original adaptation of Charlotte Perkins Gillman’s The Yellow Wallpaper.
Professor Shanahan served as dramaturge for Angels in America Parts I and II (dir. Michael Meyer), Third (dir. Sarah Gabel)and The Mistress Cycle (dir. Kurt Johns) at Appletree Theatre, for Rivendell Theatre Ensemble’s productions of Mary’s Wedding (dir. Mark Ulrich), Falling: A Wake (dir. Victoria Delorio) and The Electric Baby (dir. Tara Mallen), and for Red Twist Theatre’s production of A Delicate Balance (dir. Steve Scott).
Professor Shanahan is a founding ensemble member of Room(s) Theatre, with a mission to explore the relationship between gender and performance. Named for the central metaphor of Virginia Woolf’s A Room of One’s Own, Room(s) Theatre provides spaces for interdisciplinary performance-based research related to women, gender and sexuality. Room(s) was founded in 2009 with faculty from the Gender Research Seminar, through a fellowship from the Gannon Center for Women and Leadership for Shanahan’s project Women, Creative Leadership and Home. 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 the GRS performed Maria Irene Fornes’s Fefu and her Friends in Loyola’s Piper Hall. GRS and Room(s) Theatre continue to explore performance as an interdisciplinary methodology in gender research through a major grant from the Center for Interdisciplinary Thinking in 2014-15 entitled “Gender, Performance, Affect, and Space” and in 2016 their research was published in “Performance: An Approach to Strengthening Interdisciplinary in Women’s Studies and Gender Studies” (Mary Dominiak, Hector Garcia, Susan Grossman, Betsy Jones Hemenway, Jacqueline Long, Prudence Moylan, Bren Ortega Murphy) in PARtake Journal:Performance as Research.
A scholar-artist, Professor Shanahan’s recent publications include ongoing work as the founding co-editor of the Peer-Reviewed Section of the SDC Journal, the official publication of the Stage Director’s and Choreographer’s Society. She is the editor of Landscapes of Consciousness: Meredith Monk, Robert Wilson and Richard Foreman, the 6th volume in a new series on Great North American Theatre Directors (Series Editor: James Peck, forthcoming 2020). Her scholarship is published in Theatre Journal, Text and Presentation and Theatre Topics, as well as a forthcoming anthologies Performing the Family Dream House: Space, and Ritual, and Images of Home (U of Iowa P 2018) and New Direction in Teaching Theatre Arts (Palgrave MacMillan 2018).
Professor Shanahan has presented numerous papers on acting and directing pedagogy at the Association for Theatre in Higher Education (ATHE) and Comparative Drama Conferences (CDC), and on gender and performance the National Women Studies Association (NWSA) Conference. She served as Focus Group Representative for the Directing Focus Group at ATHE 2014-16, and currently serves as the Vice President for Conference 2018, theme: “Theatres of Revolution: Performance, Pedagogy and Protest” (https://athe.site-ym.com/page/18_home).
Prior to joining the faculty at Loyola, Shanahan worked as a 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
Professional & Community Affiliations
• Associate, Stage Directors and Choreographers Society (SDC)
• Association for Theatre in Higher Education (ATHE)
• National Women’s Studies Association (NWSA)
- 2014-15 Center for Interdisciplinary Thought, Gender Research Seminar Major Grant
- 2013 Gannon Archives Faculty Fellow
- 2012 and 2013 Special Projects Grant, CAS
- 2010 Engaged Scholars Development Grant
- 2009 Gannon Center for Women and Leadership Faculty Fellowship
- 2006 and 2008 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
Landscapes of Consciousness: Meredith Monk, Robert Wilson and Richard Foreman, Ed., Volume 6, Great North American Theatre Directors (Series Editor: James Peck), Bloomsbury Methuen Drama, (forthcoming 2020).
“Making Room(s): Staging Plays about Women and Houses,” Performing the Family Dream House: Space, Ritual and Images of Home, Eds. Emily Klein, Jen-Scott Mobley, Jill Stevenson, U of Iowa, (forthcoming 2018).
“Pirated Pedagogy: Re-purposing Brecht’s Performance Techniques for Revolutions in Teaching,” New Directions in Theatre Pedagogy, Eds. Anne Fliotsos and Gail Humphries, Palgrave McMillan, (forthcoming 2018).
“A Door Slam for the Twenty First Century: Considering Space and Style in Contemporary Staging of A Doll’s House,” Performance-Research-History: Pageants and Pioneers from Hrotsvit to Women's Suffrage Drama, Eds. Katherine Cockin and Anna Birch, (proposed to press).
“Performance: An Approach to Strengthening Interdisciplinary in Women’s Studies and Gender Studies,” co-authored with Mary Dominiak, Hector Garcia, Susan Grossman, Betsy Jones Hemenway, Jacqueline Long, Prudence Moylan, Bren Ortega Murphy. PARtake Journal:Performance as Research, Volume 1, Number 1, 2016.
“Book Review: Shaw and The Actors Franchise League by Ellen Ecker Dolgin” Text & Presentation, 2016. The Comparative Drama Series, 13. Ed. Graley Herren. Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Company, Inc., 2016.
“Introduction to Directing and Choreography in the Profession and the Academy: A Forum” SDC Journal (PRS),Volume 4, Number 1, Eds. Ann Fliotsos and Ann M. Shanahan, New York, Summer 2015.
“Playing House: Staging Experiments About Women in Domestic Space” Theatre Topics Special Issue on Practice-Based Research, Volume 23, Number 2, September 2013.
“The Novel as Drama: Staging Theatrical Aspects of the Narrative in Jane Austen’s Mansfield Park” Text & Presentation, 2012. The Comparative Drama Series, 9. Ed. Graley Herren. Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Company, Inc., 2013.
“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, 2010. The Comparative Drama Series, 8. Ed. Kiki Gounaridou. Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Company, Inc., 2011.
“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 & Presentation, 2010. The Comparative Drama Series, 7. Ed. Kiki Gounaridou. Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Company, Inc., 2010.