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Theodore Shank

Emeritus Faculty


PhD, Stanford University


THEODORE SHANK is the former Head of the Graduate Directing Program at UC San Diego, founding editor of TheatreForum, founding chair of the Theatre Department at UC Davis where he also served as head of the Graduate Playwriting Program, and an award winning author and director. His eight books, chapters in more than thirty others, and a hundred or so articles on contemporary theatre have been published in at least eighteen countries. His books include American Alternative Theatre (Macmillan, London; St. Martin's, New York), The Art of Dramatic Art (Dickenson, Belmont, CA; New York: Dell Publishing Co., Inc), Theatre in Real Time (Studio Forma, Milan), Contemporary Experimental Theatre (Theater am Turm, Frankfurt), California Performance (Mime Journal, Claremont, CA), Contemporary British Theatre (Macmillan, London; St. Martin's, NY), and Beyond the Boundaries: American Alternative Theatre (University of Michigan Press).

His play Wild Indian! received two CBS/Dramatists Guild Awards and co-premiered at the Magic Theatre (San Francisco) and at Victory Gardens Theatre (Chicago). His music-theatre work, Fly Away All, with music by Brenda Hutchinson, premiered at Minnesota Opera New Music-Theatre Ensemble. He has directed over fifty productions including many premieres of plays and music-theatre works on which he was a collaborating writer. He has served as contributing editor to several arts magazines including New Theatre Quarterly (London and Cambridge) and The Drama Review (New York). His experimental theatre photographs have been widely published and exhibitions of the photos have shown in Europe and the USA. He has served on panels of the Arts Council of Great Britain, the National Endowment for the Arts, the California Arts Council, Opera America, and is a consultant to Higher Education in England.