Marlboro College

Academics Liza Williams - Theater

Liza Williams has had a long and varied career that has included professional associations with some of the most gifted theater artists in America, including 10 years at the American Repertory theatre in Boston and more recently at the Colorado Shakespeare Festival. She has had many different roles associated with the making of theater; she is a director, a designer, a dramaturg, and a theater critic. She has worked as a stage manager and production manager, running crew and scenic artist. Over the years, she has evolved into a scholar and artist capable of seeing theater through many of the frames that we use to study and create it. Liza loves Shakespeare and postmodern dance-theater, she adores imagery and text, but most of all the exploration of the human condition.

Teaching Philosophy

Liza notes that "the study of theater both experientially and theoretically provides a great place for students to bring the knowledge and understanding of “other” subjects to their exploration of theater. The theater is a synthesis of these “other” subjects—it is history and sociology, psychology and english." Her goal is not only to teach young people how to make theater and communicate with a audience, but to help students to see theater within its greater sociological, historical, and creative perspectives and to find their place as artists within that. Liza's hope is that her own enthusiasm for both theater and the teaching of it will be a catalyst for students to engage the creation and study of theater in new ways.

Scholarly Activities

Liza is interested in the depiction of stereotype of gender, ethnicity, and race in American theater, and making theater that is a vehicle for social justice. She has authored a chapter about 19th century theatrical depictions of alcoholism that will appear in a new book, Performance and Addiction, due to be published in early 2014. The book now in development explores how mid-20th century plays reflect changes in American understanding of alcoholism and addiction, including depictions of alcoholism in women and in minority populations.

Liza has presented several papers on the pedagogy of directing and the directing process, and on the development of devised work, at the Association for Theatre in Higher Education.

B. A., Hunter College, City University of New York, 1999; M. F. A., University of Iowa, 2003; Ph. D., University of Colorado, Boulder, 2011, Marlboro College, 2013 -

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