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Gretchen Smith

Associate Professor, Head of Theatre Studies

Dr. Smith is a theatre historian, performance studies scholar, and playwright. Her research interests include gender studies, festival and ritual, popular American theatre, narrative/storytelling, French theatre/performance and Molière. She has presented her research on French theatre of the 17th and 19th centuries at conferences on theatre/French history in America, Canada, England, Scotland, Germany, and the Czech Republic. Her publications include The Performance of Masculinity in Molière’s Comédies-Ballets: Staging the Courtier (Ashgate, 2005) and an essay in Author as Character (Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 1999).

Dr. Smith is currently at work on a study of female performers working in Paris from 1850 to 1914. Her plays have been produced and read in America and Europe. Currently, she is the Education Chair for Women in Film/Dallas; she has also been the Chair of Playwriting for Region VI for the Kennedy Center/American College Theatre Festival and the Awards Administrator for the Jane Chambers Playwriting Award (Association for Theatre in Higher Education/Women in Theatre Program).

She is the producer and artistic director of New Visions, New Voices, where original scripts written by senior playwriting students are developed via a staged reading festival; this festival is an annual feature of production season of the Division of Theatre.


Ph.D. Theatre/History, Theory & Literature, Indiana University, Bloomington. Minor: Comparative Literatures
M.F.A. Theatre/Playwriting, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale
B.A. English, College of William & Mary, Williamsburg. Minor: Anthropology


History of Western Theatre 1: The Greeks to the French Baroque
Playwriting: Beginning, Intermediate, Advanced and the Master Class
Gender as Performance (co-listed with Women & Gender Studies)
Mapping Modernism: Paris/London/St. Petersburg/Moscow, 1880-1914
American Theatre & the Citizen (co-listed with the Cary M. Maguire Center for Ethics & Public Responsibility)

Areas of Study



Art History

Arts Management and Arts Entrepreneurship

Corporate Communication and Public Affairs

Creative Computation


Film and Media Arts




Undergraduate Studies

Graduate Studies

Classes (See Catalog)


Faculty and Staff

Opportunities for Non-Theatre Majors

Student Internships & Collaborations


Our Season


Actor Showcases

MFA Design Showcase