Loyola University Chicago

Department of Fine and Performing Arts

Faculty and Staff Directory

Ann Shanahan, M.F.A.

Title/s: Associate Professor of Theatre
Graduate Program Director of Women’s Studies and Gender Studies (Interim Fall ’15)

Office #: Mundelein 1316

Phone: 773-508-8598

E-mail: ashanah@luc.edu


Ann M. Shanahan teaches Acting, Directing, and Gender Theory courses and mentors students in the Second Stage Program. She serves as Interim Director (Spring ’15) and Graduate Program Director (Fall ’15) of Women’s Studies and Gender Studies (WSGS). She is on the faculty of the Graduate School and a member of the Gender Research Seminar (GRS). 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 is a member of the Executive Committee 2014-16.

Shanahan's areas of research interest and teaching specialties include gender and theatrical space, director training, and theatre and social change. Her professional directing credits include: 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. Favorites include: Twelfth Night, The House of Bernarda Alba, Ghosts, Hedda Gabler, Mother Courage, The Laramie Project, The Trojan Women, and Maria Irene Fornes' Abingdon Square. 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).

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 artists— students, alumni, staff, and faculty of Loyola, as well as members of the community—for the creation of original dramatic material from documentary sources and interdisciplinary research related to women, gender and sexuality. Shanahan’s work on Room(s) was initiated with faculty from the Gender Research Seminar, through a Gannon Center for Women and Leadership Faculty Fellowship for her project entitled Women, Creative Leadership and Home in 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 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 2015-16 by adapting oral histories, interviews, and archival source material to generate new performance work related to women and gender.

Shanahan is 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. Her scholarship is published in Theatre Journal, Text and Presentation and Theatre Topics, as well as a forthcoming anthology entitled Performing the Family Dream House: Space, and Ritual, and Images of Home (U of Iowa 2016). She 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 is the Immediate Past Focus Group Representative for the Directing Focus Group at ATHE 2014-16. 

Prior to joining the faculty at Loyola, 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

Professional & Community Affiliations

• Associate, Stage Directors and Choreographers Society
• Association for Theatre in Higher Education
• National Women’s Studies Association



• 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

Selected Publications

“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., (forthcoming) 2016

“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) 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 StageText & 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

“Performance Review: Endgame Steppenwolf Theatre,” Theatre Journal, Volume 62, Number 3, October 2010