Loyola University Chicago


Department of Fine and Performing Arts

Faculty and Production Staff

Kelly Howe, Ph.D.

Title/s:  Associate Professor of Theatre

Specialty Area: Theatre Theory, History, and Criticism

Office #:  MUND 1305

Phone: 773.508.3905

Email: khowe2@luc.edu


Dr. Kelly Howe (she/her) teaches courses in theatre history/theory and theatre for social justice. Her interests include Theatre of the Oppressed, political theatre, translation, solidarity organizing, Latin American performance, critical pedagogy, and feminist, queer, Marxist, & critical race theories. Howe received the Edwin T. & Vivijeanne F. Sujack Award for Teaching Excellence from the College of Arts and Sciences in 2022.

Howe co-edited (with Julian Boal & José Soeiro) The Routledge Companion to Theatre of the Oppressed (finalist, Excellence in Editing Award, Association for Theatre in Higher Education) and (with Julian Boal & Scot McElvany) Theatre of the Oppressed in Actions. She has also written for Theatre Journal, Theatre Topics, Theatre Survey, Text and Performance Quarterly, Comparative Drama, the Oxford anthology Theatre and Human Flourishing, and Digital Theatre + (for which she curated/scripted the series Key Concepts in Theatre for Social Change). Howe collaborated with Fabiana Comparato on the translation from Portuguese to English of Theatre of the Oppressed and its Times by Julian Boal, and she has translated two Argentinian documentaries about political theatre from Spanish to English: Tras Las Huellas de Augusto by Cora Fairstein, Paula Cohen, & Débora Markel and Escenas de un País by Cora Fairstein & Sabino Molina (VacaBonsai Colectivo Audiovisual). She also translates for Pedagogy and Theatre of the Oppressed Journal, Pedagogy and Theatre of the Oppressed as an organization, and Chicago community organizations.

Howe served twice as President of Pedagogy and Theatre of the Oppressed (PTO) and remains on its board. She has co-organized four PTO conferences and (with Willa Taylor & Jasmin Cardenas) a collective focused on political theatre & popular education. Other contexts of Howe’s Theatre of the Oppressed work include the environmental organization Third Act, Indiana University, Technical University of Dortmund, Chicago Workers’ Collaborative & Temporary Workers of Lake County, a coalition of organizations against the death penalty in Texas, etc. She has studied at Jana Sanskriti Centre for Theatre of the Oppressed, been an advisory board member of its Research and Resource Institute in West Bengal, and served as VP for Conference & VP for Membership for the Association for Theatre in Higher Education.

Howe will direct Loyola’s 2024 production of Once; some other plays she has directed include The Making of a Modern Folk Hero, The RealmDoctor Faustus Lights the Lights, Iphigenia and Other Daughters, Way to Heaven, The Threepenny Opera, Elephant’s Graveyard, Phoenix Unforgiven, etc. She has also dramaturged various productions. Howe is the founding coordinator of Loyola’s Theatre & Social Justice Working Group, a Loyola Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Liaison (DEIL), coordinator of the Loyola Theatre Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee, and a talkback facilitation mentor for Loyola dramaturgs. She previously taught in the theatre department at North Central College (where she coordinated Gender and Women’s Studies & the LGBTQIA ally education program) and at UT-Austin.



Ph.D. in Performance as Public Practice (Theory/History/Criticism), University of Texas at Austin

M.A. in Performance as Public Practice (Theory/History/Criticism), University of Texas at Austin

B.A. in Theatre and English, Muhlenberg College