Western Illinois University: Macomb Campus
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Theatre and Dance
Professor of Theatre
Honors Director for the Department of Theatre and Dance
Office Location: 102A Browne Hall
Office Phone: (309) 298-2995
Professor Woods is an actor and stage director, theatre historian, arts educator and college administrator. She earned a B.A. in Theatre from the University of Idaho, an M.A. in Theatre from Hunter College (New York), and the M.Phil. and Ph.D. in Theatre from the City University of New York. In 2003, Dr. Woods completed the Management and Leadership in Education (MLE) Program of the Harvard Graduate School of Education's Institute for Higher Education. She was Vice President for Professional Development of the Association of Theatre in Higher Education 2003-2007.
Dr. Woods is the Artistic Director of the non-profit company, The Starry Night Repertory Theatre, which she founded in 2009. From 1994 to 2006 she was artistic director of The New Stage Ensemble Theatre, a professional company in residence at Winthrop University. New Stage distinguished itself with productions on campus and touring the Carolinas, as well as highly acclaimed performances of Vincent and The Compleat Works of Wlm. Shkspr (Abridged) at the 1994 and 1996 Piccolo Spoleto Theatre Festival. Dr. Woods also acted for New Stage (playing Maria Callas in Master Class and the title role inLettice and Lovage) and in theatres in New York, Idaho, and Colorado. She has directed professional productions in the Carolinas, including The Fantasticks at Blowing Rock Stage Company, The Bible- The Complete Word of God (Abridged), The Complete History of America (Abridged), All the Great Books (Abridged) and The Waiting Room for the Actors Theatre of Charlotte.
In 1998-99, Professor Woods was a Senior Fulbright Lecturer at the National Institute of the Arts in Taipei, Taiwan where she taught graduate courses in acting, directing, and theatre history and directed a production of David Ives' comedy, All in the Timing. She was a guest lecturer at the American Cultural Institute in Taipei and throughout the country. As a stage director, she was a guest artist at the Shanghai Theatre Academy in 2005 and 2006. In 2006 she also created an original presentation with students at the Cadi Ayyad University in Marrakech and staged it for the Morocco in Western Art conference in Morocco.
Dr. Woods is the author of Theatre to Change Men's Souls-The Artistry of Adrian Hall and Maureen Stapleton: A Bio-Bibliography. She is co-translator of the English script of the Chinese contemporary comedy, The Bride and Her Double by Chi Mei Wang, published in a bilingual edition in Taiwan. She has published articles on theatre and the teaching of theatre.
The chairperson of the Department of Theatre and Dance at Western Illinois University from 2006 to 2008, Dr. Woods also previously served five years as Associate Dean for the College of Visual and Performing Arts at Winthrop University and as chair of the Department of Theatre and Dance at Winthrop University. Dr. Woods was named Winthrop's Outstanding Junior Professor of 1995. She is a former Director of Winthrop's Office for Effective Teaching.
Over the last twenty-two years, Dr. Woods taught a variety of theatre courses including all levels of acting and directing, theatre history, theatre careers, and script analysis. She has directed many university theatre productions, including A Flea in Her Ear, Another Antigone, Arms and the Man, As You Like It, The Boys Next Door, The Lady's Not for Burning, The Love of the Nightingale, The Madwoman of Chaillot, Memoir, Much Ado about Nothing, Noises Off, On the Verge, or the Geography of Yearning, Reckless, The School for Wives, The Sea, Tartuffe, and The Way of the World. In 2004, Dr. Woods taught theatre courses on the SS Universe Explorer with the Semester at Sea program and circumnavigated the globe.
Dr. Woods is a member of the League of Professional Theatre Women, The Association for Theatre in Higher Education, The Illinois Theatre Association, and The Drama League. She is a 2009 participant in the DirectorsLab of Chicago.