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WIU Theatre Professor Emeritus Jeannie Woods
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Woods Honored with Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award

November 18, 2020


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MACOMB, IL – Western Illinois University Theatre Professor Emeritus Jeannie Woods was recently presented with the Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award by Marquis Who's Who.

Woods retired from WIU in May 2018, after serving as an actor, stage director and theatre historian and chair of WIU's Department of Theatre and Dance for more than a decade.

"Of course, it is wonderful to be so honored, but I must say that the support and encouragement from my husband, Dan Woods, and my colleagues in theatre and education were essential ingredients in my success," said Woods. "I have been incredibly fortunate to spend my life engaged in what I love most – the arts and teaching. I hope that I have paid it forward for my students and colleagues and have fostered their success as well."

Woods began her work in higher education in 1987, lecturing at the City College of New York and then Baruch College, followed by faculty appointments at Winthrop University in South Carolina between 1989-2006 and Western Illinois University from 2006-2018. At Winthrop, Woods became a full professor of theater, associate dean for the College of Visual and Performing Arts, department chairman of theater and dance and director of the Office for Effective Teaching. Throughout her teaching career, Woods taught numerous theater courses, including acting, directing and theater history.

From 1998-99, Woods was a senior Fulbright lecturer at the National Taiwan University of Arts, where she taught numerous courses and directed a comedy. In the spring of 2004, she taught theater courses as part of the Semester at Sea program aboard the SS Universe Explorer.

After coming to Macomb, Woods became the founder and artistic director of the Starry Night Repertory Theatre. Over the past 10 seasons, she has acted in and directed numerous productions, including a tour to China of "The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged)," which was presented at the 2010 Shanghai International Arts Festival and the Centennial Theater at Peking University in Beijing.

Recently, Woods acted and directed for three seasons at the Okoboji Summer Theater between 2017-2019. She is the former artistic director of the professional company New Stage Ensemble Theater, which was located at Winthrop University, and toured throughout North and South Carolina and to Piccolo Spoleto Festival. Prior to her academic career, Woods was a member of the Third Eye Theatre and Germinal Stage Denver theatre companies in Denver, CO.

Woods participated in the 2009 Directors Lab of Chicago, and in the 2010 La MaMa Umbria International Directors Symposium in Italy. She was a guest artist at the 2019 Summer Theatre Institute at Stephens College, and has been a frequent guest artist and lecturer in theaters in Taiwan, Shanghai, Beijing, and Marrakesh.

She published "Maureen Stapleton: A Bio-Bibliography" in 1992, and "Theatre to Change Men's Souls: The Artistry of Adrian Hall" in 1993. She later co-translated an English script of a Chinese play with Taiwan playwright Chi Mei Wang, titled "The Bride and Her Double."

Woods received her bachelor's degree in theater at the University of Idaho in 1970, and her master's degree in theater at Hunter College in 1987. She then attended the City University of New York, where she acquired both a Master of Philosophy and Doctor of Philosophy in Theater in 1988 and 1989, respectively. Woods also completed the Management and Leadership in Education Program at the Harvard Graduate School of Education's Institute for Higher Education.

She has been a member of the Association for Theatre in Higher Education, for which she served as vice president for professional development from 2003-2007. She is also a member of the League of Professional Theatre Women. Other memberships include the Fulbright Association and several honor societies.

In recognition of her success, Woods has been honored by Winthrop University by being named Outstanding Junior Professor in 1995, and with two Presidential Citations in 1998 and 2001. She received an Internationalizing the Campus Award from Western Illinois University's College of Fine Arts and Communication in 2010, and the William E. Brattain Distinguished Service Award for her leadership in the development of arts at WIU and the Macomb community in 2018. On May 3, 2019 she was inducted into the Fulbright Taiwan Hall of Fame.

A celebrated Marquis listee, Woods has been highlighted in the 60th and 61st editions of Who's Who in America, as well as several editions of Who's Who in American Education, Who's Who in Entertainment, and Who's Who of American Women.

For more information about WIU's Department of Theatre and Dance, visit wiu.edu/theatre.



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