Susan Russell (Artistic Director) Susan Russell (Artistic Director) is an Assistant Professor in the School of Theatre at The Pennsylvania State University in State College, PA, where she teaches graduate and undergraduate literature/criticism, Playwriting, Musical Theatre History, and Women in Theatre. She received her PhD in Theatre Studies from Florida State University’s School of Theatre in 2007, her Master of Arts degree from Florida State University in 2003, and her BA in Theatre from St. Andrews Presbyterian College in Laurinburg, NC in 1979. Between her education pursuits, she experienced a twenty-five year career as a professional actor on and off-Broadway as well as a career in regional theatre and opera companies across the country. While performing for five years in Phantom of the Opera, she was an artist/teacher for New York Offstage where she created, developed, and implemented workshops in musical theatre performance and acting for high-school and university students, and was a curriculum creator for New York City Opera, where she created and developed arts based education program designed to meet the specific needs of selected elementary, middle, and high school programs. As a playwright, her works Olympia (1998) and Present Perfect (1999) have been produced by Emerging Artists Theatre in New York City, and in 2000, Lincoln Center selected Present Perfect for its Millennium Living Room Festival at the HERE Theatre in Soho. Her play Severe Clear was a semi-finalist in the 2006 O’Neill Theatre Center Playwriting Competition, and her new play Ecoute: Pieces of Reynaldo Hahn is on a 2009/10 national tour starring Norman Spivey. Dr. Russell is the author of Body Language: Stop the Violence/Start the Conversation ,Body Language: Cultural Conversations Reaching Out and Reaching In, and a new journal called Cultural Conversations: Works in Progress and Writers in the Making. All proceeds from the sale of either text go to Cultural Conversations and The Body Language Project. Visit the Contact link at this site for purchases. Dr. Russell was honored this year with the 2012 Penn State Commision For Womens Faculty Award for her work on women's issues at Penn State University and in the surrounding community.
This year's student Artistic Associate is Chazie Bly. Chazie will join Dr. Russell in the creation and implementation of all three Body Language Projects and will act as Dr. Russell's right hand associate in the creation of Cultural Conversations 2012.