Lecturer in English Language & Literature
Contact & Office Hours
Tuesday & Thursday,
Seelye Hall 205
M.F.A., B.A., University of Massachusetts Amherst
Sheila Siragusa is a director and playwright, specializing in the creation of new work for the stage and First Folio Shakespeare in performance. Her recent production of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night was a living art installation in which museum patrons could observe the company rehearsing amid floor-to-ceiling sheets of first folio text, culminating in a performance under a full-sized “tree of words” in Northampton’s A.P.E. Gallery.
She has directed at numerous venues nationally, including Theatre Three in Dallas, Abington Theatre, Manhattan Class Company, the RAW Space, the Village Gate, New Century Theatre, Chester Theatre Company, KO Theatre Works, The Majestic Theatre and the August Company.
As one of the founders of both KO Theatre Festival and The August Company, Siragusa has directed, acted, composed and written variously on more than 15 original plays. Notably, she worked with Peter Lobdell on his highly acclaimed play Immunity and with Liesel de Boor on her productions OnWords: Gone, OnWords: Chekhov and OnWords: Terror.
Siragusa recently worked with librettist Harley Erdman and composer Eric Sawyer on their original opera, Garden of Martyrs, and actor Greg Watanabe in Jeanne Sakata’s Hold These Truths at New Century Theatre.
Her article Rwandan Radio Drama in Ecumenica: Journal of Theatre and Performance shines a light on the incredible power of performance art to heal social upheaval and point the way toward peaceful resolution. The work is a profile of creators Ervin Staub and Laurie Ann Pearlman in the wake of Rwandan genocide in the 1990s. Her original play about privatization of natural resources, titled Water, was awarded the Theatre for Social Justice Award at the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival in 2009.
She has served on the faculty at New York University’s Stella Adler Conservatory, State University of New York and Central Connecticut State University, and she is a member of the Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers.