Theodore Shank Résumé

Theodore Shank has been an agricultural field worker, cat skinner, cowboy, stunt pilot, US Army sergeant, photographer, and Distinguished Professor of Theatre.

He is an award winning playwright and director. His play Wild Indian! received two CBS/Dramatists Guild Awards and co-premiered at the Magic Theatre in San Francisco and at Victory Gardens Theatre in Chicago. The play is being adapted as a music-theatre piece by Theodore Shank and composer Leif Jordansson. 

His music-theatre work Fly Away All, with music by Brenda Hutchinson, was commissioned by Opera America. It premiered at the Minnesota Opera New Music-Theatre Ensemble.

The Wives of the Magi (with Adele Edling Shank) is subtitled A Mayan, Christian, Music Hall, Jewish, Calypso, Buddhist Play with Music. It received a staged reading at the Magic Theatre in San Francisco.

Black Wings, with music by William Harper, is a jazz-blues-gospel-country musical set in the 1920s and inspired by the life of Bessie Coleman, the first black person in the world to receive a pilot's license. It is nearing completion.

The Global Economy and Electricity (two short plays) have both been selected as finalist for the Heideman Award.

His recently completed play, Codex, is set on a Mayan archeological dig in Guatemala and in an apartment overlooking Central Park in New York and centers on the theft of art works and culture. The play has a cast of 3 women and 3 men. It has not yet been produced. 

He has directed over fifty productions including many premiere productions of plays and music-theatre works on which he was a collaborating writer. Among the theatres where he has directed are the Magic Theatre (San Francisco), the Los Angeles Theatre Center, the Actors Theatre of Louisville, and the Minnesota Opera New Music-Theatre Ensemble. 

He is Distinguished Professor of Theatre at the University of CaliforniaSan Diego, where he was Head of the Professional Theatre Directing Program and taught dramaturgy and contemporary theatre. Previously he was the founding chair of the Dramatic Art Department at the University of CaliforniaDavis, where he also served as Head of the Professional Playwriting Program. 

His eight books, chapters in about twenty-five others, and a hundred or so articles on contemporary theatre have been published in eighteen countries. His books include American Alternative Theatre (Macmillan, London; St. Martin's, New York; and soon to be republished and updated by Michigan University Press), The Art of Dramatic Art (Dickenson, Belmont, CA), Contemporary Experimental Theatre (Theater am Turm, Frankfurt), Theatre in Real Time (Studio Forma, Milan), California Performance (Mime Journal, Claremont, CA), Contemporary British Theatre (Macmillan, London; St Martin's, New York) and Beyond the Boundaries: American Alternative Theatre (University of Michigan Press). 

An exhibition of his experimental theatre photographs has been shown in Europe and the USA. 

He is founding editor of the international performance magazine, TheatreForum , and has served as contributing editor for several arts magazines including New Theatre Quarterly (London and Cambridge) and The Drama Review (New York). He has served on panels of the Arts Council of Great Britain, the National Endowment for the Arts, the California Arts Council, and Opera America. His Ph.D. is from Stanford University. 

E-Mail tshank@ucsd.edu

Theatre & Dance, University of California, San Diego

9500 Gilman Drive 0344, La Jolla, CA 92093, U.S.A.

Tel (home) +(858) 755-3303 Fax +509 756 3073 

Wild Indian! Home Page