This fall, Shannon Savard ’15, MAT’16 will enroll in Ohio State’s Ph.D. program in theatre with a graduate minor in women’s gender and sexuality studies. Savard will research and practice theatre for social change, directing, feminist theatre and LGBTQ theatre.
“The Teacher Education Program at HWS reinforced my love for teaching, and my experience in the Theatre Department gave me the opportunity to develop the skills, knowledge base, and sense of purpose that I needed to pursue this course of study and career path,” says Savard, who hopes to teach and direct theatre at the university level.
At HWS, Savard double majored in English and Theatre with a minor in education. In 2015, Savard received the Young Scholars Award from the Southeastern Theatre Conference for a research paper titled, “Women’s Theatre Group: Disrupting the Patriarchy since 1973.” While conducting research, Savard collaborated with Associate Professor of Theatre Christopher Hatch, Associate Professor of Theatre Heather May and Associate Professor of Theatre Chris Woodworth.
As part of the HWS Teacher Education Program, Savard served as a teaching assistant at Penn Yan Academy, Waterloo High School and Geneva City Schools, as well as founded and directed Project Respect – a teen theater group operating in collaboration with the Boys and Girls Club of Geneva and the Geneva Theatre Guild. Savard was also a member of student theatre troupes Mosaic NY and Phoenix Players.
“Working with Professor May in Mosaic NY, I had the chance to find a way to give my passion for theatre a purpose,” says Savard. “My experience with that company has informed the kind of work I do now and what I want to do in the future.”
After graduating from HWS, Savard pursued a master’s degree in theatre at Ohio State. As a graduate student, Savard has been taking classes, writing and directing student productions, teaching the “Introduction to Theatre” course to undergraduate students, and doing research for an original play about World War I called Forbidden Zones: The Great War and for a production of Emily Mann’s Execution of Justice.