Chair and Associate Professor of Theatre Arts and Dance; Artistic Director, Loyola University Theatre
Ph.D., University of California-Davis; M.A., San Francisco State University; B.F.A., University of Colorado-Boulder
Laura Hope has a Ph.D. in Performance Studies from the University of California, Davis, an M.A. in Drama from San Francisco State University, and a B.F.A. in Acting from the University of Colorado, Boulder.
In addition to her duties as an Associate Professor of Theatre, Dr. Hope is the co-Director for the Interdisciplinary minor in Women’s Studies, and serves on the faculty committees for the minors in African and African American Studies and Middle East Peace Studies. She has taught courses in the Honors program, First Year Experience program, and the Common Curriculum. Dr. Hope taught Shakespeare, Theatre History, and Literature at both the graduate and undergraduate levels at San Francisco State University for three years before coming to Loyola in the fall of 2007.
Dr. Hope has extensive experience in new play development, and directs and dramaturgs productions for theaters across the country. Her forthcoming book, written with Dr. Philippa Kelly, is entitled Feminism and Dramaturgy: The Road Less Traveled. She is also editing an anthology of plays from Golden Thread Productions’ bi-annual ReOrient Festival of plays about the Middle East, which also contains critical essays on Middle Eastern Theatre in the United States.
Before relocating to New Orleans, Dr. Hope was the Resident Dramaturg for the California Shakespeare Theatre, where she continues to work as a contributing dramaturg. She has written numerous dramaturgical articles for Cal Shakes, served as the new play development dramaturg for the world premiere of John Steinbeck’s The Pastures of Heaven by Octavio Solis, and dramaturged productions for artists such as Jonathan Moscone, Amy Freed, Mark Rucker, Daniel Fish, and Sharon Ott.
Since 2003, Dr. Hope has been an Associate Artist with Golden Thread Productions in San Francisco, a theatre company dedicated to exploring Middle Eastern cultures and identities as expressed around the Globe. She is currently working with Golden Thread and the African American Shakespeare Company on the development of a new play about Duke Ellington’s 1963 tour of Iran, written by Torange Yeghiazarian, for which she will direct the World Premiere in 2015. She has directed numerous shows for Golden Thread, and aided in script selection for the bi-annual ReOrient Festival and the Middle East America New Plays Initiative. She helped found Golden Thread’s annual What Do the Women Say? evening of performance and poetry celebrating International Women’s Day.
During her years as the Literary Manager and Festival Director for San Francisco’s renowned Magic Theatre, she produced numerous new play festivals, including A Festival of Irish Women Playwrights, Playwrights in Danger, A Festival of Lesbian Playwrights, Plays at the Border, and Science on Stage; in addition, she worked with a wide range of playwrights, such as Rebecca Gilman, Emma Donoghue, Sam Shepard, Marie Jones, Rogelio Martinez, Claire Chafee, Michelle Carter, Paula Meehan, and Christina Reid. She regularly works with the Bay Area Playwrights Festival, where she has served variously as a dramaturg, associate producer, literary manager, and actor.
In New Orleans she has directed and dramaturged for Southern Repertory Theatre's New Play Bacchanal, directed the critically acclaimed production of Adam Rapp’s Blackbird for The Elm Theatre, which received four Big Easy Award nominations, and acted in the Jefferson Performing Arts Society’s production of Flanagan’s Wake.