University of Windsor

Windsor, ON

The School of Dramatic Art of the University of Windsor is home to some of Canada's leading theatre programs, taught by award winning faculty.

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University of Windsor

The School of Dramatic Art is renowned for its high-quality training of actors, theatre artists, and educators for over 50 years and is known to be in Canada's top training schools for a dramatic art education. It favours experiential learning as the core of all of its programs providing hands-on learning experience and foundational skill sets that prepare students for a multitude of career choices in the theatre industry and related professions.

Students dive right into the production of theatre in their first year by contributing to its six show season produced by University Players, the school’s theatre company. Five undergraduate degree programs are offered by the school:

BFA in Acting
BA in Drama in Education and Community with a concentration in Applied Theatre
BA in Drama and Concurrent Education
BA in Dramatic Art
BA in Drama and Communication, Media and Film

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Faculty & Alumni

  • David Court

    Scenic Design and Scenic Painter-BA in Dramatic Art

    David Court holds a B.A. Hons in Drama from the University of Windsor (’96) and is a graduate of The Hilberry Repertory Company in Detroit, Michigan. He received his MFA in Scenic Design from Wayne State University (’07) and received a certificate in scenic design from The Moscow Art Theatre School in Russia (’06). David has designed and painted sets for University Players, Gina Lori Riley Dance Enterprises, Bonstelle Theatre, Hilberry Theatre, The Young Centre for the Performing Arts, The Chrysler Theatre, The Capitol Theatre, Tarragon Theatre, Port Stanley Festival Theatre and Cogeco Cable Television. In 2011, David received both the Rose Brand Award and Fan Choice Award for Best Scenic Design for his design for Waiting for Godot at The Sudbury Theatre Centre. In 2015-16, David received an Innovation Service Award from the dean of the Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences for his contributions to The School of Dramatic Art over the past 20 years. He has conducted numerous workshops in scenic art at The University of West Georgia and taught in The Entertainment Technology program at St. Clair College. David is currently a faculty member for The School of Dramatic Art, University of Windsor teaching in the areas of Theatre Production and Design. He teaches Drawing for the Theatre, Rendering for the Theatre, Scene Painting for Theatre, Studies in Design and Scenic Design.

  • Michael Keating

    Acting and Voice for the Actor professor, Vocal coach

    Michael Keating teaches Voice at the School of Dramatic Art at the University of Windsor. An actor as well asf a teacher, Professor Keating is a graduate of the Acting Program at the National Theatre School of Canada and holds an MFA from Boston University. Professor Keating has performed in many Theatres in Eastern Canada and appeared in numerous films and radio dramas. He has taught at Boston University, Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX and has conducted numerous workshops, ranging from dialect study to Commedia Dell’Arte. Directing credits for University Players include: A Midsummer Night's Dream, and Waiting for the Parade. He will direct Agatha Christie's The Hollow February 2003.

  • Michelle MacArthur

    Assistant Professor-BA in Dramatic Art

    Dr. Michelle MacArthur holds a PhD (2014) and MA (2005) from the Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies at the University of Toronto and a BA (2004) in English from McGill University. She joined the School of Dramatic Art as Assistant Professor in 2016, where she teaches courses in theatre history, dramatic literature, and performance theory.
    Dr. MacArthur’s research focuses on four main areas: equity in theatre, theatre criticism, contemporary Canadian theatre, and feminism and performance. Her current, SSHRC-funded project, “Gender, Genre, and Power in the Theatre Blogosphere”, is mapping the demographics and generic characteristics of the theatre blogosphere and analyzing its findings in light of current studies and activism surrounding gender equity in theatre. With support from SSHRC, she is also leading a study of the creation and reception of theatre performed on Zoom during the pandemic, focused on the Outside the March-University Players co-production of The Stream You Step In.

    In 2019-20, Dr. MacArthur was UWindsor’s Humanities Research Group Fellow; with the HRG’s support, she pursued several projects related to representations of millennials in arts and culture, including an edited play anthology entitled Voices of a Generation: Three Millennial Plays (Playwrights Canada Press, 2021). In 2014-15, Dr. MacArthur was lead researcher for the Equity in Theatre (EIT) initiative, a national campaign focused on redressing gender inequities in the Canadian theatre industry. Her extensive EIT report continues to serve as a resource for research and advocacy efforts in Canadian theatre and beyond. She was editor-in-chief of alt.theatre: cultural diversity and the stage from 2016 to 2018 and has co-edited two issues of Canadian Theatre Review (vol. 168 & 140) as well as the book Performing Adaptations: Conversations and Essays on the Theory and Practice of Adaptation (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2009).

  • Alice Nelson

    Assistant Professor-Drama in Education and Community

    Alice Nelson holds an MFA in Ensemble Based Physical Theatre from the Dell’Arte International School of Physical Theatre, a BEd from the University of Calgary and a BFA in Dramatic Arts from University of Lethbridge. In 2018, she moved across the country to join the School of Dramatic Arts as an Assistant
    Professor in Drama in Education and Community. She teaches courses in TYA (Theatre for Young Audiences), Theatre for Social Action, Applied Theatre and Improvisation.

    As a theatre educator, Prof. Nelson has taught at Mount Royal University, Red Deer University, Ambrose University and Rosebud School of the Arts. As well, she has taught numerous workshops for community theatres, High School arts programs, and theatre festivals.

    Prof. Nelson has worked as an actor-creator, playwright, director, producer, puppeteer, improvisor, mask maker and clown. She has written and toured solo shows regarding social and political issues and co-created feminist theatre productions. Aside from being a road warrior on the Fringe Circuit, her shows have been produced by the Calgary Animated Objects Society, New West Theatre, Downstage Theatre, Magnetic North Theatre Festival, Handsome Alice Theatre, and Sarasvàti Productions. As an improvisor, she was a company member with Loose Moose Theatre, frequently directing for their Kid’s Season. As a mask maker, she has supplied masks (Commedia and Character) internationally for theatre troupes, High Schools and Universities.

    As an applied theatre practitioner, Prof. Nelson has worked extensively as an artist-in-residence, creating original plays with children and youth in educational and community settings. Highlights include creating physical theatre plays with Trickster Theatre and bringing children’s storybooks to life with Quest Theatre. She worked for over a decade simulating real life medical situations with the Medical Skills Centre, University of Calgary. In 2017, she was part of national museum tour with Journey of a Lifetime, a performance (both in French and English) representing the stories of Canada’s early immigrants. Close to her heart has been attending expeditions as a volunteer clown and workshop leader with the international humanitarian organization, Clowns Without Borders.

    Prof. Nelson’s current research focuses on two areas: examining how the theatrical styles of clown and bouffon can be used as conduits to address taboo issues in society and addressing issues of social justice in TYA through physical theatre practices.

  • Tina Pugliese

    Director; Professor-Drama in Education and Community

    Tina Pugliese is the Director of the School of Dramatic Art and is an Associate Professor teaching in the Drama in Education and Community Programme and Concurrent Programme. She also teaches Mentorship and Learning to third- and fourth-year students across the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. She is the co-coordinator of the FAHSS Mentor programme a unique programme aimed at improving the academic first year experience for students as well as providing leadership training for senior students in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences.

    Professor Pugliese is a graduate of the Drama in Education programme; she also received her B.Ed and M.Ed from the University of Windsor and completed her Doctoral studies (Ed.D) in Reading Language and Literature at Wayne State University. Before her position at the University of Windsor, she was an elementary classroom teacher for 10 years. Her teaching and research interests are in the areas of drama education, critical literacy and mentorship and leadership, teaching and learning; She is the co-author of Using Drama to Bring Language to Life. Ideas, Games and Activities for Teachers of language and Language Arts; as well as articles in the areas of drama education and mentorship and has lead numerous workshops and presentations on peer mentorship and leadership. She is currently investigating the impact of the FASS Mentor Program on students, mentors and instructors.

    Professor Pugliese has been teaching at the University of Windsor since 1996. She is the recipient of the University of Windsor’s Student Alliance Excellence in Teaching Award-1999; University of Windsor Alumni Award for Distinguished Contributions to University Teaching-2004; and Kathleen McCrone Teaching Award-2006.

  • Meaghen Quinn

    Acting and Improvisation professor

    Meaghan Quinn is a teaching artist who is dedicated to helping others find their voice and present themselves in a confident and engaging manner.

    She has been studying, instructing, and performing internationally for the past 10 years. She holds a M.F.A. from Pennsylvania State University and a B.F.A. in Musical Theatre from the University of Windsor where she is currently working as Professor in the Dramatic Art department.

    In addition to her work as a professional artist, Meaghen is a longtime advocate for youth theatre. She devotes her summers to devising theatre with "at risk" youth for Windsor's Changing the Odds Program. Over the past three years, Meaghen has also been drawn to the business world through Enactus Windsor's award winning presentations team. Last year, the National Team won third place in all of Canada.

    She currently offers workshops on presentations skills to University Students, community members and new entrepreneurs, as well as R.B.C. executives. She is dedicated to challenging, empowering, and encouraging her students/clients to trust their instincts, develop confidence, self-worth and individuality, and to always strive for personal excellence.

  • Esther Van Eek

    Costume Design and Stage Make up-BA in Dramatic Art

    Esther Van Eek, a proud member of Associated Designers of Canada, has been working as a costume designer, milliner, props designer, set designer, mask maker, and illustrator in the US and Canada for many years. She holds a BFA in printmaking and an MFA in Theatre Production Design graduating with distinction from The George Washington University. Van Eek has received awards for both costume design and theatre pedagogy, including the CITT/ICTS National Educational Achievement Award and an International Teaching and Learning conference award for “(Un)-learning: Rediscovering the Creative Self”.

    Selected design credits include: The Taming, Accomplice, Heroes, The Tale of the Allergist’s Wife, Parasite Drag (Shakespeare & Company, Lenox, MA); Doubt (Post Productions, Windsor); The Bolt House (Windsor Feminist Theatre, Windsor); Beauty and the Beast, Mr. Burns: A Post-Electric Play, Queen Milli of Galt, The Clean House, Scapino!, Twelfth Night, Tartuffe, Emma, Crimes of the Heart, Hedda Gabler, A Midsummer Night’s Dream (University Players, Windsor, ON); As You Like It (The Academy of Classical Acting, Washington, DC); The Glory of Living (Didactic Theatre, Washington, DC); The Intelligent Design of Jenny Chow (Studio Theatre, Washington, DC).

    Van Eek joined the faculty of the School of Dramatic Art at the University of Windsor in 2006 where she teaches Costume Design I and II, Drawing for the Theatre, Rendering for the Theatre, Stage Make-up, and Introduction to Theatre and Performance Studies II, and mentors up-and-coming designers. She serves as faculty costume designer for the University Players and continues her artistic practice as a designer, printmaker, and painter.

  • Lionel Walsh

    Acting and Improvisation-Associate Professor

    Lionel Walsh is an actor and director who teaches acting in the BFA in Acting programme. He is a Certified Teacher of the Michael Chekhov Acting Technique (Michael Chekhov Association) and is founding Director of The Inspired Acting Lab, in which he and his Lab Assistants develop new exercises in Fantastic Realism. He has trained at the Moscow Art Theatre School, Russia.

    In 2019 he founded the Northern Bruce Theatre Company, for which he produced and directed Salt-Water Moon in Windsor, Lion’s Head and Kirkland Lake, Ontario. Other recent directing credits include Choking the Butterfly, a co-production of The Inspired Lab and Rarely Pure Theatre, Toronto; Brave Hearts (Ryan Rep, Brooklyn, NY); Down Dangerous Passes Road (University of Windsor, Brighton Festival Fringe, UK); Afterplay (Alternative Theatre Works, Stratford),The Orphan Muses (Breathe Art Theatre Project, 2011), and Plaza Suite (Sunshine Festival). He also directed Summer and Smoke (Hilberry Theatre, Wayne State University).
    As an actor, Lionel appeared most recently as Lyle in Whale Riding Weather at the 2009 Brighton Festival Fringe, and Plymouth Arts Festival. He also appeared as Luni-Mato in the award-winning film, Commedia Fantasia, for Gina Lori Riley Dance Enterprises; the film has had showings in Houston, New York City and Monte Carlo.

    He has conducted workshops in Improvisation and in Michael Chekhov Acting Technique at universities, conferences, and in private studios in Canada, the United States, and Great Britain, and has coached professional productions with Rose Theatre and Shakespeare in the Square, Brampton, ON and the Hilberry Theatre, Wayne State University. He is a co-founder of Michael Chekhov Canada and founding Co-Artistic Director of the Great Lakes Michael Chekhov Consortium, which offers a certificate in the teaching of Chekhov Technique through the University of Mount Union, Ohio. He also contributed a chapter to The Routledge Companion to Michael Chekhov and is co-author of “The Corridors Exercise: A Michael Chekhov-based Approach to Discovering, Experiencing, and Embodying Given Circumstances and Character” which is forthcoming in Theatre, Dance and Performance.

    Lionel is a recipient of the Alumni Award for Distinguished Contributions to University Teaching, the Alumni Association Excellence in Mentoring Award, the Students of Dramatic Art Faculty Excellence Award, and an OCUFA Award nomination.
    Memberships include the Canadian Actor's Equity Association; The Michael Chekhov Association; and, the Association for Theatre in Higher Education (Member at Large Liaison to Focus Group Representatives, MAL-Operations, VP-Awards, VP-Conference 2015). Lionel is Associate Professor of Acting, and served as Interim Director of the Director of the School (2019-2020) and Director (2002-2012), Associate Dean, Academic and Student Affairs (2012 – 2014), and Assistant Vice-President, Student Recruitment (2015 – 2019).

  • Lee Wilson

    Acting Professor

    Lee Wilson is an Assistant Professor in Acting in the School of Dramatic Art. He holds Canadian, British and Irish citizenship. He is the founding artistic director of Resurgence Theatre Company in Newmarket, Ontario, Canada where he directed critically acclaimed productions of Hamlet, Twelfth Night and Romeo and Juliet. He was nominated by his peers in 2013 for the Christopher Plummer Fellowship Award for his outstanding contribution to the classics and Shakespeare performance in Canada. He has been called one of the most exciting young directors of Shakespeare in his native home of Canada. Recently, his production of A Fear and Loathing Actor in Dublin by Mark McCauley premiered at Theatre@36 in Dublin, Ireland. It will be showcased at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in August 2019. While living in Ireland, he has directed the world premiere of Running with Dinosaurs by Nadine Flynn at The New Theatre in Dublin. In addition, his critically acclaimed productions of East of Berlin by Hannah Moscovitch and The Eurydice Project by Joanna Crawley played at The Project Arts Centre in Dublin. In 2015, he was the Associate Director to Joe Dowling on Arthur Miller’s A View from the Bridge at The Gate Theatre, Dublin.
    He is one of eleven directors who participated in the Inaugural Michael Langham Workshop for Classical Directors at the Stratford Festival in Stratford, Ontario, Canada. He has also been the assistant to Des McAnuff on The Who's Tommy and The Tempest film and stage production starring Christopher Plummer at the Stratford Shakespeare Festival. Other credits at Stratford include assistant director to Antoni Cimolino on As You Like It and to Leon Rubin on Measure for Measure. He was the apprentice artistic director/artistic associate at the Grand Theatre in London, Ontario, Canada (2008/2009 season). In 2008, Lee was invited to The Old Vic in London, England to take part in a directing and writing workshop with the Peter Hall Company. He was an Intern Director at the Shaw Festival during the 2005/2006 season in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Canada; and the Resident Director in the Birmingham Conservatory for Classical Theatre Training at the Stratford Shakespeare Festival in 2004/2005. In 2003/2004, he was awarded the Urjo Kareda Residency Grant to study directing/artistic direction with Richard Rose at the Tarragon Theatre in Toronto, Canada. Lee started off his professional career as a member of the Inaugural Soulpepper Training Company studying acting, design, and directing with his mentor Robin Phillips.
    Lee is an associate member of ADA (Association of Drama Adjudicators) in Ireland and holds an MFA in Directing from The Lir, Irelands National Academy of Dramatic Art, Trinity College, Dublin; and a BFA in Acting from Ryerson Theatre School, Toronto, Canada.