Nancy Taylor Porter, PhD (Associate Professor of Theatre, Department Chair) leads the theatre Program and Illinois College TheatreWorks. A veteran of Shakespeare and Company's intensive actor training program, the NYC Actors Movement Studio's June Intensive, and improvOlympic's Summer Intensive, she has also studied acting and directing at Guilford College, Boston University, and Tufts University, where she earned her Ph.D. in Theatre Studies. She has been involved in theatre at every educational institution she has attended and often acted or directed in surrounding theatre companies as well. Most recently, she has performed the roles of Sunny in The Exonerated and the Nurse and a white from Macbeth in Her Infinite Variety: An Evening Out With Shakespeare's Women, shows which she also directed and co-directed, respectively, for Playhouse on the Square.
Nancy has also trained as a dancer, specializing in modern dance, and a singer (soprano). She coaches the improv troupe, Lincoln's Security Detail and took a sketch comedy writing class at The Second City this past summer. She teaches a wide range of courses from Introduction to Theatre, to Shakespeare's Theatre, to Theatre Directing, a variety that is part of what she enjoys about her work at Illinois College. And creating theatre with talented actors is one of her favorite things to do in life. Her book,Women Direct Shakespeare in America (2005), was published by Fairleigh Dickinson University Press and is available through Amazon.com. A director of over 25 productions, some of her favorites have been How I Learned to Drive, The Crucible, Pride and Prejudice, The Secret Garden, Playing for Time, The Love of the Nightingale,The Taming of the Shrew, and Children of a Lesser God.