Courtney Erin Colligan - PhD Student




MA, English, Virginia Tech, 2016

BA, Theatre: Acting, Christopher Newport University, 2014

BA, English: Literature, Christopher Newport University, 2014


Courtney is a second-year Ph.D. student at the University of Pittsburgh in Theatre and Performance Studies. Her research interests include Shakespeare, Cross-Gender Performance, with an emphasis on the role of the family in these performances, English Revenge Tragedies and Politics, as well as Museum Studies. Currently, Courtney is working on an article on the politics of reconstructing Middle Eastern art in the West as shown in an exhibit at the Colosseum in Fall of 2016. Past works include the role of gender in historical interpretation at Colonial Williamsburg, family and gender in cross-gendered productions of Hamlet and the shifting public sphere of Restoration England in William Davenant’s adaption of Macbeth.

As a practitioner, Courtney works as an actor and a dramaturg, and previously as a choreographer. With The New Renaissance Theatre Company in Pittsburgh, she played Lady Macbeth (Macbeth) and Katerina (The Taming of the Shrew) in the Unrehearsed Shakespeare Project. Past roles include Elizabeth I (Mary Stuart), Renée (The Odd Couple – Female Version), and Elizabeth Bennett (Pride & Prejudice). In addition to acting, Courtney trained as a ballerina for eighteen years appearing as the Nightingale in Stravinsky's The Nightingale in 2010, as well as a member of the corps de ballet in Coppélia and Sleeping Beauty. Her dramaturgy credits include Baltimore at The University of Pittsburgh and the world premiere of Sa’idah at the Cincinnati Fringe Festival.

Courtney wrote and produced “Home(s) – A One-Act” at Virginia Tech where she was additionally awarded Graduate Instructor of the Year for outstanding instruction in English Composition. In the summer of 2011, Courtney studied at Oxford University producing a project advocating the necessity of subsidized theatre in the United States. Outside of the academy, Courtney has worked as a historical interpreter at Colonial Williamsburg where she was active in the performances of “Revolutionary City.”

She has taught Introduction to Performance, Introduction to Composition I & II, lectured on the process of publishing Quartos and Folios in Elizabethan England and assisted in Theatre and Collaboration and Enjoying Performances.


“Frailty, Thy Name is Human: Gender Fluidity and the Family in Sarah Frankcom’s Hamlet.” University of Pittsburgh Graduate EXPO, Pittsburgh, PA. March 2017.

“Developing a Bridge to Enhance First-Year Student Success Through Writing Instruction.” Virginia Tech Communal Outreach, Blacksburg, VA. Spring 2016.

“The Power of the Pen: High School Courses Replacing First-Year Writing.” Conference on Higher Education Pedagogy, Blacksburg, VA. February 2016.

“A Perfect Mind: Food and Power in Mrs. Dalloway and The Bell Jar.” Interventions: Women’s Studies in Action at The University of Maryland, College Park, MD. October 2015.

“Home(s).” Graduate Playwriting Festival at Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA. April 2015.